Nuit Blanche 2014 Guide: Renegade Art
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Nuit Blanche 2014 Guide: Renegade Art

This year's Nuit Blanche promises a whole lot of semi-secret, off-program art and events.


This year, Nuit Blanche will be officially hosting 120 art projects produced by nearly 400 Torontonian, Canadian, and international artists—but the number of unofficial, semi-secret works from renegade artists, performers, and venues seeking to take advantage of an all-night, art-loving crowd pushes those numbers even higher. Here are 10 of the off-program works that have us particularly excited.

An Imaginary Dragon — Cyril Williams
Baldwin, west of Spadina, Kensington Market

For the second time, Williams be coordinating a participatory, large-scale dragon build. The creature will be constructed out of old camping chairs, industrial material, and tents donated by MEC and Terafix Geo. So drop by Baldwin Street, west of Spadina, and help make this mythological creature a reality.

Highlights: Giant. Dragon.
Warning: Not for those put off by participatory building projects or large-scale dragons.

(Stephanie Avery)

The Composition Engine — Maggie Helwig and Peter Drobac
Church of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields (365 College Street)

A multi-voice, audience-controlled soundscape in a historic 19th-century church. Readers and singers will be turned on and off by audience-controlled switches, creating a constantly shifting and unpredictable tapestry of sound.

Highlights: Unpredictable tapestries of sound can be quite enthralling.
Warning: Unpredictable tapestries of sound can be quite disconcerting.

(Stephanie Avery)

Free City — The White House Studio Project featuring Nathaniel Addison and Miles Forrester
The White House Studio Project (277 1/2 Augusta Avenue)

Free City is made up of looping audio and video information, and explores notions related to adaptive reuse. It represents “an optimistic attempt to exercise control over our future in a post-copyright, post-Google era offering unprecedented access to intellectual property.”

Highlights: Insight into possibilities for a post-copyright, post-Google era.
Warning: Reminders that we remain very much in a Google era.

(Stephanie Avery)

Genesis 1:3: Let There Be Light — Parallax and Interference Guild
Trinity College Chapel (6 Hoskin Avenue)

Students of the University of Toronto’s holography course collaborate with professional holographers to bring Genesis 1:3 to life through the manipulation of light, bringing together art and science, and melding theology with contemporary art.

Highlights: HOLOGRAMS.
Warning: There is no downside to holograms.

(Stephanie Avery)

Gurendaizā and the Grand Gongs — Guerilla Printing/Pantayo
Guerilla Printing (413 Spadina Avenue)

Prepare to witness the resurrection (on canvas) of the super robot Gurendaizā! Vince Sunico will be bringing the robot back to life to the accompaniment of gong ensemble, Pantayo.

Highlights: A giant robot will be resurrected.
Warning: A giant robot will be resurrected.

(Stephanie Avery)

Nuit Blanche Crochet-a-Thon — Women’s Arts Network
WANT Gallery (707 Dundas West, at the far east end of Scadding Court, and in the west side parking lot)

The Women’s Arts Network of Toronto and Street Knit will be trying to break the Guinness World Record for Most People Crocheting. (The number to beat is 426.) There’ll be music and art to enjoy—all while you raise awareness of homelessness by crocheting your own six-inch-square that will later be donated to Street Knit.

Highlights: You could help make history for a good cause.
Warning: You might discover you much prefer knitting.

(Stephanie Avery)

The Nuit Blanche Renegade Parade: SUPER SHINY DISCO CAT ATTACK — The Nuit Blanche Renegade Parade
Starting point TBA

The starting location has not yet been announced, but if you’re interested in shiny disco, or disco cats, or super shiny disco cats that attack, you should keep your eyes open for updates about the Nuit Blanche Renegade Parade. It promises “more glitter, more whiskers, and more magic than ever before as we blast block rocking beats, hunt for birds and mice plus maybe lick ourselves for a while” and will feature DJs including Flyboy, JD Mack, Perpetual Motion, Rolls Royce, Used, and Xphox.

Highlights: Disco cats can be uplifting.
Warning: People might be licking themselves.

(Stephanie Avery)

The Possibility of Everything — WLLNTTZ
LEIGH & HARLOW Fashion Boutique (634 West Queen West), 7 p.m. – mindnight

If you want to lock up your love, head down to the LEIGH & HARLOW Fashion Boutique and pick up and decorate a padlock sticker, which will then be affixed to a bridge constructed of string.

Highlights: You get a sticker. What else could you want?
Warning: Do not put actual padlocks on string bridges.

(Stephanie Avery)

Salt Spilled — Mazi Ghaderi
70 Baldwin Street, between Beverley and Spadina

Salt Spilled is a video installation that endeavours to build bridges between communities. Looping video reveals the private lives of a group of Middle Eastern friends, and explores personal experiences of immigration.

Highlights: Insights into the lives of different communities.
Warning: We cannot seem to rustle up a downside.

(Stephanie Avery)

TRIANGLE: Ascension into Another Golden Age — Mighty Brave Productions/Dufferson Herman Arts/Haus of Dada
The Black Cat (2186 Dundas West; Belljar Cafe, 2072 Dundas West; and Haus of Dada)

A “projection/performance/sound/wind/sculpture experience” that will span three locations and that promises to transform the mundane into the fantastical by causing space and time to “exist in one moment.”

Highlights: Projection+performance+sound+wind
Warning: We do not know what will happen if space and time end up existing in one moment.

(Stephanie Avery)

Plan your Nuit Blanche with the help of our guides…


  possibility of everything

  before day break  

  night circus  

  performance anxiety  

  nuit blanche independent arrow  

  Photo by Neal Jennings via Flickr