By Danielle Kutchel
School holidays can be tricky in a time of physical distancing.
But a new, interactive virtual activity aims to bridge those physical gaps and fill the online world with all the silliness and fun that kids do best.
Sounds Exquisite, an initiative of interactive arts company Playable Streets, will see kids from across Dandenong share their creativity via the web.
The project was born of necessity after a planned real-life collaboration with Dandenong Council was postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Playable Streets usually focuses on interactive engagement and connecting people through the physical environment – so when the pandemic hit, the team was forced to quickly change direction, while staying true to their ethos.
Sounds Exquisite is a re-imagining of the interactivity that Playable Streets prefers: an online environment that starts off completely off-screen, according to artistic director, Glen Walton.
The activity is based around drawing and recording. Working with friends and family, kids create multi-part stories and pictures that they can draw and record.
The final images will be submitted to Playable Web, the online component of the project, where, with a bit of technical wizardry behind the scenes, they are turned into interactive online stories.
These will in turn be used to create interactive physical public art works in the future.
“The idea was kids would create these crazy creatures and record these narratives, and we’d have an online repository or gallery for them, but they would also influence a real-world outcome whenever that may be,” Mr Walton said.
“What we really hope for is just a visual representation of a connected community, of people having similar experiences.
“If there’s one thing the pandemic has done, it’s given everyone this common experience even though it’s been so trying for a lot of people, so what we wanted to do was create a created experience that would all be joined together and turned into something greater than its parts.”
While it has been launched during the school holidays – when families should have plenty of time to work together on their project – Playable Web will be open for submissions until the end of August.
For more information or to get involved in Sounds Exquisite, visit https://greaterdandenong.com/document/33681/art-for-kids