Nuit Blanche 2013 Picks


Nuit Blanche is finally upon us again! This all night art festival can be tons of fun, if you do it right! Take a look at my Nuit Blanche 101 guide, and then see some of my top picks for this year!

Off to a Flying Start

The rose is without why, 2013: This poem is written by Johannes Scheffler. The poem, written with standard fluorescent lights spanning more than 300 feet, has an aspect of the spectacular while expressing a poetic and philosophical dimension and reflects upon the nature of the art and the place of the spectator.

El Agua de Niebla Composed of 72,000 meters of thread, the hammock unfolds to 41 meters in length. The scale of the traditional hammock is increased, thus creating a strange collective territory. The scale fascinates viewers by its sheer size, poetry and dream inducing force, while the curved shape drawn by the weight of the textile reveals an intrinsic force at work, that of gravity, which defines and shapes the piece (Giant hammock? Yes, please.)
Hysteria Coordinating Imagine for a moment, all of the objects around you have ideas of their own. Hysteria Coordinating is a freeform performance of simple white shopping bags which have taken over the basement under Toronto City Hall. They invite you to come and hang out with them a while.
1-855-IS IT ART I love this! Without fail, every year you’ll find yourself looking at something and wonder, Is this art? Or is this…something totally different?
For one night only, the artists are here to help you question these questions. Please call 1-855-IS IT ART to speak with one of the highly trained advisors. Let them help you through the night. Call toll free from anywhere, or visit Toronto City Hall to watch this service being streamed live from the VSVSVS call centre headquarters.

Romancing the Anthropocene

Smokehouse: The Everything Company will construct a large-scale cedar smoking hut powered by three bicycles. The artists will invite participants to pedal throughout the night to keep the salmon smoking, ultimately serving the smoked fish.

Campfire Testing the limits of his illusion techniques outside the gallery structure, David Hoffos stages the nocturnal scenario of a campfire. Usually associated with leisurely happenings at wilderness sites, rural campgrounds and suburban backyards, the campfire takes on a new meaning in an urban context. The result is a scene that occupies a conflicted temporal zone; as viewers, we are unsure of whether we are experiencing a nostalgic vision of a simple past or a premonition of a survivalist future.

Pink Punch v.2 The light installation, Pink Punch v.2, aims to lure visitors off the street with its colour and luminance. By wrapping trees in a three meter high protective pink LED rope, a glowing garden and communal seating area is created within the dense urban fabric. The installation aims to draw attention to the importance of trees in public spaces and the need for environmental stewardship. Through the installation, the visitor understands the preciousness of this natural resource, especially in the city, and particularly in the downtown core, where vegetation is scarce.

Shrine Shrine is the destination of an unexpected nocturnal pilgrimage. The most humble of objects, the common garbage bin, rises up in monumental stacks to form a sacred space: that of a Gothic Cathedral. The worlds of debris, recycling and overabundant products collide with the elegantly vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows of the cathedral as viewers are lured into an alternative experience of church.

Tanks Cal Lane’s sculptures juxtapose industrial materials with domestic elements. Their fabrication process involves the labour-intensive hand cutting of lace fabric patterns directly into recycled steel oil tanks and I-beams. Alternately strong and delicate, masculine and feminine, practical and frivolous, the sculptures deliberately confuse notions of function and ornament.


Paper Orbs begins the night as a massive origami sculpture which dissolves into thousands of paper helmets worn by visitors as they parade down University Avenue. As both a lantern and a center of gravity, the paper float pulls visitors in and encourages them to return throughout the night to experience the dissolution of the paper sculpture. The accumulated paper helmets disperse into scattered constellations that float along the street. The helmets also resonate with notions of patterned order and militaristic armour.

Ferris Wheel Decorated with LED lights and multi-coloured wire, two 15-foot tall spinning rings turn freely in the wind. The large circles, which move in opposite directions, create dynamic lighting effects in endless variation. The whirligig does not accommodate passengers but is instead an exploration of colour in motion.

This, I Build For You Part installation, part performance, this work invites the viewer to observe as a 20-foot monument becomes adorned with pattern and ornamentation. The intricate act of the artist’s hand embroidering throughout the night is projected on the blank face of the monument’s base. This durational performance is inspired by the myriad ways that we commemorate as a society.

PARRALAX In a stationary parade, people flow around the floats, engaging them as they pass by, but in this case the movement of the crowd replaces the usual movement of the floats. In and of itself, PARALLAX has no motion and is a stationary light fixture, but it becomes a shifting object when the observer travels down its length.

Independent Projects

Tabula Rasa An interactive performance presenting the theme of human interaction. Experience human interaction in multiple art forms, and step up to the microphone to engage in conversation with the different people that fate will present.

Nui Blanc: Knock Off Merchandise Factory A knock off merchandise factory which produces counterfeit commemorative mementos for the evening.This event welcomes the spectator to observe the process as illegitimate merchandise is hand printed and given away.

To see all of the exhibits, click here.

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