Monday, June 1, 2009

Culturally Vivid

Photos by Belinda Rolland

If your in Sydney the next month then your surely in for a cultural-treat, with our new winter festival of light and music VIVID Sydney (the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere!) accompanying Luminous at the Opera House as well as Creative Sydney kicking off this year for the first time we have quite a lot going down. Oh and I nearly forgot this weekend with We Love Sounds winter music festival featuring many a talented techno artist as well as the huge Sydney Film Festival touching down next week I could easily go out every night of the week doing something completely different.

Usually such festivities are reserved for our summer days but I think people have caught on to the fact that winter down-under (well in Syd anyway) really inst that cold or bad.

Without a doubt there are some really exciting events going down at the Opera House. Brian Eno seems to be the lips of every media station as he has being brought down to curate the first Luminous Winter Music Festival for the Opera House. While at first hearing this many were surprised and impressed at his appointment, in fact the entire Luminous festival as a whole, however it has not being with out controversy with some creative and art companies protesting to the fact that very few of them have being hired, consulted or included in the festival. Not that I'm against Opera House hiring over-seas talent, very much the opposite, I believe Sydney as city constantly looks outward for inspiration from all corners of the globe but I cant help but feel this inaugural Luminous festival does feel like something on the 'outside' or a festival being presented to us rather than being fully part of the city and its people. However Brian Eno did apparently tackle this issue head on in his opening speech a few days ago at the Opera House asking us the very question as to what purpose art serves and how should it be 'properly' incorporated into society and events. Regardless of these protests I still think the festival is an extremely bold one with some really great musicians booked as well as Local bands booked for support, to cut the guy a little a slack it is only the first year of this festival and assuming all goes well I would imagine there would be a lot of changes for next years instalment already. If you dont already know there are some extreamly unique performances going down from Jon Hopkins, Ladytron, Battles all of which have their own special additions making these gigs by no means 'standard-performances'.

Something else that has intrigued me greatly is the Creative Sydney FREE series of talks and presentations tackling issues that artists and people in the 'creative-industries' face every day such as funding, getting sponsorship, getting the right crowd and the like while also exploring the citys creative side and its people. Its something I and friends can easily relate to running a small club night, Space Cadets, as well as friends of mine involved in much larger events and festivals all of whom face these problems. I can easily say such a festival is well over-due with some of Asia's largest creative-companies being based in Sydney and Melbourne. The city is an extremely creative one when you look at it on a whole and such a festival will give this side of the city and its people a much needed 'face' to the 'general' public while hopefully encouraging more creative thinkers to come out of hiding.

Just some of the events I'm looking forward too:
  • Electronica wizard Jon Hopkins 6th-7th June @ Opera House
  • Lee Perry 11th June @ Opera House
  • 77 Million Paintings by Brain Eno now-21st June @ Opera House, free entry
  • Money Who has it and how you can get it! Thurs 4th June @ MCA - Creative Sydney talks, free entry
  • Notes From The Underground Fri 5th @ MCA
  • Art 2.0: Future of Art and Technology Fri 12th June @ MCA - Free
Vivid Sydney/Luminous Music Festival website
Creative Sydney website


Check out our past guest VJ at Space Cadets, Lukas aka Julapy, own visual installation as part of the creative sydney launch!

Vivid Sydney has transformed the city into a spectacular living canvas of music and light in and around the Sydney Opera House, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks, Circular Quay and the city centre. Make sure you get check out the following festivals that are all part of Vivid until June 14:

- Luminous, a music festival at Sydney Opera House curated by Brian Eno

- Smart Light Sydney, including a free 'Light Walk' illuminating the city with stunning low energy light art installations

- Fire Water, a free event featuring three nights of flame, food and spectacle in The Rocks

- Creative Sydney, a series of talks, showcases and performances

Another big festival coming up June 3-14 is Sydney Film Festival - the program is full of fantastic flicks so if you're a film buff be sure to get along. Then there's the Darling Harbour Jazz and Blues Festival plus countless arts events from both local and international companies… We really are spoilt for choice this June.

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