Lights, orbs and interaction to highlight dementia

17 September 2015

Affinity, a massive, interactive light sculpture representing the brain will, for the next ten days, take over the Forecourt, St Kilda Road, at Arts Centre Melbourne as a way of visually and physically engaging with the public to help them to better understand the importance of connectivity and interactivity for our brain health.    

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic CEO Maree McCabe said Affinity is a vivid, brilliant display of art and technology helping to raise awareness about how our brains work.

"At 12 metres squared by 5 metres at its highest point, the scale and beauty of the sculpture is striking.

Created by Australian artistic groups S1T2 and amigo and amigo, Affinity is a web of interconnected orbs representing neurons in the brain.

“Melburnians and visitors will be inspired to wander through the sculpture and touch the orbs for themselves to stimulate the striking display of sound and light, representing the rapid-fire transmission of messages between neurons.

“As people explore the installation, audio of personal stories of people impacted by dementia as well as facts and figures about the disease emanate from the orbs to enhance the experience,” Ms McCabe said.

“Research by Alzheimer’s Australia shows that despite the fact that it’s the second leading cause of death in Australia, many people don’t understand dementia. Affinity is a unique way to start conversations with people about what dementia is, the impact it has and what people can do to learn more about dementia” said Ms McCabe.

“Most importantly, during Dementia Awareness Month, we particularly wish to highlight to all Victorians that Dementia Australia Vic is here to provide support, information and education,” Ms McCabe said.

“We invite the public to share their experience on social media throughout the ten days by sharing their photographs and using the hashtag #HighlightDementia.

“I wish to extend our appreciation to the Arts Centre Melbourne for their support in making this display possible during our Dementia Awareness Month,” Ms McCabe said.

During September, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is calling for the creation of a dementia-friendly nation, where people living with dementia are respected, valued and supported to maintain a good quality of life.

When: Friday 18 – Sunday 27 September

Lights on from dusk each night.

Venue: Arts Centre Forecourt, St Kilda Road Melbourne. (Where Spiegeltent is often located.)

Information: http://bit.ly/vicaffinity

Interview subjects: Maree McCabe, CEO Alzheimer’s Australia Vic and Chris Panzetta, co-creator of Affinity from S1T2.


Notes to media

When writing or talking about dementia, please provide your audience with the number for our National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 - a telephone information and support service available across Australia.

What is appropriate language for talking about dementia and why do we need it?

The words used to talk about dementia can have a significant impact on how people with dementia are viewed and treated in our community. Please read our Dementia Language Guidelines that have been developed by people living with dementia and carers.

About Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

In Victoria almost 81,000 people are living with dementia. This figure is projected to increase to 246,000 by 2050.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the charity representing people, of all ages, with all forms of dementia in Victoria. As the peak body, we provide specialised dementia information, education and support services.

Call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit www.vic.fightdementia.org.au.

Media contacts:

Sam Watson +613 9816 5736 / +613 419 815 178 / sam.watson@dementia.org.au

Stephanie Puls +613 9816 5745 / +613 427 757 434 / stephanie.puls@dementia.org.au

Christine Bolt +613 9816 5772 / +613 400 004 553 / christine.bolt@dementia.org.au