Q&A with Vivid Sydney Ideas Director, Jess Scully

What do you think of the artists, musicians, and speakers?

I'm so inspired by all the participants and performers on board this year: we are able to learn from both a depth of experience and the freshest talent. We've got people who have led their fields for decades; like UK designer Richard Seymour, Colors photo editor Mauro Bedoni, Emmy winning biomedical animator Drew Berry, musician and activist Mark Hosler from negativland, and new thinkers like data artist Jonathan Harris. 

What are you most looking forward to? / Do you have a favourite speaker/musician/artist?

I'm incredibly excited about seeing David Shrigley speak: he's a cult icon working across visual art, illustration and publishing, who has been an enormous influence on musicians and animators too. It's a unique opportunity to hear about a creative career driven by personality and a distinctive vision. I'm also really looking forward to hearing a fresh new perspective on youth culture from Ruby Psuedo: Ruby rose to fame in the UK as a blogger calling marketers and advertisers to task for lazy campaigns that underestimate their audience. Five years ago she decided to step up and start an agency of her own, drawing on a network of young creators and storytellers from around the globe. She's going to share her ideas in a great discussion called Build A Movement, which also features iconic punk activist Jello Biafra.

There are also a whole lot of events that will entertain as much as they inform: I'm particularly looking forward to the Eat The Collection exhibition and talk at the Powerhouse Museum: we've invited designers to select and remix their favorites items from the Museum archives, which we will 3D print - in chocolate! Join us on May 40 to hear about the process and to eat the results! 

What is new and/or different from last year?

There are even more exciting light sculptures around the Harbor - stretching from Fort Denison to the Opera House right around to Walsh Bay - so the city will be bathed in more light and innovation than ever before.

There's also an expanded Ideas program: we're taking over the top floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art for the entire 18 days of Vivid Sydney, and, for the first time, the Overseas Passenger Terminal too. We'll be hosting even more creative conferences including Semi Permanent, the Australian International Design Festival, Mumbrella 360 (a marketing and media conference), CeBIT, XMediaLab and so much more.

A very special highlight for 2013 is the 19th International Symposium on the Electronic Arts: this is a huge annual get together of academics and artists working at the intersection of art and science. This year ISEA will feature an impressive work and performance from Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda and presentations from some of the creatives at the very cutting edge of creative thought. 

We know everyone loves to take photos of the amazing lights, so I'm particularly excited about The Digital Playground, taking place at the Overseas Passenger Terminal from May 31 to June 2. You'll be able to try out new equipment, and even go on walking tours around the lights with photographers, who will give you expert advice on taking the best shots!

When and where can you apply to take part in the 2014 festival?

We'll be launching our call for participation and expressions of interest in June this year - sign up for our mailing list at www.vividsydney.com/ideas and keep your eye on the website for more!

Are the “10 commandments” you outline applicable in all countries across the globe?

Absolutely: we now operate in a truly global marketplace, which means companies and practitioners collaborate across borders, and find their audiences across the globe. Wherever you call home, you're likely to face similar challenges and opportunities when launching a tech start-up or marketing a product: we all need to learn how to build a fan-driven movement, how to co-create a brand with your audience, or how to draw on the data-rich assets of the digital age. No matter where you live, there are opportunities to explore in the intersection between creative industry and science, or in participatory community-building and place-making. I think the "Ten Commandments" are definitely universal - for now - but that they'll be very different by this time next year. That's why Vivid Ideas is such a great opportunity to get the update annually and stay connected to the rapidly-shifting flows of the global creative sector.

For the full program, please visit http://vividsydney.com

Lauren Russ at 773.868.0966 or  lauren@connectcomsinc.com

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