24 June 2022

The otherworldly 'Airship Orchestra' is about to land in Wagga's CBD

| Chris Roe
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man and balloons

Nimrod Weis is one of the artists behind the Airship Orchestra that will occupy the Civic Centre forecourt for the Festival of W. Photo: Eness

According to his bio, Nimrod Weis creates transformational art experiences that “speak to the heart of what it is to be human”, and he’s about to bring one of his biggest interactive works to Wagga.

The “Airship Orchestra” will be the artistic centrepiece of the upcoming Festival of W and will occupy the Civic Centre forecourt in the July school holidays.

The towering light and sound installation features illuminated inflatables that interact with people as they walk through.

“I hope people get a sense of warmth and a sense of connection,” he says.

“It’s about how people interact and engage in a space and how they come together and relate not just to the work but to one another.”

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The interactive artist, sculptor and director is one of the founders of the Melbourne design studio ENESS and says the Airship Orchestra is a unique experience.

“We’re really one of the first to explore this idea of incorporating technology into inflatable pieces,” he explains.

“These creatures tend to seem aware or more awakened by technologies. We put these LED eyes on them which blinked and greeted you as you walked by so they had this sort of layer of intelligence to them.”

He says the lights and sounds change as people pass through the work.

“Each one of these inflatables has a kind of quiet voice that comes out from the character,” he says.

“So depending on how many people are in the space, they come to life and sing.”

ENESS was founded in 1997 by Nimrod and longtime friend Steven Mieszelewicz.

“We were really interested in the idea of how technology could become more friendly and humane,” he says.

“Back then the internet was really still new and it was all these grey buttons and things. We started creating interactive art installations that took technology outside of the box and into the real world.

“The Airship Orchestra is part of that ethos around fusing art and technology.”

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Nimrod says he enjoys seeing the work become a canvas for people to express themselves.

“I love all the different photos people take and how they interact. You’ll have someone hugging one of the characters and kind of utilising the work,” he says.

“It’s engaging in that way where you’re creating something that people are then able to express themselves creatively through.

“It’s always a really nice thing to see people being creative in a space, because you’ve allowed them to.”

The Airship Orchestra and its “mystical tribe of otherworldly characters” will appear in the Civic Centre forecourt from 2 July to 17 July.

lighting installation

The Airship Orchestra. Photo: ENESS.

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