As part of the broader family of "Nuit Blanche" events across the world, White Night launched in Melbourne in 2013 with resounding success. The 2014 event, held on 22nd February, smashed previous attendance records and attracted over half a million people into the city centre from 7pm to 7am.
The Electric Canvas was commissioned to create and deliver a dynamic visual backbone for the “Wonderland” precinct. Evoking carnivals and funfairs of past and present, six contiguous building façades along Flinders Street were transformed by a series of vibrant, intricate tableaux that changed throughout the 12-hour event.
Flinders Street Station was also transformed by projection with circus-inspired imagery mapped onto the station entrance and stretching 90 metres along the station wall. The copper dome above the entrance danced above in a playful looped animation sequence.
The Electric Canvas’ proprietary "FingerPaint" interactive experience was a great hit with event goers of all ages who were able to design their own carnival-themed digital architectural projections onto St. Paul's Chapter House.
Melbourne's arts precinct was renamed "Tattooed City" for the event, with a unique digital projection of the same name displayed on the façade of the National Gallery of Victoria. White Night's artistic director, Andrew Walsh, curated the piece to pay homage to the ever-increasing popularity of tattoos in Melbourne. Images of tattooed Melburnians, up close and personal, were captured by Melbourne-based photographer, Nicole Reed, and then transformed into a quirky but striking animated treatment by The Electric Canvas.
As with almost every project that The Electric Canvas undertakes, a complete creative and technical solution was provided for the event. In addition to the design and production of the projection content, laser architectural surveys, technical projection design, equipment provision and event delivery were all performed by the company. The vast event footprint required a considerable amount of digital and PIGI projection equipment to produce the bright, vivid images that the company has become synonymous with. The Electric Canvas’ team of seven technicians successfully installed, focused and programmed the numerous projection systems in the five days leading up to the one-night only event.
Projections for large-scale events need to be considered with great care from both a site management and a public safety point-of-view and The Electric Canvas ensured that White Night Melbourne benefited from their years of experience in this field. Site infrastructure such as projection towers and cable runs were kept as compact, discrete and strategically placed as possible to maximize public access areas and to keep the site safe for event patrons and performers alike. At the same time, the projectors had to be positioned to avoid creating any shadows by streetscape elements.
White Night Melbourne saw one of the largest projection projects ever mounted in Australia. The Electric Canvas’ team of 13 artists spent more than 1,200 hours over a five-week period creating dozens of unique designs and animated content that was projected across nine different buildings. Producing such a large amount of diverse imagery as well as adapting existing art works to a specific architectural layout in such a limited time frame was a formidable undertaking for The Electric Canvas. The projections were deemed a great highlight of White Night Melbourne and played a fundamental role in creating an atmosphere of intimacy and wonderment at the event.
Design team: the artists and technicians of The Electric Canvas
- 15 Christie Roadster S+20K video projectors
- 1 FingerPaint interactive system
- 3 Watchout media servers
- 16 PIGI DDRA Xenon filmstrip projectors
- 5 PIGI DDS Xenon filmstrip projectors
- 3 OnlyCue PIGI control systems
- 10 Weatherproof housings for video projectors
- 2 Weatherproof projection towers
- Weatherproofing for 28 projection towers
- 1 sheltered kiosk for FingerPaint interactive system