Area: south of Richmond Street, between Yonge and John.
So, first things first: The “Anthropocene” is defined by Wikipedia as “an informal geologic chronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems.” Ivan Jurakic and Crystal Mowry, the curators of Nuit Blanche 2013’s Romancing the Anthropocene zone, have chosen projects that highlight our complicated, sometimes beautiful, sometimes horrifying relationship with the environment surrounding the city.
Burrman — Simon Frank
The idea of a man ceremonially covering himself head-to-toe in burrs actually dates back to 1687 Scotland, though it’s seldom done today. Lucky us, Hamilton-based Scottish artist Simon Frank is going to revive the custom for one night only. It sounds like an interesting take on antiquated meanings and traditions, but it also looks super creepy.
Highlights: High WTF factor.
Warning: High WTF factor.
Free Land — Maggie Groat
An experiment in “liberating stolen land,” Groat will be digging up and giving away bits of Simcoe Park, then filling the resulting hole with legally purchased soil.
Highlights: It could be a strong reminder of Canada’s uncomfortable history of oppressive colonialism.
Warning: It could also just be a lady digging a hole.
Mariner 9 — Kelly Richardson
Attention all wannabe astronauts: Mariner 9 will project a life-sized, detailed panorama of the landscape on Mars (drawn from details and data from NASA) to give visitors a keen sense of deep-space wanderlust. On the downside, though, this Mars landscape is from hundreds of years in the future, when humans have finished their exploring and left their waste behind.
Highlights: It could be the only chance for many of us to see Mars.
Warning: The trash left behind by fellow Nuit Blanche-goers could seem extra depressing after seeing this.
Night Shift — Brendan Fernandes
Inspired a by 12-hour ballet whose performers included King Louis XIV of France, dancers will perform all night and create gold confetti for the finale as they prepare for the sun’s arrival.
Highlights: Watching dancers make it through the night.
Warning: The grand finale will be performed at dawn.
Howl — Robert Hengeveld
A wild animal’s hunt for its prey may seem like a beautiful but violent dance. But Toronto artist Robert Hengeveld’s version of the chase is much less graceful: picture a coyote chasing a rabbit on a rickety roller coaster, accompanied by an operatic soundtrack, repeating over and over for 12 hours. This chase will be less National Geographic and more Bugs Bunny.
Highlights: This will probably be pretty entertaining and watchable, without being too time-consuming.
Warning: Like some roller coasters, it could be a bit of a letdown.
Smoke House — The Everything Company (Jason Gowans, Simon Benedict, Michael Love)
You might bicycle to go to the grocery store, but have you ever pedalled to produce your food? This installation consists of a bike-powered cedar-smoking hut that will produce smoked salmon.
Highlights: Producing a culinary treat you might sample if you arrive at the right time.
Warning: You may smell like smoked fish for the rest of the evening.
Plan your Nuit Blanche with the help of our guides…