Auckland-based Jon Baxter is bringing his interactive light displays to Light Nelson. Photo: Supplied.

Welcome to the boing boing gloop machines


Nelsonians will be invited to make the gloop “gloop” as part of this year’s Light Nelson.

One of a small number of invited artists is Auckland-based Jon Baxter, who has been creating media for film, installations, events, museums and television for over 20 years.

He will be bringing his “Boing Boing Gloop Machines” where audiences are invited to pull a rope that is attached to lycra. A light display on the material responds to the movement along with making sounds. Kinect cameras inside the drums read the height of the lycra as you pull the rope. As the height of the lycra changes so do the sounds and visuals.

Now in its fourth year, Light Nelson is a five-day light festival that has quickly become one of Nelson’s largest and favourite free, biennial events, attracting more than 55,000 visitors in its last outing in 2016. Project manager Sophie Kelly says it’s incredible how quickly Light Nelson has become a key event on the region’s event calendar.

“It’s a fantastic project that features hundreds of incredible artists and creatives, some very generous supporters, and, of course, tens of thousands of visitors.”

Through his company Perceptual Engineering, Jon is a leader of projection mapping in New Zealand. In Light Nelson 2016, Jon’s projections on to NMIT’s old technical institute building in Hardy Street were a firm favourite, and one of the most-videoed and photographed installations.

He will also return to the same site, with a new set of digital mapping that will once again paint one of our beloved wooden building with new illuminations and imagery.

“Be sure to look out for references to one of New Zealand’s most notorious trials of the 19th century, that of the Burgess Gang for the Maungatapu murders,” Sophie says.

Light Nelson takes place from July 6-10 at the Queens Gardens and NMIT.