Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sydney Opera House light sculptures

The sales of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated with light sculptures
until 14 June 2009, as part of the Vivid Festival. Another free part of the festival is a Light Walk. This is a series of illuminated sculptures, at Sydney Observatory, The Rocks, Circular Quay and the Sydney Opera House. There are guided tours and also a pamphlet for a self guided walk.

The cleverest of the sculptures is a bicycle powered set of LED circles opposite the Overseas Passenger Terminal. This provided an environmental message, with the public invited to pedal a generator to light the work. Unfortunately, due to the poor quality of the festival web site, I am not sure which sculpture this was, or what it was called.

The guided tour runs through the sequence of sculptures in reverse order to that obviously intended by the curator. The tour starts at the Opera House, past Circular Quay through the The Rocks and ending at Sydney Observatory. The result is an anti-climax, starting with the best work, the Luminous by Eno lighting of Sydney Opera House sails in the exciting opera house precinct and ending in the remote cold dark of observatory hill.

The tour is too long and would benefit from being divided in half: on each side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The lighting systems of several of the works were not operating correctly and these should be removed from the festival.

There are Bluetooh equipped kiosks beside several sculptures which are supposed to transmit a short video about the work, but I was unable to get any of these to work.

The tour guides are dressed in black, which is impractical and unsafe for a night-time tour. It is hard for the tour group to see the guides and it is dangerous for the guides when negotiating poorly lit roadways. The guides should be issued with high visibility safety jackets.

The Light Walk is a clever idea, but overly ambitious. Limiting the extent of the exhibition would improve the artistic impact as well as making it safer and more convenient for the patrons and staff.
Smart Light Sydney will showcase beautiful and dynamic light art sculptures using innovative, smart technology on a free Light Walk around Sydney’s iconic harbour front precinct. The self-guided walk will start from Sydney Observatory and lead visitors through The Rocks, around Circular Quay to Sydney Opera House.

The Light Walk will feature sculpture, interactive and performance-based art displays, with Brian Eno's light treatment of Sydney Opera House's sails acting as the showpiece for the route. Eno's innovative work will appear alongside light art displays from talented local and international artists at the cutting edge of smart design, including Warren Langley, Ruth McDermott and Tom Barker.

Smart Light Sydney’s Light walk will offer the largest live Blue Zone for a festival event in Australia. Bring your mobile phone to the Light Walk to download FREE intelligent event content and video. All information on the Light Walk sculptures will be available on your phone via mobile site internet access for smart phones and 8 Blue Zones for mobile bluetooth. ...

From: Light Walk, Vivid, 2009

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