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Interactive Indigenous-led artwork for Vivid LIVE

[by Julia Barnes]


 Image: supplied

The Sydney Opera House announced the world premiere of TRACES, an Indigenous-led audiovisual installation by Ballardong Noongar, Nimunburr and Yawuru artist Kamsani Bin Salleh and Gunai writer Kirli Saunders that fuses projection, spoken word and interactive audio-to-visual technology.

Produced for Vivid LIVE by the Sydney Opera House with leading Indigenous publisher Magabala Books and Google Creative Lab, TRACES is a digital voice-to-art installation that takes audio signals including volume, pitch, pace and intonation and creates a projected artwork that responds and unfolds in real-time.


The artwork is based on an illustration by Kamsani Bin Salleh with the rich colour palettes drawn from satellite imagery that follows a path across Country from the east to the west coast of Australia.


Poetry by Kirli Saunders invites audiences to listen and respond, in turn eliciting the traces of the stories that connect us and the many shapes and colours of Country.

“TRACES was born out of the pandemic when we were locked away from Country. Through this interactive multimodal installation we aim to bring Country inside, with decadent palettes, organic shapes and deliberate story.” Kirli Saunders

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative process between Kirli, Magabala Books, Google and myself adding to the continuation of First Nations storytelling while also creating new technologies.” Kamsani Bin Salleh

Across the Friday and Saturday evenings, First Nations artists Dakota Feirer, Daniel Browning, Dub Leffler, Jasmine Seymour, Kirli Saunders, Nardi Simpson and Teela Reid will present poetry and spoken word performances in the space, activating the artwork and generating movement with their voices.

The digital art installation is exhibited in a new purpose-built venue with state-of-the-art technology, 270-degree visuals and surround sound, as well as heritage-inspired interiors. Access is via the Western Foyers. 

TRACES is the third free artwork that will be presented at Sydney Opera House for Vivid LIVE alongside the 2022 Lighting of the Sails work Yarrkalpa – Hunting Ground by the Martu Artists and Curiious and, on the Forecourt, Lauren Brincat’s Tutti Presto fff.



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