Sunday, October 02, 2011

Nuit Blanche 2011 and the streets of Toronto

Nuit Blanche is gigantic! The all night art festival starts at 7pm on Saturday, October 1, 2011 and continues until the sun rises Sunday morning. Several streets including Bay Street, Queen Street and Yonge Street are closed to vehicle traffic and hold some of the art installations. The Heart Machine flames light up the night in the photos immediately below, while colourful lasers light up Nathan Phillips Square as part of Flightpath Toronto, 2011. Some of the best stuff was not official Nuit Blanche events but were instead the work of individuals or small groups to express creativity and their own brand of art.
The Heart Machine interactive fire sculpture appeared in Burning Man 2010.
The flames threw up some welcome heat.
Here is a short YouTube video of the flames during the early morning rain of Nuit Blanche 2011.

Besides the cold winds foretelling winters coming the other sign of Nuit Blanche is the crowds jamming the streets, alleys and buildings of downtown Toronto. The crowd seemed younger this year and the event more of an outdoor party, seemingly ready to go off in an orgy of drunken nonsense. Sounds of sirens constantly filled the night air even though there were more security personal than police on the streets.
Biking around was the best way to try to find the largest number of projects in the shortest amount of time. Crowds did not really start to thin until close to 4am. This was just before the rain started and impacted some of the art installations.
Soon, 2011 in Commerce Court Courtyard.
I packed it in at 20 to 6 in the morning and I only saw a small percentage of the program. I miss the areas where works that have previously been shown - like Liberty Village and there wasn't much in the Distillery District besides a small circus, which I missed, and the food trucks that circled an area like so many covered wagons.
A full Nathan Phillips Square, the sky was also full of flying people.

Crowds at Bay and Queen.

See more of the excitement after the jump.

The green man wanders along the street.

Giant Balloon Face on the side of a building....
and two ladies in sparkling, metal wigs.
Sharing transportation.

I missed just about everything in the Distillery District but I still liked the glowing orbs.
Food Trucks in the Historic Distillery District were part of Les Rues Des Refuses.

Cardiac Combustion Chamber, 2011 on Bay Street south of Queen St West.

Musicians on Queen Street.
Graffiti project underway.
Clowns from Mullet's Make-a-Play.
Several projects were at the Bell TIFF Lightbox.

Paparazzi Bots, 2009 at the Toronto Eaton Centre.

Egerton Falls at Ryerson University's Lake Devo.

Shannon's Fireflies, 2011 in Trinity Square Park, turned off due to rain.

Projecktor, 2006.
Covering up Projektor's projector because of the rain.
The Tie-Break, 2011 tennis game on King Street. A "performative re-enactment of the legendary fourth set tie-break from the 1980 Wimbleton Finals between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe."

Electric Signs along Queen's Park Crescent East. This one says "Tell it like it is!"

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