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Showing posts with label Nuit Blanche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nuit Blanche. Show all posts

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Nuit Blanche 2008 Revisited

Nuit Blanche Open For Business.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: Liberty Village
Date: Oct 2008
Website: nbto.com

  Nuit Blanche took over the streets of Toronto again this weekend.  During the event it is hard to tell what is art and what is not.  The "Open For Business" sign above could be art or just a clever sign that was discarded in the street.  We thought we would go back and revisit some of the exhibits from ten years ago when the all night arts festival was still in its infancy.  Here are a few highlights of what we experienced between dusk and dawn.

Euphemisms For The Intimate Enemy
Euphemisms For The Intimate Enemy

This exhibit is made up of 55-gallon drums with letters painted on their bottoms.  It was making some commentary on language that may become clear when the piece of art is explored more closely.

Future Perfect
Future Perfect Fog

In a haze of fog some storage containers sit in the dark.  People gather around to see what is going on.

Future Perfect Light

Then suddenly a glow of light emits from one of the containers and more smoke machine fog is released.

Imagine Peace
Imagine All The People Living For Today

Yoko Ono started the Imagine Peace project based on her husband John Lennon's Imagine song.

Imagine Peace Wish Tree

The exhibit includes a tree where guests can tie one of their wishes.  After the event the wishes were all said to be taken to the Imagine Peace tower in Iceland.  Who knows how many will come true?

SMASH! Dropping Stuff
Hmmmm Drop!

The next project was called SMASH!  The whole purpose was to get some stuff and then drop that stuff and watch it smash.  The pile of smashed stuff was growing as the night crept on.  3...2...1...Drop!


Original Soundtrack
Now Where Did I Put The Universal Remote?

This project consisted of TVs all playing the menu screen of a different DVD.  The sound was all mixed together and would evolve and change as the menus loop through the night.  This exibit reminded us of a busy electronics department on a Saturday afternoon.

Original Soundtrack Window.

When we turned away from the television screens we liked the way the light was coming in through this window.  We left the wall of sound behind and ventured outside to see what was causing this glow.

Over Flow
We Will Fix That Leaky Faucet Later Tonight Is Nuit Blanche

The glow appeared to be coming from this building which for tonight only included a waterfall coming out of an upper floor window.  This seemed like something we wouldn't mind seeing permanently.


This next piece was untitled and like most of the things listed here is open to interpretation.  On any given day you may be surprised but what you see walking around the city.  When Nuit Blanche is in town, surprise is always expected.

Map of Our World
Nuit Blanche Liberty Village
Nuit Blanche Liberty Village

Post # 228

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Invictus Games Toronto

I Am Painting.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 1 Dundas Street East
Date: Oct 2016
Website: www.invictusgames2017.com

  The Invictus Games are designed for war veterans to participate in sport and help them overcome their PTSD or deal with their physical injuries.  Prince Harry helped start the event and the first games were held in London, England.  This year they are being held in Toronto, Canada until September 30th.  The annual Nuit Blanche festival is also being held in Toronto on September 30th.

I Am in the AM.

  It seemed fitting that we received a sneak peak of the games during the 2016 Nuit Blanche festival in Toronto.  The I AM logo above is taken from the center of  the words Invictus Games.

Dundas Square Invictus Games.

  In Dundas Square we were able to add blocks to help form a big I AM on the ground and show our support for the games.

Armoured Vehicle.

  The Canadian Armed Forces were also in the square, offering a unique opportunity to see some of their equipment.

Light Armoured Vehicle.

  We were able to go inside an armoured transport vehicle.

Tank In Dundas Square.

  The highlight was a tank that had been driven into the square.  They were offering the opportunity to climb onto the tank.  Nuit Blanche is an all night event which runs from dusk until 7 AM the next morning.  Even though it was close to 4 AM we still had to line up for our turn on the tank.

Hard Rock Toronto.

   While standing on the tank we had a nice view of the Hard Rock Cafe.  Sadly, this location closed earlier this year.

Inside The Tank.
 Inside The Tank Brought To You By Dasani.

  We were also able to take a look down into the tank and see where the crew is jammed in while on active duty.

Tank Pointed At The Eaton Centre.

  Lastly, we had the chance to stand next to the cannon which was pointed towards the Eaton Centre.  It was fun to see this equipment up close.  We can only imagine the experiences inside this equipment for the men and women taking part in the Invictus Games.  We wish them well in their competition.

This location is near Dundas subway. Visit other Toronto TTC stations.

Map of Our World
Yonge-Dundas Square

Post # 193

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Nuit Blanche Extended Projects 2016

Black & White Night.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 100 Queen Street West
Date: Oct 2016
Website:  nbto.com

  Nuit Blanche 2016 took place in Toronto on October 1st.  Nuit Blanche is an annual event where art projects take over the streets for one evening.  It ran from 7pm October 1st and ended 7am October 2nd.  If you missed it you can still visit a few extended projects up until October 10th.:

I want to swim away but don't know how.

An ocean will be filling the rotunda inside Toronto City Hall.  It is made up of lights hanging from recycled strips of fabric from H&M.  We are guessing it consists of customer returns that they couldn't sell on clearance.  As the fabric sways above you, the lights glow and flicker.  Many people were lying on the floor being swept away by it all after a sleepless night roaming the streets.

Sometimes it feels just like I'm falling in the ocean.

You are also surrounded by the sounds of water mixed with what sounded like brief snippets of people sniffing and crying.  Below is a video sample of Ocean.

The extended hours for this project are from 8am until 6pm.

Death of the Sun
City Hall Nuit Blanche Style.

  As we emerged from the Ocean, a large white orb had been placed in the square.  It suddenly burst to life and yellow and orange clouds moved across its surface.  In about 5 billion years from now the sun will begin to die.  This project was meant to represent those final stages of the sun.

Close to the sun

  A low droning noise could be heard rising above the crowds that filled Nathan Phillips Square.  As we moved across the square to get a nice photo from the elevated walkway, the sun became more orange and then turned a deeper red colour.  The dampness and fog gave an even more ominous feel to the night.

Nuit Foggy.

    When the sun does actually die be sure to check out our blog for the special Life is Better on Vacation post we have planned.  Until then enjoy a video sample of  Death of the Sun.

The extended hours for this project are from 7pm until midnight.


The last exhibit which is available for extended viewing is Pneuma.  It features images projected onto a water fountain at Nathan Phillips Square.  It will be running at the same time as Death of the Sun.  It will be located right next to the TORONTO sign and the giant globe.  You can't miss it.  Actually we did, as it wasn't running during our brief time in the square. But you shouldn't!

Death of the Sun in TO.

This location is near Osgoode subway. Visit other Toronto TTC stations.

Map of Our World
Toronto City Hall
Nathan Phillips Square

Post # 137

Friday, 30 September 2016

Spadina Avenue Nuit Blanche 2014

Walk Among Worlds At Nuit Blanche.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  Spadina Ave.
Date: Oct 2014
Website:  nbto.com

  Nuit Blanche is an annual art festival where for one evening, art installations take over the city.  It takes place in cities around the world and we have attended the Toronto event several times.  This blog post is about the exhibits we visited in the wee hours of the morning on Spadina Avenue in 2014.

Big Top Grand Stand
Big Top Grand Stand

 In the centre of Clarence Square Park stood a stack of colourful concession stands.  As the name of the exhibit implies, these are the type of stands you might find selling cotton candy or hot dogs at a fair or circus.  The stands rose up into the sky.  Each booth was just a little bit smaller and atop everything stood a rainbow umbrella.  Sadly, no one seemed to be inside any of the booths selling midnight snacks to hungry art patrons.

Black Sun
Wrecking Ball.

  Black Sun is a video projection of a giant wrecking ball swinging against a white surface.  The ball hits the surface and bounces away.  It is then pulled back and swings towards the wall once again. This exhibit could represent the fact that so many older buildings in the city are being lost to new condo towers.  At last check, the building used for the projection was still standing.

Walk Among Worlds
7000 Beach Balls.

  On a side street off of Spadina Ave. was a rather large exhibit.  Walk Among Worlds included 7,000 beach balls painted to resemble globes.  Each of these globes represented one million people.  Our calculation puts the total at seven billion.  The attendance at Nuit Blanche in Toronto that year was estimated at one million people.  That only makes up one of those balls that were strung together to form a canopy over our heads and that filled the pathway around us.

Made In China
Hung out to dry.

  This exhibit filled an alleyway with donated clothing labeled "Made in China".  If you have ever walked along Spadina the night before garbage day you would see bags piled high in the street. This exhibit created the illusion that today was laundry day and the neighbourhood collectively hung out their clothing to dry.

Global Rainbow
Global Rainbow.

  Coloured laser beams shoot from Chinatown on Spadina Ave and stretch across the sky until finally hitting the famous Toronto landmark, the CN Tower.  The beams appear like a rainbow of the night.

Hit me with your laser beams.

Map of Our World
Nuit Blanche (Big Top Grand Stand) , Nuit Blanche (Walk Among Worlds) , Nuit Blanche (Made In China)
Nuit Blanche (Black Sun) , Nuit Blanche (Global Rainbow)

Post # 136

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

I Promise It Will Always Be This Way

Dancing With Myself.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: Lamport Stadium 1151 King Street W.
Date: Oct 2008
Website: www.jonsasaki.com
  Nuit Blanche is an evening of art and performances which started in France but is now popular in cities around the world, particularly in Europe.  Toronto is one of six Canadian cities that have held Nuit Blanche or White Night.   We attended the event in 2008 with close to one million others.
   One of our favourite performances was “I Promise It Will Always Be This Way”.  This piece consisted of a group of mascots rallying the crowds at Lamport Stadium.  Nuit Blanche runs from about 7 PM until 7AM the next morning.  As the evening wore on the mascots would get to test their endurance.

If I had the chance I'd ask the world to dance.

  We heard the music pumping as we headed towards the stadium. We walked inside and came out in the bleachers.  Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol was cranking out from the sound system and a group of mascots were keeping the crowd going.  There was a snowman, a cat playing a guitar, a bald eagle and many more.  We were instantly caught up in the excitement.  It's funny how if a group of University students were trying to get the crowd going by jumping and dancing around you might get into it, but dress those same students up in animal costumes with over-sized heads and they can easily whip the crowd into a frenzy.

Rock On Panther Man!
Gimme an R, Gimme an E, Gimme an S, Gimme a T.  What do I need?

  We arrived about midway through the evening and there were already a few mascots in dire need of a break  Just as we walked into the stadium, a bald eagle went and lay down on a bed and did not move for the rest of the time we were there.  Some of the performers may have been wondering why they got involved in all of this in the first place.  That was the point of the art experiment.  To see how things would evolve as the night stretched on.  To challenge both the performers and the audience.  We are not sure what we ended up taking away from it all, except that it was a memorable bit of fun. 

Oh Snow, Down I Go.

Map of Our World
Nuit Blanche (I Promise It Will Always Be This Way)

Post # 73