Nuit Blanche 2011 Toronto

Five buzz-worthy 2011 Nuit Blanche exhibits

The 2011 Nuit Blanche program was released earlier this week, and as is the case every year, a few exhibits are bound to create an extra bit of buzz prior to the all-night art event. Whether it be on account of how bizarre or visually intriguing they promise to be, part of the yearly ritual of Nuit Blanche is evaluating whether or not one's top picks live up to expectations. So, after a perusal of the offerings, here's what has me most intrigued (and bound, in some cases, to be frustrated).

1. Flightpath (pictured above)
The work of Usman Haque and Natalie Jeremijenko, as the title suggests, this interactive exhibit promises participants the experience of flying over Nathan Phillips Square. What exactly this means is, however, not abundantly clear from the program guide. We know that there will be "fly-lines" set up, and that there's limited capacity (i.e. get ready for unbearable lineups), but just how high one will be suspended and how many people will get to experience the exhibit remains a mystery.

2. L'écho-l'eau

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2011

For he goes birling down a-down white water / That's where the log driver learns to step lightly / It's birling down, a-down white water / A log driver's waltz pleases girls completely. And that's about it: L'écho-l'eau is Richard Purdy's recreation of a traditional log run in the MaRS building.

3. Erratic

Nuit Blanche 2011 Toronto

Framed as a comment on the geological processes that shaped and continue to shape the Toronto region, artist Germaine Koh will roll a glacial boulder down Yonge Street to the waterfront using only "human power." Let's be honest, this one is make or break based on the size of the boulder — go big or go home.

4. The Heart Machine

Nuit Blanche 2011 Toronto

It wouldn't be Nuit Blanche if there weren't some pyrotechnics, and Christine Irving has got it covered in a major way. Composed of four arteries, this exhibit will shoot up 25 foot flames when touched by viewers. What does it mean? Who cares, there's fire!

5. Paparazzi bots

Nuit Blanche 2011

This one is sure to activate people's vanity. Ken Rinaldo's paparazzi bots, which are made up of "multiple microprocessors, cameras, sensors, code and robotic actuators on a custom-built rolling platform," choose select viewers to photograph, thereby exalting them to "celebrity" status. Others are ignored. Tip: make sure you smile; the bots like that.

Bonus: The Tie-break

Toronto Nuit Blanche

A re-creation of the fourth set tie-break from the 1980 Wimbledon Men's Finals between Björn Borg and John McEnroe, the quality of this performative exhibit will rest upon artists Tibi Tibi Neuspiel and Geoffrey Pugen tennis skills. Even if it doesn't work out, the exhibition photo is pure gold.


For the full program, check out the Nuit Blanche website.

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