Here's the technology that's powering Vivid Sydney's light festival

Transcendence, Martin Place. Photo: Destination NSW

Vivid Sydney’s inaugural 18-day mashup of light, music and ideas kicked off last weekend, transforming some of Sydney’s best landmarks into incredible light installations.

But aside from being a light show, the annual winter festival pays homage to technology with artists tapping into cloud services, robotics and open data sets to drive new forms of design and moving imagery.

Joining the host of tech-driven light installations this year is Space Folding — a cylindrical tower whose multicoloured lights and sounds respond to real-time flight data from Sydney airspace.

“To me flight data is multi-faceted. At the micro level it represents personal journeys and hopes for transformation. At the macro level it represents economic and cultural transformation,” says Zina Kaye, the artist behind Space Folding.

“Take-offs, landings and flyovers at Sydney Airport are felt onomatopoeically by the body in light. You get a visceral sense of all the Qantas and Qantas code-share aircraft in the air.”

The installation also relies on cloud services deployed by Bulletproof to fuel the data-driven audio component and provide audiences with live music streaming.

Constructed with “IKEA-like design simplicity”, the installation addresses the “curatorial problem of how to manage art built with technology that is prone to go out of date”.

Visitors this year will also be able to fly their own colourful drones and play in a giant robotic Pac-Man game, complete with glowing LED ghosts and a three-metre maze at the Intel thoroughfare ‘Transcendence’ in Martin Place.

Powered by RealSense technology, projection-mapping, augmented reality, and immersive chat will be among the many emerging technologies taking over the interactive precinct.

“Vivid Sydney is an event that continues to push the boundaries, using technology as the enabler to bring inspiring, fun and immersive installations to life,” said Intel Australia’s managing director Kate Burleigh.

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