If there’s one thing I wished there was more of in Singapore – aside from taxis at 11pm – is public art installations. Notwithstanding the Boteros and Dalis that dot the Raffles Place area, I always thought it would be lovely to have a massive art piece in the middle of, for example, Toa Payoh Central. If the heartlanders won’t come to the art museums, the art museum has to go to the heartlanders. Know what I mean?

As I wonder why more hasn’t been discussed on the matter, it’s always a pleasure to hear about new public art installations, albeit temporary ones, that pop up in our art calendars. The latest one which starts this weekend is called Digital Nights 2010, a 10-day showcase of new media artworks during the Singapore Grand Prix week from 17 to 26 September.

If you are in the vicinity of the Singapore Art Museum, take some time to explore these dazzling pieces especially since it’s free to the public. Even if you’re not a hardcore art aficionado, it would be a fun experience. Here’s what to look out for.

Binary Waves
Artist: Lab – Laboratory for architecture and urbanism, a Belgian collective. Their projects often deal with the constructs of space.
What’s it about: A network of rotating and luminous panels forming a kinetic wall.
What to tell your date: “It relates to ‘micro-events’ happening in the area and plays with light, colours and sounds from its surroundings.”

Digital Nights 2010 at SAM-am_il_v1001_i_ceff7f527dbe143e32ef1fbcccdecf3957_c929fc40c257b388cbc4c3c798e9c1e979

Artist: Miguel Chevalier, a Mexican artist based in Paris. He focuses exclusively on computers and digital media in his work.
What’s it about: A Monet-inspired virtual installation that blooms and grows depending on how visitors interact with motion sensors installed in the space.
What to tell your date: “Observe how the plants evolve with each interaction and lean to the left or right creating a stylised organic ballet.”

Digital Nights 2010 at SAM-am_il_v1001_i_11cb8329f73105ef604137286b42e6ba73_a26f3968e2c6bbe2582afc057f9c2cf503

Framework f3x5x5
Artist: Lab
What’s it about: It’s an interactive light sculpture where one side diffuses the light and the other side absorbs the black. Each module represents binary code (0,1) and a space of 125 pixels.
What to tell your date: “It’s a communication and computation system, propagating in the form of light and sound in the space it inhabits.”

Digital Nights 2010 at SAM-am_il_v1001_i_05ae91c6a0297485cc5cac7a3f40a9f776_fbde4838e85068dc907ae2d8bc7c149c04

A Digital Experience
Artist: Visual System, a French art collective that explores the role of digital media in the city.
What’s it about: It’s a sound and light interactive installation which represents a digital megalopolis (apparently inspired by the city of Shanghai). A musical composition accompanies the experience.
What to tell your date: “The LED lightings reflect the flux of traffic, energy and the population in a digital universe.”

Digital Nights 2010 at SAM-am_il_v1001_i_9e79a19cf9795eb63ff41d1f9462fa9653_515cf70ec2bbdec5f2e639514064dc9872

Silent Disco
Also happening this Friday and Saturday night is a silent disco on the SAM lawn. From 8pm to 11.30pm, don a special headset and dance to international DJs spinning all sorts of eclectic electronica tunes. If you walk by and see a bunch of nutters dancing silently on the SAM lawn, grab a headset and join in.

Digital Nights 2010 at SAM-am_il_v1001_i_b2661f05230828558ad5628af33ebe5a32_08fbeb51c9955fd9fedf0946b979b99047

Aside from SAM, Digital Nights also takes place at locations like Sculpture Square on Waterloo Street and selected locations along Orchard Road. For more information, visit the website.

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