Friday, October 2, 2009

Nuit Blanche - Stuff to see and do at night!

Rapidly approaching, Nuit Blanche. Coming up this Saturday night... here are a few exhibits I wouldn't mind seeing.


Beautiful Light: 4 LETTER WORD MACHINE, 2009

Suspended 65 metres in the air between the Viljo Revell-designed Toronto City Hall towers, the four 7m square alphanumeric quartz lamp arrays will display codes, DNA sequences and elemental words. With each of the four "characters" consisting of 16 light segments, the machine is capable of displaying nearly 4.94 billion distinct graphic combinations, facilitating the expression of any word in any language. Automated code sequences will run between live performance times.


Rabbit Balloon, 2007

Toronto Eaton Centre - Originally intended to embody the collapse of high culture through the juxtaposition of a luxurious, automobile-like chrome with the thrall of an everyday, dollar-store blow-up bunny, the metallic piece still retains its iconic appeal and social relevance. The balloon literally produces a reinterpretation of its surrounding environment. -Torontoist


Space Becomes The Instrument, 2009

This installation and performance inverts traditional staging by using the audience seating area and the balconies as the performance space. From the stage, the audience will view performers playing piano wires stretched across the interior of Massey Hall.


This should be great: Battle Royal 2009

Inspired by Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, 20 men will enter Toronto's original bus depot with lingering art-deco design and step into a 17’ steel cage. Shaun El Conquistador Leonardo (artist and trained fighter) along with 19 of Canada’s elite pro-wrestlers will fight blindfolded until only one man is left standing.

Beginning at 7pm members of the audience are invited to be blindfolded and escorted into the cage where they will have the opportunity to feel the intimidation and potential of aggression Battle Royal encompasses. Gradually, as the night reaches its peak, professional wrestlers will be introduced to the ring, initiating the action while the artist, Shaun El C. Leonardo, seeks to withstand the pain, embarrassment and discomfort of struggling in front of eyes without having sight himself.


Artscape Wychwood Barns - Storytelling Toronto

Tales all night long! Celebrate the contemporary revival of the ancient art of storytelling with Storytelling Toronto.

601 Christie Street - a bunch of stuff happening in this area..


A giant cake with a bouncing bride:

BOUNCING BRIDE: What Goes Down Must Go Up

Join the bouncing bride as her bouncing groom on a mini-trampoline atop a 10-foot wedding cake. Cathy Gordon follows up her last endurance piece ON MY KNEES: a public divorce ceremony, with this light-hearted look at the “bright-side” of divorce.

Music Gallery Courtyard,
197 John Street


Bert and Tony's Block Party

Shaped by the social dance movements of the 1930's and inspired by the history of the Ward, home to the city’s most dangerous slum at the time as well as some of Toronto’s most famous dance parlours, Bert and Tony host an open invitation dance-off. Dancers from all disciplines take partners and compete while audience members dance the night away.


Through a Glass Darkly

383 Huron Street

I'll be here for sure around 7:30 to watch the choir perform.. after that look through a telescope or two.. In celebration of the four hundredth anniversary of Galileo's discoveries, St. Thomas’s Anglican Church is recreating the universe. Through a Glass Darkly will feature a 3D projection of the evolution of the universe, holograms of cells and galaxies, an interactive telescope hosted by the University of Toronto’s Department of Astronomy, and the work of dozens of other artists and musicians. According to its designers, the purpose of the exhibition is to recognize "Galileo's work and the subsequent discoveries he spawned, while reminding us that despite technological advances, our knowledge of the Universe is still limited." Hopefully the universe will grace us with clear skies. -Torontoist


Dance Dance Evolution!

Group Exhibition

Toronto Reference Library,
789 Yonge Street

Step out for an all-night, all-ages dance party at the library. Showcasing a different dance every hour. Instructors show off the moves. You get to try them.

Twist (7pm), Charleston (8pm)

Disco (9pm), Hip Hop (10pm)

Country and Western (11pm), Bollywood (Midnight)

Capoeira (1am), Salsa (2am)

Mambo (3am), Swing (4am)

Jive (5am), Fox Trot (6am)


A must visit: Wild Ride, 2009

Bay Street emblem of Canada's banking industry is closed. The smell of cotton candy and raucous music fill the air. Two midway rides reflect the whirling, tilting exhilaration of the bull market and its less than thrilling collapse. Free to the public and staffed by recently downsized businesspeople, the rides invite audience members to kinetically contemplate the ups and downs of the recent economic crisis. Out of the darkened financial district, screams will be heard!


12 Hours of Power

On the night of October 3, Torontonians will flock to Berczy Park and see a darkened, serene fountain with stationary bicycles along its perimeter. Beckoned over by Live Green Toronto volunteers, the Nuit Blanche attendees will mount the bicycles and naturally start pedalling. Right before their eyes, the fountain will light up and an altered water display will rise from the water’s surface.

The fountain that so often forms a backdrop to everyday life in Toronto will become the focus as Torontonians exert their energy to maintain the status quo.


For Nuit Blanche 2009, The Apology Project will be staged in its largest scale thus far. A cluster of 55 people wearing large brown paper bags on their bodies will congest a public hallway and personally apologize to every person who ventures through them. The uncanniness of this human blockade will disrupt the regular flow of traffic and provoke reflection about passive aggressive behavior. Who are these people? Why are they here? Why are they wearing brown paper bags over their bodies? There is an enigma about what precisely they are sorry for and why they are choosing to continue doing something that they find reproachable. If it is their awkward presence in the space that they are apologizing for, why do they chose to remain there? Why not just stop an offensive behavior rather than continue to indulge in it and apologize?

Liberty Market Building Atrium Corridor, West
171 East Liberty Street, Hanna Street Entrance


FIRE AND SAUSAGE: Small Mercies, 2009

Tom Dean - Toronto, Canada

Food by Jamie Kennedy.

The fires and the Liberty district's remove, the trace of the feral, suggest the aftermath of a collapse, a catastrophe or apocalypse. But what the artist is interested in is the calm after a fall, when we count our mercies and shared the surplus. An economic collapse that has returned us to essentials, warmth and food and social generosity.

FIRE AND SAUSAGE: Small Mercies is a social sculpture. It engages and arranges people. Participants congregate around a fire, a cooking station, clustered radially around food and fire. The form remains, enlarging and diminishing, a stable form centered around food and fire.

Parking Lot at Liberty Street and Hanna Avenue


BICITYCLE (Bike City), 2009

Kyohei Sakaguchi - Tokyo, Japan

Interactive Mobile Installation

BICITYCLE (Bike-city) is a project about mobile life. Sakaguchi is inspired by the lifestyle, innovation and survival skills of homeless people in Japan. His research focuses on two concepts; mobility and recycling. The houses of the homeless are easy to dismantle and remake because people are forced to move their houses. They separate the infrastructures: water, gas, toilet, and electricity. The houses are made from the scraps of the city, as they understand the materials of urban waste are natural resources. Sakaguchi undertakes this concept further through incorporating used bicycles as a survival action for the city.

For Nuit Blanche, the artist will create 11 mobile housing units, each attached to a bicycle. The audience can interact and relocate the works within the area.

Lamport Stadium Parking Lot, west side
Liberty Street, at Fraser Avenue


Dance of the Cranes, 2009

Dance of the Cranes is a collaborative performance piece consisting of a 13-minute choreographed dance performed by two high-rise construction cranes. The dance will be performed at the beginning of every hour, from 7 pm to 3 am, on the night of Nuit Blanche. At designated times, two tower construction cranes standing on the same site and visible above the Toronto skyline, will come to life in a synchronized spectacle of motion. In the darkness they will slowly begin to pivot, rotate and sway in harmonized gestures, each crane performing delicate motions hundreds of metres above the audience on the sidewalk below. This work is a meditation on the movement and labour that takes place on a colossal scale in the physical building of our urban landscape. It is an attempt to draw the audience's attention to the massive machines that build our city above our heads and the skill of the individuals that operate the cranes.

Liberty Towers Construction Site
East Liberty Street and Pirandello Street



Exploring ideas of late-night television viewing and insomnia, curator Dave Dyment will present a series of recent classic videoworks by Toronto artists, such as Kelly Mark s Sniff, Kristan Horton s Cig2Coke2Tin2Coff2Milk and Dean Baldwin s multi-channel The Cooked Book. Alongside these are new videos, installation and performative works by Aaron Carpenter (Vancouver), Liz Knox (Toronto), Gordon Lebredt (Toronto), Corwyn Lund (Toronto), Roula Partheniou (Toronto), , Scott Rogers (Calgary), Alex Snukal (Toronto), Aislinn Thomas (Toronto) and many others. These will be presented along Queen Street West, between Dufferin and Roncesvalles. Projects take place on Queen street, between Dufferin and Roncessvales. Maps to these projects will be distributed at Queen and Lansdowne.


Figurative sculptures and audio environments bring to life past artists from the former Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1870-1940.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health/Workman Theatre - Queen St. Lobby,
1001 Queen Street West


And finally, the Rhino is showing short films all night to round out the evening for you and me...

See other (more pro "previews") suggestions here:

Also, if you have an iphone or a blackberry, be sure to download the official guide and maps from here:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! Hope you and your friends enjoy 'Dance Dance Evolution' at the Reference Library. We did the set-up tonight and I think it's going to be a fun night. Let's just hope the rain goes/stays away. :-)

    Please do say hello to us library staff when you drop by!

    - Ab. Velasco
    Communications Officer
    Toronto Public Library