Nuit Blanche: Is this art?

October 06, 2013

I'm still soaking in all the messages from general conference right now. For now I'll share what else we got up to this weekend.

Scotia Bank's Nuit Blanche is a dusk-til-dawn free contemporary art event held annually in downtown Toronto. Right after the second session of general conference we met up with our friend Justin and managed to catch a small glimpse of the hundreds of art installations all over the city.

On one of the interactive installations which displayed live tweets of the event from all over the city, I read the quote: "Is this art or is this just Toronto?"

Toronto is overrun with creativity, both brilliant or mundane, and our expectations and opinions of art can vary wildly. We can be a little jaded when so much "art" is constantly thrown in our faces. The contemporary art at Nuit Blanche was, at times, puzzling, bizarre, and over-the-top. But it opened discussions and caused a reaction - it brought people together to interact and participate in the art, and in doing so repurposed the art. Whatever the art was, it was changed by how the audience interacted with it.

Forever Bicycles by Ai Weiwei

This impressive sculpture is made up of 3,000 interconnected bicycles which the audience could walk through.

Paper Orbs by Marcin Kedzior & Christine Kim

"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." I waited in line for a part of this sculpture for 25 minutes and ended up folding it up on my way home and losing it (I was very upset!). It could be folded three different ways, and I was so looking forward to showing my preschool class!

Parallax by Idea Tank Design Collective
This was my favourite installation, made up of horizontally stacked cardboard tubes and interior lights, which had a "honeycomb" affect. The audience further interacted with the art by talking into the tubes, and receiving a mass response from others. "Do you have a tumblr?" and "I love you" were some of the messages I heard when listening in.

Toaster Works Wagon by Kim Adams

I'm still confused by this three-wheeled bicycle installation, but it was fun watching Patricio and Justin struggle.

(X)Static Clown Factory by Ruth Spitzer & Claire Ironside

During this audience-participation driven clown performance/glowing balloon installation the girl in front of me kept swinging her pony tail into my eyes as she enthusiastically jumped up and down.

Happy to have been a part of some art! Have a great week!

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