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There are over 150 art installations and exhibits that will be open to the public and FREE to experience at this year’s ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche. It’s the 7th year running of the Toronto Event and it’s a lot of fun! 
Nuit Blanche is an internationally recognized art event that started in Paris, France in 2002. The purpose continues to bring contemporary art to the public in open spaces making art more accessible to the masses over the course of one sleepless night. Today, more than 25 cities around the globe participate in this one night experience. 
Every year I take my older son to check out some of the very cool art installations and last year, we even participated in one! 
Here are some spots I’m hoping to check out this Saturday night…

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SKYLUM, 2012 by Andrew Kearney – London, UK located at the CBC Building, 250 Front Street West in the Barbara Frum Atrium (indoors). Using human movement and electrical light,  the inflated SKYLUM responds through interactive illumination created by the proximity and behaviour of people around the work. It will combine the human interaction and theatrics to explore the transformation of ordinary into the extraordinary.

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WATER WILL BE HERE, 2010 – Eric Corriel – Brooklyn, USA. Video Installation. Commerce Court West, 25 King Street West (indoors and outdoors). We are all aware of the issues of climate change yet unless we’ve experienced it ourselves, it’s still remains an abstract issue that seems far away. Most of us don’t envision the impact of reality. This installation offers an experience of what it would see and feel like. What happens if sea levels rose to levels that our cities would be underwater? Great for discussion! The image shown here is from the FLUX Festival 2011, in Atlanta, Georgia – gives you some idea.

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TOWER OF PROGRESS, 2004, 2012 - Laurent Gagnon – Quebec City, Canada. Sculpture. Located at Scotia Plaza, 40 King Street West (outdoors). This sculpture is a 16 foot tall obelisk composed of discarded metal parts. Interior lighting is used to illuminate the form. Gagnon’s Tower of Progress is an ongoing project and is a symbol of society’s successes and failures come to play with technology. Time is fundamental to the work  as it chronicles the origins of each part – reminding us of how quickly technology becomes obsolete. Is it progress? 

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FUN HOUSE, 2012 – Thom Sokoloski, Toronto. Interactive Installation located at Bay & Adelaide (outdoors). Inspired by the classic carnival favourite, the public is invited to take a car ride and journey through the fun house and experience light, sound and images that will sometimes surprise you! Journey through the spaces that inspire feelings of the unknown yet familiar. The public will be able to interact also with their mobile devices by scanning QR codes to enhance the experience. 


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ALL NIGHT CONVENIENCE, 2012 - Rhonda Wepper – San Francisco and Trevor Mahovsky – Vancouver. Installation located at the Bay Adelaide Centre, 333 Bay Street (outdoors). A life-scale sculpture in the form of a 300 square foot lantern invites people in. Two thousand smaller lanterns meticulously created by the artists are displayed inside to what appears to be similar to a corner store. The lanterns represent products you would find in a convenience store from toothpaste to canned goods. During the course of the night the store will gradually darken as visitors enter the see-through building and are offered to carry off a lantern into the night. The artists intent is to trace the process from the efforts that bring them in and out of existence. A sentimental letting go.

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MUSEUM OF RAPTURE, 2012 – Douglas Coupland – Vancouver, Canada. Signage and Tableaux vivants located at Toronto City Hall underground parking garage (indoors). Visitors to this exhibition will pass through a maze of signage and living tableaux that use the religious notion of The Rapture as an starting point of exploring the separation of mind and body. Coupland believes that technology has changed us so thoroughly that most of what we do in our daily lives would be impossible to even explain to people 50 years in the past. “Toronto’s creepy, compressed city hall parking lot merely highlights the notion of the individual being part of a system that’s larger than themselves and that has been in motion for decades,” says Coupland. (note: parental guidance in advisory from the organizers)

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TALK 2 STRANGERS, 2012 – TIMEANDDESIRE – Denise St. Marie and TImothy Walker, Toronto, Canada. Social Experimental Installation located at Yonge Dundas Square. This asks participants to cultivate their sense of self, independent and come together in the name of community. The goal is to assist people on a psychological level, guiding and facilitating people towards spontaneous conversations with strangers. This will integrate large scale signage of how to steps and creating a forum for casual to philosophical conversations. It’s an interesting step away from how social media has taken over the way we communicate and network – taking us back to a more random face-to-face interaction and putting the social back in to society. 

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SMELLS LIKE SPIRIT, 2012, Hadley+Maxwell – Berlin, Germany. Sound and light installation located at the Elgin Theatre Loading Dock, 160 Victoria Street. The “roadies” will load in Nirvana for a final concert. This installation features instruments, equipment, and lighting as the actors are staged at the theatre loading dock. The choreographed equipment moving is in the “spirit” of Kurt Cobain. 
There are TONS of entertaining and always thought-provoking installations to see. Nuit Blanche in Toronto spans across 3 different zones as well as City Hall. Best to check out the website ahead of time and map out your evening. Enjoy the creativity with your family or on your own. It’s a beautiful gift to the city and quite magical to be out at night with so many art revellers out.
I’ve also been invited to participate with ThumbleAPP on a photographic amazing race type of activity during Nuit Blanche. Looks like a lot of fun and I’m curious!  I’ll see if I can catch up to them as I’ll also be checking out the Art of Fashion Event and the Three to Be Gala the same night. I’ll be tweeting all night ! 
Wear your walking shoes and bring your travel mug of coffee or hot cocoa and I’ll see you out on the streets! 
Visit the official website for more information at www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca
There will also be information tents set up at the various zones where you can pick up the official guide and map. TTC will be running on a special hours that evening – so leave your car at home! 

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