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Light Research @ MMU

Fireworks, fountains, lasers and mist screens

In the 17th and 18th centuries, European monarchs adopted new technologies that transformed the overwhelming darkness of night of that era. They bedazzled subjects with lavish, baroque displays of fireworks and theatrical illuminations, displaying majesty and challenging religious power. Since then, the firework display has never lost its allure, and we continue to celebrate New Year’s Eve, independence days and bonfire night at increasingly organised, highly managed displays. Aquatique - lasers, fireworks, fountains

The practices of my youth, purchasing fireworks from local shops and letting them off in the back garden from the proceeds gathered from wheeling a stuffed dummy around the streets in search of a ‘penny for the guy’, and the pleasures of throwing jumping jacks and bangers around with gay abandon have vanished under the sway of health and safety regimes. Replacing these humble but nevertheless quite intimate, magical re-enchantments of everyday, homely space are ever more spectacular displays.Aquatique - red fountains

At Sydney’s VIVID, this advancement was underlined by the extraordinary display witnessed by throngs of spectators on all sides of Cockle Bay, by Vivid Aquatique Water Theatre which combines a visual feast of numerous illuminated dancing water fountains, four giant water screens composed of mist upon which fantasy figures were projected, tumultuous fireworks and blazing lasers. Aquatique - monsters and lasers

This multi-dimensional show certainly drew the requisite quantity of ‘ooohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the crowds and was certainly an enthralling though somewhat depthless display, perhaps in keeping with the massive programme of redevelopment that is turning the Darling Harbour area into a massive site of spectacle and consumption, replete with sumptuous bars and restaurants, retail spaces, aquaria, waxworks, cruises, theatres, nightclubs, museums, gardens and a casino, itself contributing to VIVID’s nightscape.Aquatique -trumpets, fountains and foreworks

June 8th, 2014 - 06:37am

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