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

Sunday 20 October 2019


Nuit Blanche 2019 Detritus Inside A Toronto Salt Storage Dome.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  677 Wellington Road West
Date: October 2019
Website:  www.toronto.ca

    Salt both preserves and corrodes at the same time.  The city puts salt on the roads to melt ice, but it also does damage to boots and the roads themselves.  You are more likely to drown in salt water because the salt causes dehydration.  Nuit Blanche comes to Toronto once a year and one of the projects for 2019 was called Detritus by artist Jonathan Schipper.  Detritus means small particles broken away from a mass, much like the salt filling a City of Toronto storage dome.
Inside A City of Toronto Salt Storage Dome.

  One of the great things about Nuit Blanche is that you often get to explore places you would never be allowed on other evenings.  Toronto stores its salt for winter inside gigantic domes.  For Detritus we were allowed to venture in and it felt like we had entered another world.

Inside A City of Toronto Salt Storage Dome.

    Looking up at the dome in the middle of the night, it felt like a spacecraft was coming down on top of us.

Detritus At Nuit Blanche.

  The artist had a laptop computer set up at a little table and was using a 3D program to control equipment that was slowly building things out of layers of salt.  The creations would start to deteriorate as the night wore on.

Building Things Out Of Salt Nuit Blanche 2019.

  Most of the salty creations looked like a castle was slowly being built on a salt covered hillside.

Inside A City of Toronto Salt Storage Dome.

   A pathway leading upwards had been packed down into the huge mound of salt.  We double checked what shoes we were wearing and headed up.  We half expected we might slip away into the salt as if we had stepped into quicksand.

Inside A City of Toronto Salt Storage Dome.

   Some other people had already gone before us so we ventured to the top.

Detritus At Nuit Blanche.

   We made it up to the top and realized that we could start to taste the salt in the air.  We looked down as the artist continued to work below us.  We wondered how he could spend 12 hours inside this dome.  Some caution tape kept us back from the edge where we might cause a salty landslide that would destroy his creations.  It was time for us to move on to the next Nuit Blanche exhibit.  Goodbye salt! See you this winter on an icy road somewhere in the city.

Map of Our World

Post # 266

Thursday 10 October 2019

Everyone Wants A Free Baby

Everyone Wants A Free Baby At Nuit Blanche Toronto 2019

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  100 Garrison Road
Date: October 2019
Website:  www.toronto.ca

Who wants a free baby?  Everyone does apparently.  Nuit Blanche returned to Toronto on Oct 5th to 6th for another evening of artwork and performances.  Our favourite exhibit was the very entertaining Everyone Wants A Free Baby!  A cannon was fired about every 20 minutes.  Inside the cannon was a baby in a parachute.  Nuit Blanche runs from 7 pm until 7 am so that means around 36 babies were launched throughout the night.

  We arrived just as a baby was being launched.  The crowd shouted "Baby! Baby! Baby! "  The baby floated into the sea of people.  We then visited some other exhibits in the area and returned to fully experience the next launch.

Everyone Wants A Free Baby At Nuit Blanche Toronto 2019

  Dramatic music was played and a baby was brought out.  The baby was attached to its parachute and then the parachute was folded up carefully so it would deploy when needed.  Next, the baby was carried over to the cannon where it was inserted.  For some reason Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic was played while the cannon was cranked into position.  A man then came out and ranted. His rant included some French accomplishments that may or may not have been significant.  Finally he shouted,  "This is my amazing atifice.  I want to show you my genius!"  The cannon fired and the baby was launched into the crowd.

  We had chosen the perfect spot to stand.  The chute deployed and the baby slowly fell towards the ground.  It was right above us and we reached out to grab it.  As soon as we touched it, someone ran into us aand snatched the baby.  They then ran off into the night.  The word from other audience members was that the baby snatcher had been trying to get a baby for some time now and was growing more and more determined.  Finally success!  Adoption is usually a difficult process but tonight babies were falling from the sky much like how they are delivered by the stork.

A Free Baby At Nuit Blanche Toronto 2019

  The babies looked kind of like homemade Cabbage Patch Dolls.  This doll from an earlier launch also found a good home and the couple even posed for a few celebratory photos.  The only thing that would have made this show even better was if they had a little baby nursery set up so you could see all the babies waiting for their turn.  "We have to come back and see little 4:20 AM, look how cute he is."

Map of Our World
Everyone Wants A Free Baby

Post # 265

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