MYTHINTERPRET was a sound art installation created for the Burning Seed 2012 festival.


Installation Description

In 2012 the Mythinterpret project team won a small grant to run the Mythinterpret installation at the Burning Seed 2012 festival, held in Matong State Forest, NSW, Australia. The installation was required to incorporate the central festival theme ‘mythconception’ and be highly interactive for festival-goers.

In this interactive sound and visual art installation visual artists and sound recordists worked together to stimulate and collect responses to visual art. Visual artists created deliberately ambiguous artworks inspired by a central theme of ‘mythconception’ designed to stimulate a variety of interpretations and responses, with viewers encouraged to record their own interpretations to the artworks and listen back to responses from others.


Philosophical Statement

“People can misinterpret almost anything so that it coincides with views they already hold. They take from art what they already believe, and I wonder how many people have ever had their views about anything important changed by a work of art?” –Stanley Kubrick

The philosophical aim of this installation is to stimulate and document the many different interpretations and responses different viewers have to the same artwork, and enlighten viewers to the subjective nature of Art by exposing them to numerous differing interpretations of that artwork.

Through recognising the role of the viewer in the creation of art and working on the central theme ‘mythconception’, visual artists deliberately created abstract artworks that were open to interpretation, designed to stimulate viewers to share and consider different perspectives to myths, religion, art, life, death and spirituality.

It is aimed that through the process recording and playing back these differing interpretations of the artwork, viewers will gain new perspectives on the artwork they may not have previously considered, thus enriching their personal belief systems, values and approaches to viewing Art.


Project Team

Tim Duck: Project management. Construction and build logistics. Sound direction.

Ayla Pentikainen: Project management. Visual art direction. Visual art – collages.

Kitty Von Lustbaden: Visual art – paintings.


Burning Seed Festival description

The Burning Seed Festival is part of Burning Man Australia. They describe themselves as:

“Australia’s regional Burning Man event is a gathering like no other, a not-for-profit festival run by participants and based around art and community. As the official regional burn for Australia, it follows in the footsteps of the Burning Man festival that has been taking place in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA, since 1991, where every year tens of thousands of people create a temporary city that rises from an ancient dry lake bed over a week of intense creativity and sharing, before disappearing without a trace.”

-Burning Man Australia


Thank you

Thanks to Andrew Mooney for his assistance in planning, the Duck and Hodgson families for lending equipment, the festival-goers who got involved and had a play with the installation, and most of all to Burning Man Australia and the Burning Seed Festival for giving us the opportunity to do this installation. Help Burning Seed continue running these great initiatives for emerging artists by getting involved. Visit for more information.

Also a special thank you to the festival goer who left the following heart-warming feedback. Individuals like you remind us why we make art in the first place – to connect with people.

“Thank you to whoever made the art here and I think this installation is amazing and I adore it, and  hope that people have understood and appreciated it for what it is. Bless you all.” -Anonymous festival goer.


Website designed and developed by Amarika Illustration & Design

© 2014 Ayla Pentikainen