Nuit Blanche 2013 Guide: Renegade Art
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Nuit Blanche 2013 Guide: Renegade Art

Nuit Blanche 2013 will include plenty of semi-secret, off-program art and events.


Once a year, Nuit Blanche brings a massive number of people to Toronto’s downtown core to enjoy a night of amazing art. This audience comes to experience, interact with, and become an integral part of a city transformed. Every year there are people who choose to take advantage of this fantastic crowd by bringing their own art to the night, despite the fact that their work isn’t an official part of Nuit Blanche.

For the past six years, I have taken it upon myself to find these renegade artists, performers, and venues and put them into a guide to the unofficial projects of Nuit Blanche: Les Rues des Refusés. Fully in the spirit of Nuit Blanche, the guide aims to further enhance the night by pointing people in the direction of projects that might otherwise only be discovered by happenstance.

This year there are nearly 50 entries in the guide. Check out the entire list of projects here, view a map of all the projects here and download your very own printable guide here.

Here are ten projects to whet your whistle.

Alice in Wonderland – Mad Tea-Party by Lewis Carroll — StoryMobs
In or around Nathan Phillips Square (specific location TBA)

Flash mob meets Alice in Wonderland. Dress up in costumes, bring a fancy teacup, and participate in a performance of Lewis Carroll’s zany tea party. Visit the StoryMobs website to find out the specific location and sign up for reader parts.

Highlights: Tea party!
Warning: It’s a very short event. The performance will only last half an hour, so you’d better not miss it.

AvantGarden Presents: bpNichol’s Martyrology — AvantGarden
Church of Saint Stephen-In-The-Fields (103 Bellevue Avenue)

A twelve-hour reading of bpNichol’s postmodern poem The Martyrology, with some dips into Journeying & Returns, Scrapture, and The Captain Poetry Poems along the way. Audience participation will be encouraged (but not required) at various points. Refreshments will be provided. The event goes from 5:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Highlights: We’re not sure what audience participation in a 12-hour poetry reading involves, but we really want to find out.
Warning: The Martyrology is as much a meditation as a poem, so this might not be the best event for keeping your energy levels up.

Various locations

WLLNTTZ is making a treasure hunt! There will be 52 pieces of art hidden around the city for you to find and keep. Each piece is a hand-crafted, one of a kind artwork made from found or reclaimed components. Throughout the night, pictures and hints about the hiding spots will be posted on WLLNTTZ’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Highlights: You get a fun adventure and a souvenir.
Warning: You need the technology to check in on social medias.

Johnnyland Submerged — Johnnyland & Market 707
Bathurst and Dundas streets, southeast corner

There is so much happening at Johnnyland Submerged it’s impossible to include it all here. The drained Scadding Court Community Center pool will be filled with sculptures, art installations, and a musical stage. The event will also have a second musical stage, over 20 musical acts, fire spinners, live mural painting, an art sale, interpretive dancing, and loads of delicious food.

Highlights: A big outdoor pool, drained and turned into a massive art project.
Warning: You may not want to see what else is happening at Nuit Blanche.

Morpheous’ Bondage Extravaganza — Over 100 artists from around the world
The Great Hall (1087 Queen West)

Toronto’s underground alternative-sexuality community opens its doors to showcase a free demonstration of live erotic art. For its seventh year running, MBE is presenting the beauty and artistry of rope bondage. Over 100 performers from a dozen countries around the world will titillate you with their use of rope and flesh. It’s a grown-ups-only spectacle for those interested in appreciating rope art on the human form.

Highlights: It’s an open invitation into a subculture that’s far from mainstream.
Warning: Not for the wee ones.

Nuit Blanche Renegade Parade 2013: KIGURUMI STAMPEDE — The Rothko Institute and Nuit Blanche Animal Control
Roaming, starts at the ROM (100 Queens Park)

The Nuit Blanche Renegade Parade is back to take over the night with a massive mobile sound system and hundreds of animal-suit-clad revelers. The Parade is a participatory procession of people, music, and art that anyone can join in on. It’s pretty much a rave that will weave its way through the downtown core. This year, the parade theme is STAMPEDE, and people are encouraged to come dressed in animal costumes. Follow @NBRPToronto on Twitter for location updates.

Highlights: What better way to plow through the crowds and get to the art installations than in a massive parade?
Warning: Inevitable inebriated teens, and your time spent at installations would be limited to when the parade arrives and departs (not that they’d be difficult to find again if you were to dally).

Nuit Jaune — [yellow tail]
The parking lot at Queen Street West and Soho Street (next to 298 Queen Street West)

The [yellow tail] wine company is creating a spectacle that will have you enthralled and maybe a little tipsy. It will be a unique wine tasting experience with interactive displays and live performances that include aerialists pouring wine from above and an illusionist who will turn water into wine.

Highlights: Free wine.
Warning: You might get labelled as one of the drunks who sully the night for everyone else.

Tetris Nuit Blanche Deveraux — Idea Ghetto
Dundas Street East and Seaton Street, southeast corner

Idea Ghetto is inviting everyone to play Tetris! Not the run of the mill 8-bit Tetris video game we’re all familiar with, oh no. Their installation will allow visitors to play Tetris live with big, 3D blocks.

Highlights: Real-life Tetris!
Warning: Only goes until 2 a.m. (I guess they want to enjoy the rest of Nuit Blanche, too).

The Composition Engine — Maggie Helwig and Peter Drobac
Trinity College Chapel (6 Hoskin Avenue)

From sunset until sunrise, the chapel will be the site of a “composition engine”: teams of singers, musicians, and readers will be stationed around the space, to be started, stopped, and restarted by members of the public using on/off switches. The audience’s choices will create a randomized tapestry of harmonious sound, shifting continuously over the course of the night, just as patterns of light shift around the chapel’s austere stone surfaces.

Highlights: Audience-controlled music.
Warning: Audience-controlled music.

The Northern Beaver Gallery — Rebecca Houston
Outside the Edward Day Gallery (952 Queen Street West)

You may recognize the name “Northern Beaver” from the entrance of every grocery store and shopping mall. They’re the providers of the little vending machines that have children begging for candy or cheap toys. The Northern Beaver Gallery consists of three such vending machines, each making up a miniature art gallery filled with small, original art pieces. Stock up on your toonies, because all the creations will be available for $2.

Highlights: The childlike thrill of getting a trinket out of a vending machine, only it’s something of actual value.
Warning: $2 doesn’t seem like much money, but it will add up quickly as you expand your art collection.

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