Interactive digital SPART (sport+art)

Persistence was an interactive digital experience, installed in Cairns, Queensland, for the 2018 Commonwealth Games festival. Persistence ran for seven evenings during the festival.


Audience members participated in an interactive adventure, in which they played the role of a young athlete aiming to compete (and win a medal!) in the 100m sprint at the Commonwealth Games.

Participants were guided through a choose-your-own-adventure style narrative by ‘Corey’, an electronic coach. The adventure also took participants on a ~700m/40min route around the Cairns Esplanade. Participants included locals, interstate and international visitors, as well as people of all ages and abilities.

‘Corey’ the electronic coach. Image credit – Clinton Freeman 2018

Here’s a montage (thanks to Clinton Freeman) that gives a sense of the experience.

Clinton also has a few other photos in his own post.


The Persistence installation featured:

  • Persistence Structure: 3m tall x 4m wide constructed of plywood, timber, steel brackets and LED ‘neon’ rope. This was the start and finish point for participants. The form was inspired by the 2018 Commonwealth Games logo. Hand-cut and assembled.



  • Corey, the electronic coach: featuring MP3 player, GPS, compass, microcontroller, buttons, LEDs, headphone jack and volume control. Custom circuit and board designed, hand-soldered and programmed by Clinton Freeman.


  • Narrative: a branching narrative, experienced through headphones attached to Corey. Featured six ‘decision points’ and six ‘story points’ that culminated in five possible outcomes, depending on participant’s choices. Possible outcomes were Gold, Silver or Bronze medals, as well as no medal or disqualification.


  • GPS waypoints located around the esplanade parkland, and also indicated by physical a-frame signs. The signs also doubled as some advertising for the event. The relevant narrative (audio track) was triggered when Corey was within a few meters of the corresponding waypoint.



I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to be a part of this project. Huge thanks to Clinton Freeman, a highly skilled and fantastic guy to work with.

Persistence was generously supported by:

Cairns Regional Council Logo
Queensland Government Logo
Kick Contemporary Arts Logo






The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

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