My Nuit Blanche 2014 Picks

Each year, I take a look at the upcoming Scotiabank Nuit Blanche program and try to figure out what I think are the most promising installations of the night. My challenge is that many of the descriptions in the program are conceptual. There will be no way to know until the night of which will live up to their promise.

Of particular interest this year is the change in zone areas. Gone are the Bloor – Yonge – Bay – Liberty zones of previous years. This year the zones are found around Spadina, Queen W, Fort York, Roundhouse Park and Nathan Phillips Square.

Here are my picks for this year:

global rainbow Global Rainbow looks like it might be worth seeing. A laser light installation that simulates a giant rainbow, projected from Spadina on the CN Tower. From the description, this might be hard to miss. The description says this can be seen from all areas, so this installation might be inescapable (recommended viewing area is at Spadina, south of Dundas).

walk among worlds Look at Walk Among Worlds. Look at it! This looks like DC Comics’ Multiverse come to life. I don’t know what else to say about it. A walk through a room filled with globes. Could be really stunning to walk through.

AMAZE has just an artists rendering in the program. But if it is half as cool as the concept (an immersive multi-sensory labyrinth), then it will definitely be worth looking at. Shy Lights also catches my eye as potentially awesome. An installation of lights that try to avoid you? Could be fun. Holoscenes could also be visually stunning. The Fortune Teller Machine – Zardoz has the promise of taking something away with you: a fortune and a “gift”. Some of my favourite installations over the years have had something that you take away with you. Like “All Night Convenience” two years ago, which let attendees take a product-lantern with them.

big top

Big Top Grand Stand. A big top tent, constructed of various structures, a garish and striking circus tent, without function. A converted concession stand, made into  something new.

Dress Rehearsal has been posted all over. Its picture is found on the Nuit Blanche home page. It is found in most articles about the event. Three light boxes containing performers going through various motions, as well as projected images. The visuals are sure to be striking.

There are many more installations listed in the program, which is currently only available in digital form on the snbTO website. Which ones are you looking forward to?

A caveat: These picks are based on the descriptions in the Nuit Blanche program. There is no way of knowing, until the night itself which installations will live up to their promise. The only way to enjoy Nuit Blanche is to go with an open mind. Go with the flow, listen for what’s cool. See as much as you can. Don’t expect to have your mind blown; expect to be entertained, and you might end up having your mind blown.

Nuit Blanche 2013 picks

Tonight is Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, the annual art thing, and its become a thing for me to post my picks before the event. These are the things I’m most looking forward to seeing.

First, I have a couple of concerns. One of which is the weather. Thought tonight might be the warmest Nuit Blanche I remember, it might also be the wettest. Hopefully the rain holds off.

Another concern is how concentrated everything is. All of the main zones this year are concentrated in the downtown core, between University and Jarvis. While this makes getting around on foot much easier, it does mean that the crowds will be more concentrated as well. We shall see how the night goes in that respect.

Now, on to my picks:

First has to be Forever Bicycles by Ai Weiwei. This is one of the hyped installations this year, but the hype is probably justified. Over three thousand interconnected bicycles forming a structure sounds like something to see.

Crash Cars sounds interesting, but its one of those installations that could be either really amazing or kinda lame. It all depends on the execution.

Garden Tower in Toronto looks to be one of those visually stunning pieces. One of the reasons Nuit Blanche is so great is that you often get to experience things that are out of the ordinary. Something that really makes admire the ingenuity and creativity of a piece. This looks like one of those to me.

A living room in an Alley? That’s what Take a Load Off sounds like. Could be a real comfy place to settle in for a bit.

In another zone, Howl looks like it might be worth seeing. In the same zone, Campfire also looks promising.

For me though, all of Parade seems most promising. There looks to be some real ingenuity in this stationary parade, where the floats don’t move but the spectators do. Installations like (X)Static Clown Factory, and PARALLAX stand out, but frankly all of the “floats” in parade likely have something to offer.

What are you looking forward to seeing?