Sunday 16 June 2013

Dark Mofo beaming up

Let me lay this out for you...

MONA is the Museum of Old and New Art, a wacky new museum here in Hobart.

MONA FOMA is the MONA Festival of Old and New Art, an annual arts fest which happens here each January.  This is usually shortened to Mofo.

And Dark Mofo is the brand new mid-winter arts festival they've just launched last week.

Got that?

So Dark Mofo is happening now, and I went to one of the launch events -Spectra by Ryoji Ikeda.

It's a grid of bright lights going straight up into the sky, from right next to the Hobart Cenotaph, looking over the river Derwent.

It's seriously huge, like a bat-signal, visible from all over the city.

There's a soundtrack playing around it on huge speakers - a low level tone, occasional bursts of static, regular sonar-like pings.

When I arrived, it was around 5pm, the sky still grey rather than black.

The beams looked amazing because of the bad weather - a constant swirl of wind-driven rain swept through the light, making double rainbows, before the beams exploded into the clouds overhead.

And every moment that passed, as the sky darkened, the display looked better.  By 6pm it was quite amazing.  And there was an appreciative crowd gathered on the hill top, despite the freezing conditions.

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