Speaking to Elephants

Posted 4 April 2019

Speaking to Elephants

Double Beam ; Neon Playground, where “the environment becomes the canvas”

Sourced: Broadsheet Melbourne, Robin Fox, Photographer; Parker Blain

Robin Fox’s is collaborating with local artists Kit Webster, Carla O’Brien and others, to bring the Melbourne Zoo’s flourishing precinct to life after dark.

Neon Playground is a light and laser installation event that will feature a range of attractions such as a neon maze inspired by the black-and-yellow colouring of Australia’s endangered Southern Corroboree Frog, and an “Awareness Alley”, erected along the zoo’s Main Drive to help draw attention to those species fighting extinction.

Fox describes to  Zoos Victoria that his installation is “quite electronic and inorganic”. He continues, “ I’m a big fan of cognitive dissonance, so putting something inorganic in the middle of this organic place is probably not such a bad thing. It’s completely counter-intuitive – you’re not used to seeing light behave that way.”

Sourced: Broadsheet Melbourne, Robin Fox, Photographer; Parker Blain

Artists are often asked to outline the exact meaning of their work. Fox prefers to let his immersive sensory experiences stand on their own. “My work doesn’t mean anything,” he says. “It’s more about the experience of phenomena. [Likewise] the zoo is an experience, and what I’m creating in that entranceway is kind of an otherworldly experience that makes the zoo hyper-amplified. This is more about bringing you into that space and making it something extra.”

Fox has done installations for festivals around the world, as well as touring individual works. He once conceived an interactive colour-and-noise organ for Sugar Mountain, and he often scores contemporary dance pieces.





The zoo has, of course, planned the installation so it won’t interfere with its animal residents. The lasers and lights are situated far from the actual wildlife, and Fox has also received approval for the low frequencies he plans to play. ”

The people at the zoo were telling me that elephants actually communicate with sub-harmonic frequencies,” he says with a laugh. “So perhaps I’ll be talking to the elephants.”

Neon Playground runs from April 12–27 at Melbourne Zoo, from 5.30pm to 9.30pm daily.

This article is sourced from  Broadsheet in partnership with Zoos Victoria.

To read the original article please click here.

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