Joanne Saad




HighRise is a multimedia installation that features large scale projections on the buildings and public spaces of the Auburn Central residential complex in western Sydney. Video mapping is a relatively new global medium in public spectacle. It plays with scale and scope, transforming a building into a limitless canvas often to mind-boggling special effect. In researching and documenting aspects of the lives of people who live inside the Auburn Central complex, HighRise has sought a more intimate and meditative use of this medium. Here, the buildings used as projection surfaces are the actual walls, balconies and homes of a vertical neighbourhood that is growing and changing. HighRise is both a portrait of a vibrant community the artists met and got to know, but also an artistic response to the social disconnection and silences that can permeate through a community that is in constant flux and "just finding its' feet".

After almost 2 years of research and a 6-month on-site residency, the HighRise artistic team, in partnership with ACDN, have been meeting, talking, photographing, and filming residents and sights of the Auburn Central community. Unlike other urban high-rise housing developments in Australia and around the world, Auburn Central is not a public housing estate. It is a privately owned multi-storey residential complex with an approximate 90% rental population. Overseas students, recently arrived immigrants, young refugee families and temporary protection visa holders make up the a large number of the apartment residents.

ACDN is a tenant of the Auburn Central complex and uniquely placed to engage with residents to initiate and deliver much needed community cultural, social outreach and public education programs. HighRise was developed with and for the residents of Auburn Central in the hope that it creates a meaningful community spectacle that engages residents and entices them downstairs into the forecourt for three nights. Sharing this experience with their neighbours, it is hoped that new dialogue of cultural participation and decision-making blooms amongst residents in the rich potential of the special place where they live.

Cities are not built by committees, bricks and mortar - They are created by time and the intersecting lives of people who have lived, do live and will live in them.

Creative Producer: Lina Kastoumis
Artists: Joanne Saad and Khaled Sabsabi
Sound Design and Editing: Khaled Sabsabi
Production Manager: Stephen Hawker
Production Assistant: Frank Mainoo
Video Mapping: David Kirkpatrick