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Art of a digital generation


risbane Powerhouse artistic director Kris Stewart started playing

video games at age 12 and has great memories of going to “arcades”

back in the day with his mates to play games such as Out Run and,

he says, it was just as much fun to watch others play as it was to be in

the driver’s seat. It’s that kind of social experience that Stewart is hoping

to emulate in the first IRL (In Real Life) Digital Festival at Brisbane

Powerhouse from 7 to 17 May.

The festival has been almost two years in the planning and aims to

celebrate the art and culture of a generation raised on technology and the

creatives who are leaders in the field. It pays homage to retro video games

while exploring the future of gaming in a companion exhibition.

However, Stewart is adamant the festival is not just for tech heads and

that it is equally entertaining even for technophobes, with interactive

installations, musical collaborations and glimpses into virtual reality among

its activities.

In Enter the Mash Up, for example, visitors will be able to take control

of the screens and create fresh film mash-ups of their own from a library of

video and animation clips.

While Brisbane has produced some of the gaming world’s biggest

success stories (including Halfbrick Studios’ Fruit Ninja) – and they

will be represented at the festival – it is also a chance to see the work of

some international luminaries. LA-based production company iam8bit

has worked with Nintendo, PlayStation, Universal, HBO, Disney and

others and has its own gallery space showing works that have never been

diplayed outside the US, until now. Its collection of paintings, prints and

multimedia works is a visual tribute to ’80s video games.

The festival also includes an amazing sound and laser light show by

Australian audio visual artist Robin Fox and will be the world premiere

showcase for beatboxer Tom Thum and the Queensland Symphony

Orchestra when they team up for a mash up of musical genres.

For Stewart, it’s a celebration of the art and culture that represents his

generation. Many events are free. See


As the season

turns cool, sports

competition heats

up and there’s

plenty for all the

family to watch. But

don’t just sit there –

pick your favourite

team (or perhaps

a horse), wear the

colours and cheer...

International Ice Hockey

It’s fast and it’s brutal – just ask Canadian

goal tender Tyler Bunz who got hit in the

throat with a puck last year and not only

survived without surgery but is back on the

ice playing. He joins this tour with other

players from the National Hockey League in a

USA vs Canada clash. Brisbane Entertainment

Centre, Boondall, 13 June. Tickets from $89

plus fees,


In showmanship and in height they are

‘giants’ of the sport: the tallest player is 7’4”

(224cm). Since the first team was formed

nearly 90 years ago (in Chicago Illinois, not

in Harlem as you might expect) it has made

the game of basketball more theatre sport

than competition, showing off exceptional

skills and comic routines. From $53.30 (adult)

plus fees. See


| BNE May/June 2015