Entitled DRIFT, curator Shauna McCabe has filled Zone A with 10 commissioned, five open call, and 25 independent projects that examine how the city can straddle a concrete, urban world and also one that’s more poetic, mystical, and historic. Expect pieces that will blend contemporary concepts of the city with more imaginative explorations. Here are ones we don’t think you should miss.
Fun House — Thom Sokoloski
Following up on his work with The Encampment during Luminato, Thom Sokoloski offers a car ride which travels through a series of carnival environments.
Highlights: A car resembling a fun house, using your mobile device to shape the ride experience.
Warning: Outdoor installation, potential for large crowds, sponsored by car company.
Water Will Be Here — Eric Corriel
Brooklyn artist Eric Corriel uses video and light to recreate what it would feel like if the world’s climate issues led to massive flooding, and suddenly Toronto’s downtown core were underwater.
Highlights: Cool visuals, photo opp, no lineups.
Warning: Potential for a letdown if it’s not really realistic.
Green Invaders — Yves Caizergues
French artist Yves Caizergues will recreate the classic arcade game Space Invaders with a massive light projection on the side of the Sun Life Financial Tower, taking us back to a time when video games were in their infancy and a bit of imagination was still necessary to make the most of them.
Highlights: See Gen-Xers dating themselves to tears; good photo ops; convenient location.
Warning: Outdoor installation; crowds almost guaranteed; actual alien invasion could slip by unnoticed.
Dollar General Drive By — Tim Davis
A video installation featuring one photographer’s chronicle of slowly driving by Dollar General stores in western New York (they’re everywhere!).
Highlights: Capturing a sense of the communities Dollar General and its follower discounters serve.
Warning: Outdoor installation, potential for People of Walmart–style imagery.
+city — Faisal Anwar, Siobhan O’Flynn
It’s improv meets the digital world meets contemporary art. Second City performers will get cues from the Twitter hashtags #pluscityTO and #snbTO—which could contain anything from snippets of artistic discussion about the projects to complaints about the suburban kids frolicking in the streets—and create scenes out of them featuring special guests through the night.
Highlights: Excellent performers, out-of-context tweets should be gold.
Warning: Might be too entertaining and you could risk missing all of the other installations.
Throw-Up — Shelley Miller
Using her signature material of edible icing, Montreal artist Shelley Miller will turn the walls of Metro Hall into a kind of urban wedding cake, commenting on our culture of excess, consumption, waste, and slavery.
Highlights: Graffiti art meets Ace of Cakes, small potential for leftover icing snacks, easy in-and-out location.
Warning: Avoid licking the project lest your tongue becomes frozen, potential for large crowds.
SKYLUM — Andrew Kearney
Imagine a giant, inflatable hub that changes based on the movement of people around the artwork. Skylum is this floating object of shifting illumination, and it explores how theatrics and human interaction can be brought together to change public space into something new.
Highlights: Can be viewed from various points, literally creating a new experience as the installation is based on movement.
Warning: Indoors, so potential for large crowds; slightly away from the main core of Nuit Blanche activities.
Strange Love/Strange Lives — TIFF, Aliza Ma, Shane Smith, Fern Lindzon, William O’Meara, Laura Silberberg, Andrei Streliaev
A selection of classic silent films accompanied by a live pianist. The bill begins with Keystone comedies and then veers toward the grotesqueries of Lon Chaney.
Highlights: Watching silent movies on the big screen, a great place to rest your weary feet while being entertained.
Warning: Century-old humour, snoring from tired patrons.
Cent une tueries de zombies — TIFF, Michael Lane, Colin Geddes
This Eisensteinian montage of 101 death scenes from various zombie films connected by shot composition should bring a smile to the face of anyone who ever almost fell asleep in an undergraduate film class, while utterly repulsing many, many other people.
Highlights: Zombie deaths; indoor installation, possibly with comfortable seating; zombie deaths.
Warning: Strong violence; 18+ only.
She’s Come Undone — The Knit Cafe, Kristin Ledgett, Iwona Gontarska
This exhibit starts the night with one very large yarn Matryoshka doll (Russian nesting doll) and uses the strike of each hour to pull one layer of yarn away and reveal the doll beneath the doll (the excess yarn will be added to the display).
Highlights: Indoors, should be easy to access, you can possibly use the diminishing doll as a metaphor for how your own body is holding up as the night wears on.
Warning: If you want to see what the end result is, you’ll have to come back at 5 a.m. when the last string is pulled.
Search — Marisa Hoicka and Johnny Forever
We’ve all done it: used Google to answer any questions we might have. But how deep have you gone? These performance artists are using the search engine to ask soul-digging questions like “What am I doing with my life?” The results are then projected onto gallery walls.
Highlights: This performance has the potential to be simultaneously hilarious and ultra-depressing.
Warning: Performances start at 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. so plan accordingly
Nests — Bloordale BIA, Shannon Partridge
Inspired by the urban ecosystem, artist Shannon Partridge will hang 50 lit structures in the shapes of various insects’ nests from trees, in an effort to boost awareness of the different animals that reside in the city.
Highlights: Allows for self-discovery; crowds are likely to be minimal; easy entrance and exit.
Warning: Hunting for nests might not be how you want to spend your 4 a.m.
Focus: Yonge Street west to John, from King south to Front.
Focus: Victoria west to University, from Dundas south to King
Focus: Jarvis west to Yonge, from Shuter Street south to Front.