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Creative Pyrmont Creative Sydney

pyrmont events creative sydney1 Creative Pyrmont Creative SydneyThere were a couple things that were impressive about the Creative Sydney launch event. One is that it really worked to instil a sense of pride in Sydney and its diverse creative community. The event was a part of the inaugural year of Vivid Sydney: A Festival of Music Light & Ideas, a twenty day festival that features interactive art installations, seminars, parties and shows through out the city. The majority of the events are free, only requiring pre-registration and are part of five events in the first ever NSW Master Events Calendar. The idea behind these is to have cultural events that are distinctly Sydney – creative events that Sydney can call its own.

The Creative Sydney event was broken into two parts. First was Three Minute Sydney – a part of the evening where eleven artists, visionaries and storytellers shared their vision of what Sydney means to them in three minutes. Highlights included a presentation by Mickie Quick (know for his part in the show Guerrilla Gardeners and his participation with Squatspace). His presentation talked about the injustices of gentrification and how the Sydney housing markets have forced artists to move to fringe impoverished areas. His compassionate and realistic perspective of Sydney is something we might not have had the opportunity to see if not for this event and the level of celebrity he has gained from the show Guerrilla Gardeners.

Other highlights included a short Day in the life of fashion designer Natalie Wood. Her piece was a montage of different colourful and creative elements from her home and community; her getting ready in the morning, her morning cup of coffee, a walk on the beach, all combined to show how she finds inspiration from her surroundings.

In addition to starting late the event was unfortunately rife with technical errors. Many of the video presentations skipped or were without sound. Beck Ronkson, Artistic Director of The Milk Crate Theatre talked about seeing Sydney as a city of stories and how the stories she is interested in are the hidden unseen stories. Yet due to technical error the video that she brought to present when it was finally shown later in the evening had barely audible sound. This is a shame because Ronkson’s work with Milk Crate Theatre highlights the voices of the homeless and disadvantaged communities.

The event was hosted by the clever and hilarious Myles Barlow of Review with Myles Barlow on ABC2. He was very adept at smoothing over the many technical glitches of the evening. This multi-media, fringe artist type of event is interesting when juxtaposed with the big budget Vivid festival. In addition to having free admission, there were computers available so that visitors could blog or twitter about the event, next to tables laden with free zines, buttons and flyers. Many of the presenters were blog, or interactive media stars, the majority of which were under thirty – giving the event a very young feel.

The second half of the evening was a live AV mashup by a collective of video and audio artists Remixing History. I thought this was one of the lowlights of the evening. The mashup was visuals and audio from over forty years of pop culture. A clip from 1960’s Tab commercial was juxtaposed with ACDCs Back In Black for example.  News footage, films, TV shows, commercials and jingles all intermixed. Although fostering a sense of pleasant nostalgia, many of the clips ran too long and the disparate pieces lacked even the vaguest sense of cohesion.

The featured art piece of the evening TimeBomb on the other hand, was very intriguing. TimeBomb was a collaboration between Lukasz Karlik (Holler) and Stupid Krap artists KissKiss, DMOTE, Kid Zoom, Numskull, Ben Frost, Roach, John Doe, Bennet and Creon. The work was a layering of different styles of graffiti art that were documented with time lapse photography. The final result was a digital installation on two giant suspended screens of art. As viewers moved past the “walls” the art swirled and changed to reveal the different layers. The interactive nature of the piece not only made it unique but it also made the art drastically different depending on what point in the evening it was being viewed. This new media graffiti art also added to the youthful edge of the evening.

Creative Sydney (runs until Friday, 12 June 2009) as well as the larger Vivid Sydney festival (runs until Sunday, 14 June 2009) has the potential to be an amazing series of events. And despite the challenges of this launch event, it was a great start for a series of imaginative uniquely Sydney happenings.

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