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Splendour showcase for Adelaide sculptor

Arts

Adelaide artist Tom Borgas will capture the attention of thousands of music fans at this weekend’s Splendour in the Grass with a large-scale fluorescent pink sculptural installation.

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Postdigital Ruins is the result of a commission by the Lismore Regional Gallery and Splendour – one of Australia’s largest music festivals which attracts around 30,000 people to NSW’s Byron Bay and will this year feature acts such as Blur, Boy & Bear, Tame Impala and The Dandy Warhols.

Borgas and his helpers have spent a week battling rainy weather to set up the installation on a 10m x 8m site on the corner of one of the festival’s main thoroughfares in the North Byron Parklands.

It features an archeological dig site, roped off with pink and white-striped poles, in which are buried hundreds of bright pink tiles – motifs of the virtual world – with bits protruding from the earth.

“The idea is that we are an archaeological team that has come to work out what this weird thing is,” Borgas says.

The work incorporates performance. A team of seven people dressed in bright-coloured uniforms will work from midday to midnight during Splendour using pink and white tools to systematically expose areas of the subterranean “virtual landscape” as if they were undertaking an archeological study.

Borgas says Postdigital Ruins resulted from his fascination with the digital world, especially the fact that so much data now exists online in “clouds”.

“So the idea was this speculative notion that what if these clouds of data got so saturated that these things that have been physical and became virtual [then] ruptured and became physical again.

“It’s like a physical manifestation of data and it’s coming out of the ground.”

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