Description 61 - Nuit Blanche in the Crystal

For the third edition of the annual all-night art festival, I finally go into that iceberg that crashed into that nice old building to check out dozens of ID cards, British soldiers curling and people wildly applauding me in a stairwell.

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Associated links
Nuit Blanche Toronto
Royal Ontario Museum
Sobey Art Award

The Shortlist:
Raphaƫlle de Groot (the masks)
Tim Lee via Lisson Gallery (the Goldberg Variations)
Terence Koh (the sphere)
Mario Doucette (the curling soldiers)
Daniel Barrow (the projections I read from)

Luba @myspace and the whole song
The Tap @myspace

And hey! Remember to help me celebrate my 10-year anniversary of my Canadian citizenship by calling the Description 62 comment line: 206-376-1528 Long-distance charges apply, and you have until Description 62 is posted in December.

Btw, as I write this, the Michael-Lee Chin Crystal at the ROM is no longer the new architectural bauble in town. All attention is now on the renovated Art Gallery of Ontario, redone by former homeboy Frank Gehry. After a week of press-exclusive ooo'ing and ahh'ing, it's now having a free grand opening weekend. As amazing as it looks, I'm going to avoid the rush and wait a little while - after all, buildings like this should be around forever, no? :-) When I do get down there, the iRiver will be coming along, of course.

I'll be honest - Nuit Blanche was kind of underwhelming for me this year. There were a couple really great things, including this stuff at the ROM, but otherwise, meh. It's very possible one problem (which other critics expressed) was that many exhibit sites were just too far apart. Whatever energy you were given at one site would be depleted by the time you got to something else. That could've just been in my zone (there are three) - one of these years, I really should get out of it and head down to West Queen West. Anyway, I still think it was worthwhile, and since the organizers tweak things each year, I suspect they'll tighten up the map for next time.

One project that made the distance problem bearable won the People's Choice Award for this year. The folks from Project Blinkenlights in Germany had an installation called "Stereocope," where they took over the lights of City Hall for an amazing lightshow that included everything from Pong to Rickrolling. But I didn't make it down there, so how do I know? I got to see a live simulation on an iPhone (Touch) app! Showing it off to Gilby at The Tap, he simply had to have it - so I told him to get it from the App Store on his iPhone, which he did, and after much gushing and playing, he showed me how to swoop around Nathan Philips Square with two fingers on the screen. w00t! Another thing that makes Project Blinkenlights so cool is the open source nature of the design and participation, so if you're geekier than me (and you are), go dig through their website and find what fun can be had.

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