RMIT University transformed into an all-night arts and culture spectacle yesterday, as its city campus played host to Melbourne’s White Night.
Street installations created by RMIT’s students adorned the main campus, with graphic illustrations splashed across buildings and moving projections decorating street windows.
Onlookers were also mesmerised by street performances on Bowen Street—the road that runs through the centre of the city campus. An interactive Pacman-inspired game, Pacbike, was tucked away in one of RMIT’s labyrinthine alleyways. Onlookers were able to connect their smartphones to the game and use them as controllers.
But perhaps the most stunning part of RMIT’s campus last night was nestled away in the Alumni Courtyard. The space was transformed into a breathtaking sensory experience, with onlookers encouraged to pick up an umbrella and wander through purple-coloured rain. The work, from French artist Pierre Ardouvin, was a throwback to 1980s melancholic culture.
Across the road at the Swanston Academic Building, budding philosophers were pondering the meaning of just about everything in a marathon 12-hour philosophy lecture. “Does anybody have more than 100 friends on Facebook?” asked
Dr John Lenarcic. “Four-hundred,” called out one man, impressed with himself. “Are they close friends? And has the concept of a friend changed over time? What does friend actually mean?” pondered Dr Lenarcic.
If The Big Ideas Nightclub was just a bit too much for 1am, other highlights included Continuum—a film by Ash Keating playing all night at RMIT’s Kaleide Theatre, which explored time as an endless experience. And it was closing night for the Music, Melbourne + Me exhibition at RMIT Gallery, which opened in November. The exhibition featured five rooms of iconic memorabilia from the Melbourne music scene dating back to the 1970s.
“The exhibition has been huge. We’re fascinated to see the demographic–first of all it was the boomers, this was their music, this is their life, their history. And then they were sending their kids in,” says RMIT gallery director and curator Suzanne Davies.
The White Night event marked the opening of RMIT’s onsite/insite exhibition, showcasing works from students in response to city campus sites. The public art onsite showcase will run for another two weeks, with the insite exhibition opening on 4 March
and running for three weeks. A range of video, object and installation work will be on display at the First Site Gallery on Swanston Street.
By Sam Cucchiara