Cycle in Cinema

Related to City Art
Installed from 24 February 2012 to 26 February 2012
Several people sitting on bikes in front of a large projector screen fixed to the back of a building at night
Several people sitting on bikes at night, their faces illuminated by the light from a projector screen
large group of people sitting in front of a large projector screen fixed to the back of a building at night

Connecting energy production with consumption, people pedalling 8 bikes powered 3 nights of film screenings in Taylor Square.

Artist: Magnificent Revolution Australia
Curator: Margaret Farmer (College of Fine Arts)
This artwork was temporary and is no longer at this location.

Artwork description

Created by Magnificent Revolution Australia, the cinema allowed viewers to use bikes to power short films.

Imagine a drive-in with bikes instead of cars. This pedal powered cinema system used 8 bikes and 16 legs to power a 4,000 lumen projector and 400W of audio equipment for screening films or projections. Bikes were plugged into a generator and individuals took turns riding to power the performance, ringing a bell when they needed a break.

The program consisted of 21 short films under 3 groups. The Friday night program on 24 February 2012 showed films from Queer Screen, to celebrate the 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras Festival.

On Saturday 25 February, Burn Baby Burn, a program curated by Katrina Schwarz screened a range of cult short films and music videos by contemporary Australian and British artists.

On Sunday 26 February a curated program of new media was screened including Indigenous voices from the College of Fine Arts. Together, the films and the cinema not only engaged viewers with important issues in society but also the importance of renewable energy.

More than 400 film and cycle fans attended the pedal-powered screenings over 3 nights. Taylor Square was transformed on Friday and Saturday and the wet-weather venue at 1A Burton Street was put to use on Sunday evening.

“Through our work people start to make implicit connections between personal energy use, money saving, independence and climate change, and start to build appreciation for energy.”

– Magnificent Revolution


Magnificent Revolution Australia is a social enterprise established in 2010 to deliver pedal power events, installations and workshops that demonstrate the potential for renewable energy. It is a partner of London-based Magnificent Revolution, which has produced more than 100 pedal-powered events across the UK and Europe.