Aucklanders may think they are being fooled when they are out and about on 1 April - but are they?
The happenings they may stumble upon are the launch of Pop, an annual series of interactive art projects that burst from galleries and theatres onto the streets and into the lives of Aucklanders.
Until May, street corners, trains, nooks and crannies of Auckland will be bursting with surprise artworks created by the award-winning Alt Group collaborating with artists across many creative disciplines and funded by Auckland Council and the Waitematā Local Board.
“Pop grows every year and 2017 looks to be no different", says Waitematā Local Board Deputy Chair, Shale Chambers.
“I can’t wait to see how the new creations transform our streets and stop people in their tracks.”
Auckland Council’s Head of Creative Strategy, Tracey Williams, agrees.
“One of the wonderful things about Pop is that it uses creativity to encourage Aucklanders to connect with each other and where they live. It changes the way they think about art and the everyday in Auckland,” she says.
“Inclusiveness and interaction is at the heart of every Pop piece. Everyone’s experience of the art will be entirely different, just as we each experience people and places in our own way.”
This year there is a mixture of established favourites and new creations. Watch out for Pop Poi offering an unexpected poi performance, join in a street carnival- style celebration at Pop Fiesta, or partner with the New Zealand Dance Company for an interactive contemporary dance performance Pop Knot.
Māori songs will be the soundtrack on trains courtesy of Pop Waiata and Pop Skip Jump is back with its nine-metre skipping ropes.
Pop Ping Pong will return for another year, while Pop Poetry and Pop Marbles have undergone some exciting new developments. Auckland Zoo will host Pop Marbles for the first time and will feature an original soundscape created with native birdsong sound artist Tim Prebble while the words of Pop Poetry, delivered in collaboration with the Auckland Writers Festival, will be projected in Aotea Square.
Pop has been delivered in central city suburbs successfully for the past three years and this year the itinerary includes Newmarket, Takapuna, Onehunga, Māngere and New Lynn.
Pop projects have been embraced by Aucklanders, with almost 50,000 experiencing it last year.
Pop projects will be appearing in various locations across Auckland between 1 April and 31 May.
Event listings can be viewed online: www.pop.org.nz