A unique collaboration between a Melbourne-based arts group, Company in Space, Pilkington Glass and DMS Glass recently resulted in one of the most visually spectacular performances of the 2002 Melbourne Festival.

The Light Room, at Melbourne Museum, showcased cutting edge digital technology and performance art, by integrating live music, spoken text and dance with video animation and an interactive set.

The high innovative set design, conceived by Melbourne architect Tom Kovac, is an outstanding example of ephemeral glass architecture.

Kovac said: “The Light Room uses architecture and its spatial conception as a metaphor for life, a setting for real time performance and as an interactive installation. A major component of the work is the physical environment made entirely out of glass.“The primary use of glass conveys a subliminal and very powerful effect and transcends the qualities of digitally rendered scenographic images. The translucency and liquid quality of glass is extremely well suited to use with this new technology. It is also an appropriate surface that can carry the ephemeral, transient qualities of digital light,” he said.

The glass surfaces have made The Light Room's unique futuristic stage structure a giant luminescent real time screen that captures filmic set-design and virtual reality worlds.

Working collaboratively with Pilkington Glass and DMS Glass and engineers from related industries, Company in Space was able to realise the full potential of an artistic vision.

Company in Space Director, Hellen Sky, said: “Through a three-year collaboration with some of Australia’s most accomplished artists we have successfully achieved a production that is a synergy of media. With our partners and sponsors, we have also demonstrated an exciting and innovative way of merging old and new technology.”

Pilkington Glass – one of the major sponsors – worked with Nova Media Arts, Australia’s first new media arts agency, to devise the arts/industry sponsorship package, and provided materials valued at more than $25,000 for the construction of The Light Room. Together with DMS Glass, the company supplied to this innovative Melbourne Festival event, goods and services, valued at over $75,000.