The Sock Circles

Fashion, media and the paranormal

A humorous satire on the furors of fashion, media and the paranormal. The sock circles were a visual spectacle and whimsical intervention. They appeared overnight, large colourful geometric designs – with a strong resemblance to some of the more famous Crop Circles. A closer look revealed rows and rows of odd, old and unusual socks.

Where did they come from? What could they mean? What or who could’ve made them? With no conclusive evidence or any theory, they remain one of the most tantalizing mysteries of modern times.



Concept and Direction : Valley Lipcer
Designer: Paul Blay
Performers: Emma Newman, Sean Spencer, Danny Schrieber, Nharyan Feldmann, Nina Rae Saunders, Lee Spencer, Rosie Grace, Claudie Frock, Lara Cruickshank, Jacqui Smith.


First Commissioned as part of the Splendour Arts Program at Splendour in the Grass, 2009 and installed as part of Mackay Arts Festival in 2011




The overnight appearance of a sock circle at the Belongil Fields, Splendour in the Grass festival site, has puzzled festival organisers and thousands of festival goers.

A security guard found the circle at 5am this morning and immediately called in the police.

Sergeant Jackson, from the Byron Bay Police, says it is still too early to know what caused the circle, although experts are examining the site and an eyewitness is being questioned.

These astonishing and unexplained formations of socks first began appearing during Fashion Week this year in the Melbourne CDB.  They have since been sited at 10 festivals around Australia.

There are numerous theories on what the sock circles actually mean and why they are appearing, but, with no conclusive evidence for any theory, they remain one of the most tantalising mysteries of modern times.

Some people believe the circles have been created by aliens, others say they happen from natural energies and telepathic fields created by humans. Hoax theorists believe the circles are a corporate advertising hoax – and believe  patterns in the circles resemble the logos of Nike, Lacoste, Adidas, Puma and Calvin Klein.

One of the latest theories is that the socks are being sucked out through a vortex from washers and dryers and then placed in formation by an alien force. This theory arose when a nametag was found on a school sock in a recent sock circle. When the owner of the sock, Billy Henderson, was contacted he confirmed that he had put two socks into a dryer and only one came out (apparently, that was thirty years ago and he had not seen his sock since).

The Sock Circle Collective, which has established a hotline, says that more and more people are calling up with the same and similar stories and there have been crowds of people arriving at sock circles in search of their missing socks.

Tom Thomason was at the Splendour in the Grass circle this morning and believes he has found one of his favorite tennis socks.

‘  I am pretty sure I can see my sock in the outer rim of this circle, My wife gave those socks to me for Christmas last year and within a week one was missing, I only wore them once.’ said Thomason

The first circles that appeared in Australia were simple circular designs, but the patterns have been becoming more complex, both in structure and colour. What seems to be the common thread is that all the socks are odd. No two socks in any circle have been matched to date.

Some of the sock circles create optical illusions when viewed from different angles. Sunshine Berry, a festivalgoer from Nimbin saw an image of her deceased grandmother in the latest sock circle.

‘ I was just having a chai, checking out the socks, when I saw my grandmother winking at me, my mates also saw it, it was way cool.’ said Berry

People have also claimed to see the Virgin Mary, Buddha, Elvis, George Bush, Paris Hilton and Gianni Versace.