by Nicole Pierre

Vivid Sydney is back from May 26 to June 17 and will be pushing more boundaries than ever – from poetic multi-sensory installations dealing with complex neurological conditions, to panel talks guaranteed to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Here are our picks. 


Vivid Ideas is bound to provide more thought-provoking and exciting discussions than ever, spanning from talks on exploring art in the algorithms, and insightful career development advice for creative professionals, to industry updates from thought leaders like award-winning director Oliver Stone and founder of Buzzfeed Jonah Peretti.

Art & algorithms – coding to create

This panel talk moderated by Dr Martin Tomitsch from the University of Sydney’s Design Lab will feature key game-changers in Australia’s digital creative space. Computer-generated algorithmic art is not a new phenomenon (it’s been around since the 1960s), but we’re hoping for some stimulating conversation on the marriage of creativity and computer science. Special guests include the engineering community manager at Google Australia, Sally-Ann Williams, and co-founder at Rising Sun Pictures, Wayne Lewis.

Have your Notes apps (or notebooks if you’re old school – we’re not judging) at the ready for discussion on future of AI-made art.

When: 6 June
Time: 17:30-20:30
Where: International Convention Centre

How to champion innovation in your team and the workplace

The business of creativity is serious stuff. We expect industry thought leader and founder of The Ideas Bodega, Nicole Velik to instil some of her creative wisdom. Useful for those of us with big ideas but unsure on how to translate them into real actions. Nicole teaches that you don’t have to work at Google or Facebook, just to get your creative ideas heard and realised. We’re looking forward to hear her tips and advice on how arts professionals like ourselves, can also embrace innovation in our workplaces.

When: 8 June
Time: 11:00-13:00
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art

Battle of big thinking

Nine advertising execs will be at loggerheads in the ‘Battle of big thinking’, challenging conventional thinking in the marketing & communications sector. Get inspired with what pioneers in the advertising and communications industry have to say, featuring creative director at J. Walter Thompson, Jay Morgan, and chief strategy officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, Kate Smither.

When: 6 June
Time: 17:00-19:00
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art



Chromesthesia is defined as a neurological condition in which heard sounds involuntarily evoke an experience of colour. Duo Harry Hock and Jonathon Bolitho explore a condition which is so difficult to put into words for those living with chromesthesia, into a poetic body of work filled with aural imagery. Some prolific artists who had this condition include Vincent Van Gogh, David Hockney, and Wassily Kandinsky. The installation features a shipping container where participants enter and experience bands of colour that correspond to a specific sound frequency. We challenge you to drop from your preconceived judgments, and unconscious bias’, to immerse yourself in an enthralling multi-sensory experience.

When: 26 May to 17 June
Time: 18:00-23:00
Where: The Rocks

Landscape of the mind

Natalie Robinson and mental research institute, The Black Dog Institute team up to create a thought provoking installation named Landscape of the mind. It involves a series of life-sized human sculptures are scribbled with body maps which were drawn by participants in a real study conducted by the Black Dog Institute. Robinson aims to challenge society’s negative stigma of mental health through giving participant’s the rare opportunity to enter others’ personal experiences of anxiety.

When: 26 May to 17 June
Time: 18:00-23:00
Where: Campbell’s Cove

Future city smart city

If you’re planning to dodge the crowds in the CBD, head to Chatswood's concourse to view animations of airborne homes and water farms harvesting clouds. A multi-sensory experience is created to offer viewers a glimpse into not only a future world of possibilities and the Internet of things – but also one that is sustainable. Despite the project seeming like rhetoric of the government’s ‘Smart cities plan’, the installation actually raises important questions for everyday citizens to think about what sustainable living means to them.

When: 26 May to 17 June
Time: 5:30-10:30
Where: Chatswood