Did you go to Nuit Blanche 2012 in Toronto in October? Laura and I did, and we took some photos that I’m just now able to get to after the trade show season. I spoke with lots of people on the street at Nuit Blanche this year, and everyone seemed to have a great time — the only thing that was a bit hard to manage was the influx of people that were present downtown for this event. There were some awesome exhibits and light installations — but anything interactive was pretty much mobbed with people and hard to really get a sense of the artists’ messages. Regardless, it was a lot of fun! Check out some photos below, and experience my entire trip with the photo gallery at the bottom!
There were some fun words at the top of this post that describe how f*cked up some of the Nuit Blanche-goers got, it’s worth a quick peek. It’s totally true — lack of organization, and a real lack of general community. Read the post.
As we walked by the Hudson’s Bay Company in Toronto we noticed this freaky storefront window scene that we had to stop and check out — and it was Lady Gaga’s perfume on display. That’s some pretty crazy perfume marketing, huh! I definitely liked the design enough to take photos…
Apparently this perfume makes you smell like a psycho mad scientist:
Oh, officially of course Lady Gaga had nothing to do with Nuit Blanche, but her display was part of MY Nuit Blanche, so that’s why it’s here!
Something that we saw but didn’t really get a chance to experience was Beam of Underground Sun by Arezoo Talebzadeh and Kaveh Ashourinia — ostensibly, they had taken some very bright LED sources and put them down under the street at several meters down. Arezoo and Kaveh also added some powerful fans and some silk cloth under the street to give the effect of waves of light being cast up through the grate they chose in the street. Check this one out, it is beautiful, especially with the photos of no people around it:
This, however, is what the real Nuit Blanche Beam of Underground Sun experience was, which was different than intended I assume but had its own jua de vive, if you will:
It was still beautiful, just mobbed with people standing directly in the way of the beam and the overall everything of the piece.
You can kind of see down into the shaft with the fan, the fabric, and the LED units:
It was pretty cool to be standing in an intersection of Bloor Street with no one trying to honk at me or run me down!
Probably one of the coolest things I saw this year at Nuit Blanche was the installation called Planes by Tricia Brown Dance Company — and it was awesome!
…and behind the walls you can see a little behind-the-scenes action! I almost didn’t want to see this — the movement of the dancers and the projections themselves were so riveting that seeing the how-to took away from it for me. Ah, the life of making mystery for the audience!
Check out the Gallery View below of the Nuit Blanche event in Toronto — and check out the official Scotiabank page on Nuit Blanche so you can see the intended (and actual) views of the art from this year’s show!
Fabrizio Corneli made a shadow and a reflection into a light statement of love. Meet AMA, which means love in italiano:
Is that not just awesome or what?! Shadow propagation and reflections all calculated so that they spell the word love. I think that’s the best use of light and shadow together I’ve seen lately.
Check out Fabrizio’s website, he’s got fun work there!
There is something about light emanating through a slit in a surface that just blows my mind. As suggestive as that comment is, I ensure you it is not meant for that kind of thought, even though I know about half of you out there immediately went there. What you’re seeing above is the genius of Chris Fraser, a light artist from San Francisco. His work is definitely pretty awesome — this particular case above is a “line drawing” of his from Oakland, CA. The one below is called Points, Lines, Planes from the Performance Art Institute:
Chris’ work is like a crazy slit spectroscope of whatever light source is in front of it — like in these below, he did them as on-site pieces of work, creating something magical at a given day and time, never repeatable again. You have to see more of Chris’ work:
Excellent, and beautiful. I have got to see some of this stuff up-close and personal.
This is my Chris Fraser-esque work for the day, a la 2007:
Some people call it Uranium Glass, insiders call it Vaseline Glass because its color and internal sheen resembles Vasoline as it was made around the 1930’s. The long and short of it is that it’s glass doped with Uranium, fluoresces under ultraviolet wavelengths, and it is absolutely beautiful. Check it out:
Vaseline Glass is some lovely, lovely stuff, isn’t it? Just to show its awesomeness, let’s look at a piece from the Depression era, lit with long wave UV:
Most evidences of this glass come from between the mid-to-late-1700’s to current manufacturing, and yeah, it’s literally made with uranium, the radioactive element that we all have heard of in some form or fashion. There are instances of this glass being located in a mosaic containing yellow glass with 1% uranium oxide found in a Roman villa, and the guy who discovered Uranium, Martin Klaproth, who was apparently also using the newly discovered element as a glass colorant.
That green color is eerie, yeah? or as the Canadians say, “eh?”
Two artists took that idea of Uranium-doped glass and turned it into a statement on the horrific Fukushima-Daiichi disaster. Meet Ken and Julia Yonetani‘s work, named Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nuclear Nations. They took metal wire, Uranium glass, and some UV lighting and created twenty-nine chandeliers representing the twenty-nine nations using nuclear power. Check it out:
From Ken and Julia’s website on the work:
In direct response to Japan’s 2011 horrific Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and the phenomenon of leaking radiation, Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nuclear Nations comprises an installation of chandeliers made from vintage Uranium glass beads alongside glowing text based works made from vintage Uranium glass tubing shaped into words such as – ‘radioactive’, ‘meltdown’ and ‘electric dreams’.
Chandeliers are not only an item of luxury, but also an extravagant emblem of the beauty of electricity and the seductiveness of consumerism.The artists have reconfigured them to emanate UV light instead of standard light, and decorated them with specially sourced Uranium glass in place of traditional crystals.
“You can’t see, smell or perceive radiation with your senses, but it becomes visible in our works when illuminated with ultraviolet lights,” says Julia Yonetani. “Presented in darkness, the glass chandeliers and tubes glow with an eerie bright green light indicating the presence of radiation. We hope to prompt viewers to react in their own way to this radioactive presence.”
Commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries for sugar bowls, cake stands and other decorative objects, Uranium glass contains very small traces of Uranium within the glass, is legal and poses no health risks.
Crystal Palace references London’s Great Exhibition of 1851, which was intended as a platform to celebrate both modern technology and to enhance Great Britain’s role as a leading industrial nation of the time.
“The chandeliers in Crystal Palace represent the USA, Japan, Germany, Finland, France and various other countries. For the complete body of work we will ultimately make a total of 29 chandeliers, which represent each of the countries that operate nuclear power stations today,” says Ken Yonetani.
“The size of each chandelier correlates to the scale of each country’s nuclear output, with the chandelier representing the USA being the largest at 1.6m in diameter and 2m high.”
“My family lives in Tokyo, quite close to where the disaster happened,” he adds. “At the time of the tsunami, Japan had 54 operating nuclear reactors, relying on them for 30% its total electric power. The Fukushima accident shows Japan’s complacency around nuclear power and radiation and also asks questions of Australians, because Australia is the number one exporter of Uranium to Japan.”
That’s a heck of a statement, and Crystal Palace is one heck of an exhibit. Ken and Julia’s work will be playing at the Artereal Gallery in Sydney, Australia from October 3 to November 4, 2012. Check it out if you’re there, this has to be awesome!
Ken and Julia Yonetani:
On a basic level, this video is well worth a watch because it shows how many of the more intricate light painting photographs are created. However, when you get in to what the program is doing and its applications — the video is BEYOND FASCINATING!
As Google Translate tells me, the program takes the light source, and traces its movements, colors, and intensity. It then processes the material, and adds the images collected together. The final result can either be recorded, or immediately outputted in real-time for live events. There was something about how the program can map the light paintings to objects, buildings, or stages, but Google Translate wasn’t exactly clear–if you speak German, I would love to know what you can find out about the program! Feel free to comment, or shoot me an email at daphne (at) jimonlight.com
Image created by JanLeonardo Wöllert.
Ivan Toth Depeña has made some pretty incredible displays in his career thus far. One beautiful and fun example would be the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places commission that Ivan did for the Miami0Dade Government Center. Check this out:
From Ivan’s Vimeo page on the installation:
MIAMI, FL – Ivan Toth Depeña’s light-based installation “Reflect” was permanently installed in the Stephen Clark Government Center Lobby in Miami on November 18, 2011. Commissioned by the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places initiative, the work illuminates the dynamism of the lobby space and encourages a sense of discovery in the visitors.
This dynamic art work is designed by the artist with the idea of welcoming visitors and employees to Government Center in a fun and interactive way,” said Michael Spring, Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs. “It will energize the lobby and symbolize the County’s commitment to be informative and responsive to our citizens.”
As a main stop in Miami’s MetroRail system, the space serves as a hub for commuters; incorporating the notion of daily circulation into his piece, Depeña uses sensors and light to focus on the communal nature and circulatory qualities of the lobby. The project engages the building’s visitors and references the idea of community through various means of reflection, group interactivity and high-tech playfulness.
For more information please visit: ivandepena.com
Commissioned by: Miami-Dade Art in Public Places:
Additional Project Support:
Lighting Consultant and Programming Support: Focus Lighting
With generous support by: Color Kinetics
Isn’t it amazing that this kind of art can be made in the same place that bands of neo-Nazis are patrolling the streets? Blows the mind.
Alright, now check THIS out!
That, my friends, is Yvette Mattern’s installation, Global Rainbow, that is on display in the night time sky until March 4 in the UK. Yvette took seven parallel laser beams, one of each color of our pal Roy (G. Biv of course), and blasted them across the sky. The images are stunning. You must see this exhibition, because it is freaking outstanding.
First, check out this quick video of the cathedral – this entire thing was for the 2012 Lichtfestival in Ghent, Belgium. The cathedral kinda stole the show, dontchathink?
That thing is UNBELIEVABLE!
it’s just… captivating. I don’t know what else to say about it. SHOULD HAVE… SENT A… A POET…
There is an unbelievable set of photos of the 2102 Lichtfestival on DJ.271’s Flickr album. I highly recommend checking that out!
HAHA, gotcha again, mophos! <punch punch>
If you’ve not seen this, it is pretty awesome – Destin of the YouTube channel Smarter Every Day and his beautiful wife (while she was pregnant, no doubt) made this great little video primer for light painting and the way camera sensors act. Check it out! The initial intent was pregnancy photos, can you believe that? What an awesome change of pregnancy photo pace! Thanks a lot to @AronAltmark on Twitter! You know, the Hebrew Hammer to all of us who know him “intimately.”
As I surfed around Smarter Every Day, I found this random video that Destin made of a Canon DSLR shutter in high speed. Yeah. Check this out:
Awesome! Thanks, PetaPixel!