Antartica comes to Chunky Move for Now or Never


The City of Melbourne’s Now or Never festival makes its debut in August with an exciting array of digital art and thought-provoking events breaking out right across the city, with two “sonic trips” to the Antarctic taking place at Southbank’s Chunky Move. 

Melbourne will soon be transformed with large-scale outdoor sculptural installations and projections, an immersive 360-degree pop-up dome cinema and a slew of boundary-breaking performances that explore the realm where technology and art converge. 

From August 17 to September 2, the blockbuster event will bring together more than 300 local and internationally-renowned artists, composers, change makers and innovators – with a vibrant program featuring 18 Australian premieres and 20 festival exclusive commissions. 

More than 200,000 people are expected to fill venues and precincts across the city for the 17-day festival, and enjoy more than 70 left-field music performances, immersive digital art installations and daytime talks.

The inaugural Now or Never program is set to take audiences on a journey to the intersection of art, ideas, sound, and technology, addressing the central questions of our future in the context of the present moment. 

While events will take place at venues at all ends of the city, from Docklands to North Melbourne and the CBD to Carlton, Southbank’s Chunky Move will host two separate but similarly immersive experiences in late August – Array and Polar Force.

Running from August 31 until September 2, Array, led by Speak Percussion, will take guests into a “sonic trip deep into the bracing polar conditions of the Antarctic” as recordings from scientific instruments are used to provide an eight-channel, immersive sound installation that simulates the experience of a research station in the remote Antarctic deserts. 

Field recordings are layered with sound textures, rhythmic cycles, and resonances to reproduce the sounds of this unique environment in one of the most extreme places on earth.

Speak Percussion will captivate audiences again with Polar Force (August 30 and September 1 and 2), which transports you back to the Antarctic, where the authentic field recordings capture its mesmerising sounds. Within an inflatable installation acting as your temporary shelter from the elements, prepare to encounter a sensorial symphony of sound, wind, and light. 


This extraordinary sonic environment is brought to life through instruments that mimic ice as it fractures and melts.


Polar Force dissolves the boundaries between trailblazing research, treacherous expeditions, and mysterious undertakings, prompting us to contemplate our own fragility and our profound connection to nature in moments of isolation.

After dazzling audiences all over the world, this extraordinary performance returns to Melbourne for an exclusive limited season at Now or Never.

Audience members are free to come and go within the session time, subject to availability within the installation. Learn more at: •

Chunky Move is located at 111 Sturt St, Southbank. 

For the full Now or Never program:

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