Vivid Sydney: Synergy
- When 25 May - 6 Jun 2018
Circular Quay, Sydney NSW 2000
Student artists and engineers from two innovative UNSW student-led organisations called Create and Make (UNSW Art & Design) have collaborated to conceive, design and build Synergy, an interactive public art light installation for Vivid Sydney 2018.
On 25 May Vivid Sydney 2018 switches on, with the Lighting of the Sails of the Sydney Opera House marking the Festival’s 10th anniversary and the start of spectacular light art, cutting-edge music and innovative ideas programs.
Synergy presents as a dazzling tableau from nature: a large fabricated tree structures surrounded by similarly stylised ferns. However, this deceptively simple scene is actually a representation of a complex superorganism. Using interactive technology, this sculptural installation demonstrates how inconspicuous microorganisms are absorbed into a greater whole and play a key role in the survival of a greater being. The work draws inspiration from mycorrhizal networks where fungi connect and nourish plants, working together to sustain each other.
People can move freely through the installation, but when they come into close proximity to the ferns, the whole organism reacts. It shares information visually by pulsing light along the roots towards the central tree, and the lighting on the ferns begins to dance — as if the tree has, in turn, warned them of approaching danger.
As visitors move along the path, a succession of nearby ferns light up and quickly die down, as if following the passage of these intruders; each individual organism working together for the survival of the whole superorganism.
By placing audience participation at the heart of the installation, Synergy symbolises the power of collective unity and collaboration; the whole installation does not fully materialise until multiple participants are simultaneously engaged. The audience becomes deeply absorbed, and each activation becomes a uniquely personal as well as shared experience.
Make Club is a student-run initiative at UNSW Art and Design guided by the belief that anyone can be a maker. Make hold workshops, consultations and facilitate collaborations so students can bring into realisation any fun or professional projects they may have in their minds.
Create's activities include designing and presenting workshops on Arduino microcontrollers, CAD modeling, and UAV development. Create consults with individuals and groups within and outside of UNSW on a variety of projects. Create also enters teams in robotics competitions and sources robotic and electrical components in bulk to supply to UNSW students in weekly sales during semester.
Artist: CREATE NSW Inc. (UNSW): Jun Ji Moey (Australia) / Tsz Kin Liu (Australia) / Jane Fan (Australia) / Jonathan Hribar (Australia) / Christie Wong (Australia)
Collaborators: Jeremy Low (Australia) / Jason Chu (Australia) / Emily Chan (Australia) / Yuen Chan (Australia) / Andy Zheng (Australia) / Make (UNSW Art & Design) / Anthony Feizi-Sobbi (Australia) / Dylan Goh (Australia) / Mahima Mandal (India)