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Video by Ivan Lentell

osmosis: Nostalgia as a form of healing 

May 2021
Level 5 Monorail, Number One Dixon Shopping Centre, Haymarket 

This project was supported by the NSW government through Create NSW  


This iteration of osmosis responded to an important site of Sydney’s history, the Chinatown Monorail Station. Located on Level 5 of Number One Dixon Shopping Centre, this site had been unused since the de-installation of the monorail over 7 years before. For many Sydney siders, the monorail is a rich nostalgic memory of the city’s past. Our project reactivated the site with an installation exploring nostalgia as a form of healing. 

Within the space a long-form ambient droning composition played on loop with deconstructed and abstracted field recordings, sound samples and melodies subtlety introduced throughout the piece to trigger memory residues of the audience and explore the nostalgic quality of sound. The installation responded to the site by adding an element of physical movement, where the sound blended up and down the platform across a series of speakers. This movement of sound was followed by lighting blending across the angled windows and existing architecture as it moved. 

The result was an experience where our audience entered into the space at any time in the looping 30 minute+ installation, as they moved freely through the space, they will quickly entered a meditative and calming state that triggered memories of the adolescent brain. Upon exit the audience contributed to an experience surveyed to further understand the nature of these memories as well as their preferred colours and sound. This data will be used to inform our future installations. 

Light: George Webeck

Sound: Mara Schwerdtfeger

Creative Direction: Marco Rinaldi

Survey Results 
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