White Night Melbourne
White Supremacy. White Noise. White Australia. You could quite easily argue, that as an adjective White (what with it’s obvious overtones and all) is very last century. Therefore, I’m thinking an immediate rebranding of the White Night spectacle to Colourful Night would be a big help. How about As Good as a State Sponsored Free Night Out Roaming The Streets of Melbourne Can Get? I’ll work on it for you Victoria. Maybe ‘Victoria’ needs a rebrand too…
White Night is a night out in the City for the whole family. Former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu, before he was shafted by his own Liberal Party for I forget what, hooked Melbourne up with White Night three years ago and its still growing. The news said a million people (how would they know that?) promenaded around the streets on Saturday night, like the unruly French Louis XIV masses of revolution, but with selfie sticks held high, replacing the blazing torches. The Police were moving round in groups of four, smiling carefully at revellers and hunting for trouble makers.
White Night is funded directly by the State Government, side stepping the usual funding body protocols, which has created a stir. The usual: too many artists for the allocated funding/ is that even art? / importing more than we develop at home narratives, that haunt local arts practitioners.
Compared to State Government support for Major Events like the Grand Prix, an event that nobody is yet comfortable enough to fess up to how much it’s costing taxpayers, White Night is virtuous family fun. It doesn’t even encourage rev heads, or hoons, as my grandma Coral used to call them.
When existing infrastructure is re-imagined in creative ways, White Night is at its best. When though, there’s a lot of building of stages and lighting rigs and all that hoopla for the 12 hour endurance that is this latest event spectacle, then it strays into the carbon footprint nightmare terrain. Pretty lights are an excellent distraction from realities like environmental concern.
I looked at the online program before I ventured into White Night and a few things caught my eye. Catchy titled works like ‘Everything is just Something’ (a projected grand master chess game), and ‘I Have Seen the Future and it Looks Just Like It Used To’ a collage work by Wyatt Knowles. And then there was the incredible write up for the Audi Array work in Alexandra Gardens. It’s in the program as a work of art, alongside the other works of art made by artists.
‘Deep inside a forest of inactive light columns lurk the unmistakable headlights of the all-new Audi TT, shining like the eyes of wild cats hunting in the dark. This intriguing glow beckons you to come closer and discover more.Suddenly, the pulsating soundtrack kicks in and everything changes. You are immersed in a swirling symphony of electronic music, with a dazzling array of lights moving in perfect harmony. As the immersive lights flash, you witness a sequence of intricate patterns and enticing shapes that must be seen to be believed. For a moment, the area is transformed into a perfectly arranged world of light and sound – a fleeting glimpse of the precision, exhilaration and complete control that comes from the Audi driving experience. This is a must-see performance, an orchestrated ballet of light and sound that effortlessly echoes the visionary technology of the all-new Audi TT.
Then the lights and sound turn off. You’re left standing there in the darkness, utterly breathless.’
The audience engaged with the Audi Array as a real work of art and maybe they’re right. Mercedes got to park up outside the NGV once Jean Paul Gaultier put his stripes on them. That’s probably where Audi got their conceptual idea’s for White Night from. My inbox didn’t get the message about advertising being art now. But I need a job. Hopefully the tall, attractive blonde saleswoman on site flogged off loads of new Audi’s and they can employ lots of artists to come up with more orchestrated ballets of light and sound that sell cars. I hope so, for all our sakes. I’m hungry enough to sell out.