Tonight we semi-gatecrashed the opening of the Visual Arts strand of the Perth International Arts Festival and as a result caught the switching of of Jim Campbell‘s great installation Scattered Light. In reductionist shorthand it could be described as the world’s lowest definition television screen. A host of lightbulbs (they are in fact LEDs disguised as lightbulbs) are suspended in a 3D matrix 80 foot wide, 20 foot high and 16 foot deep. They pulse and flicker in an apparently random sequence until, when you are stood square-on to the piece a decent distance away, you start to see in the pulsing and flickering a series of shadowy human figures crossing the ‘screen’. Squint, so the hard circles of light start to dissolve into each other, and the image resolves further to become recognizable as commuters crossing the floor of Grand Central Station’s waiting room. Low Definition – beautiful.
Also in the festival is Robert Wilson’s Threepenny Opera, which I’d love to see but is totally sold out. Ontroerend Goed, a company I’d very much like to catch up with are here with A History of Everything, but I leave before they arrive. I miss Godspeed You! Black Emperor by two days which is a blow. I may have to settle for “a magnificent spectacle of riotous sound and jaw-dropping pyrotechnics, unleashing a burst of adrenaline”, which I imagine to be just a standard Friday night out in Perth.