Review: Scratching the Surface? Sydney Session Thurs 10

Since gaining an audience (albeit a very small one) I’ve done the cardinal writing sin and edited my opinion. There are things that haven’t made it to these pages because I was afraid I was being too cynical and ‘unfair’ in my review.

But first impressions are what matters in this instant society isn’t it? A first impression can be every bit as valuable as a thoughtfully considered opinion.

It is with this attitude (and a tight deadline) that I write today.

The best part about last night was leaving.

There. I said it.

Okay, there were some gems, which I’ll tell you about. But I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed with half of the night.

I overheard some people giving the event an even worse review than I will. They were just discussing the events being played out before them in the short spaces where there was no organized sound.

Differing from the usual format, this Sydney Session had quite a lot of structure. The (quite talented) musicians on the stage would play some songs, and these would be interspersed with performers who wear black and moan a lot.

Sorry to be so cruel.

I understand what the piece was about, but it was painful to watch. They were trying to build a picture of what it meant to be creative in Sydney. Very important issue. Just a shame it was done in such an unimaginative way.

There was a moment though that I thought was very powerful. The graffiti piece that had been the backdrop to every Creative Sydney event was suddenly painted over by people wearing ‘council uniforms’. They added to the effect by spraypainting the ‘City Of Sydney’ logo on it. It was a great point to make and a great way to make it. There were instinctual cries and boos as the first roller met the graf with its evil grey paint. And then we watched the wall being covered, utterly absorbed, disbelieving and helpless.

That was Number One Great Moment of the night.

Number Two involved the Lone Dancer.

Sometime during one of the songs, a guy came out of the audience, into the space before the stage, and starting dancing his nutso arse off.

God bless you Lone Dancer.

I wondered if he had seen that YouTube clip that has been mentioned a couple of times during the festival- the one where there is a lone dancer (‘The Lone Nut’) who is joined by the First Follower, who is joined by the crowd. It’s about “How to start a movement.’

Well there was no movement besides several smiles from the crowd. Secretly, I bet there were many of us that wanted to join in.

The Third Great Moment came with talking to members of the crowd. I might have mentioned my penchant for eavesdropping- otherwise I just dobbed myself in. But twice in one night I rudely jumped into people’s conversations asking them about their opinions of Creative Sydney and Sydney’s creativity in general. People are quite happy to talk about what they believe.

All in all, events like this bring people together who love creativity, and want to engage in it. Like Jess Cook said in Wednesday’s Creative/Commercial panel:

COMMUNITY + SPACE = INNOVATION

Well maybe it’s all we need.

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