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By Anita Senaratna
February 10, 2014
By Anita Senaratna
February 10, 2014

Every two years, the Biennale brightens up Sydney with artworks that become beautiful, quirky parts of the landscape for a few months before disappearing as suddenly as they came. But this year is going to be a little different.

The City of Sydney Council has decided for the next three exhibitions, they will commit up to $300,000 to fund a "legacy artwork" — an artwork that stays permanent at the end of the Biennale and becomes part of the City Art collection.

This year, the first ever legacy artwork will be City of Forking Paths, a site-specific interactive work in the form of a smartphone app. Users can download the app (or borrow a mobile device) for free and wander around The Rocks at dusk, taking in various fictional scenarios and incidents that tie in with this year's theme, 'You Imagine What You Desire'.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, the artists behind City of Forking Paths, are no strangers to Sydney audiences. In 2008, they created sound installation The Murder of Crows for Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay. They've also created similar interactive walks in New York, Pittsburgh, Sao Paulo, Rome, London and Berlin.

According to artistic director Juliana Engberg, commissioning Cardiff and Miller was a very deliberate choice. "I wanted to acknowledge artists who have already made an impact upon the hearts and minds of the Biennale audience," she said. "This video walk will become, I’m sure, a must-do encounter for the people of, and visitors to, Sydney."

The app will be available for download from May 1 as part of the Biennale's Middle Program.

Published on February 10, 2014 by Anita Senaratna

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