Modern Design for - Vivid Sydney

Last May at least one million people visited Sydney, Australia, to experience interactive light art installations, revel to new music, and participate in discussions and workshops about innovation. It was the 6th year that the colorful festival known as Vivid Sydney illuminated buildings and transformed landmarks. This celebration creates a spectacular outdoor gallery for this growing technological art form.

The award-winning artists at 59 Productions, the company that worked on the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony, and Spinifex Group, engineered the lighting of the ‘sails’ that make up the iconic Sydney Opera House roof.

Hai Tran is the head of Technology for Spinifex Group, part of the team whose hard work and precision lit up the Opera House. He explains, “There are 15 guys working on getting the building exactly right. Tech guys, designers, laser scanners. They get the best 3D model they can get hold of, right down to the tiles on the Sails.”

After all the calculations are made, the team erects the 17 projectors to the exact specifications and switches them on. Hai again, “Just one of the projectors that light the sails of the Opera House is worth in the realm of a six figure sum, and the bulbs — which need replacing almost every night — cost thousands upon thousands of dollars. This isn’t your standard home theatre projector.”

In Martin Place, a public space in the business district, visitors can experience e|MERGEnce, another blend of art and innovation. After having their face mapped by a webcam, visitors can then see themselves projected in real-time onto a 5-foot tall sculpture of a head.

Near the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art is an interactive installation called “The Pool,” created by American sculpture Jen Lewis. More than 100 circular pads sit on the ground forming a larger circle, each waiting for a human participant. As the guest artists jump and move on their pads each one reacts with light independently, but also with its neighbor pads. Effects ripple outward, and with a group effort, intricate, dynamic patterns of colored light can be created. Photos from past events here.

Art and tech lovers: a possible destination for 2015?