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night of the living hipsters


one of the reasons i choose to live in cities rather than the country is because of the easy access to art. being creastively inclined myself, i enjoy the feeling of proximity to other creative folk, even though i don't always understandwhat it is they're trying to do. so i was pretty excited (as both an art fan and a night owl) last night to partake in toronto's first nuit blanche, an all night celebration of contemporary art, with installations spread over three zones of the city.

as with the most things, the first time you try something is going to be a little awkward. i hadn't done a lot of planning beforehand and figured i would want to stop in at a couple of events, rather than spending an entire night looking at the art. in fact, there were so many events that i realised the second i got my hands on a program that seeing everything i wanted was going to be an impossible proposition. because i had been under the impression that i wouldn't be spending the night, my choice of attire was not entirely appropriate for the damp weather. my sweater had a hood to protect me when the rain became heavy-ish, but it did not take me long to determine that there is nothing attractive about a woman who smells like a wet sheep.

aside from my own sartorial choices, there were a few problems with enjoying the evening. the venues were incapable of holding the overflow crowds of downtown hipsters in skinny jeans and there were crowds well into the middle of the night. this is going to be an issue wherever you are, but it was particularly acute because the crowds really seemed to be lacking in manners. bringing a line of people to a dead halt so that you can take pictures or arrange to meet your friends via cell phone is not cool. responding to stoppages in said lines by pushing the person in front of you is likewise not cool. snack vendors had only pure junk- bags of cheetos and chocolate bars. given the nature of the event, it would have made more sense to recruit folks from local restaurants with healthy fare and... for the love of god... MORE OF THEM, especially more of them who serve coffee. ah well, it's toronto, there's always street meat (assuming that you wanted to stand in the line).

but it's really hard to take issue with the event overall. the art was not only engaging, but fun. there were even some crucial opportunities (particularly if, like me, you weren't smart enough to take a nap earlier) to rest, like watching a series of dada and surrealist-influenced films at the cinematheque ontario, or enjoying the shadow magic of finnbogi petursson's hypnotic light, water and sound piece sphere at the prefix institute of contemporary art (part of the 401 richmond gallery complex). there was so much to see and do that it was intimidating. in fact, i eventually had to admit defeat and started home at about three-thirty, having made it as far west as the tent ancampment (thom soloski's confinement of the intellect) at trinity bellwoods park.

i woke up this morning with sore feet and a sense of exhiliration. already, i'm thinking of the things i'll do better next year: i'll wear the most comfortable shoes i own, i'll take a nap, i'll check the weather, i'll have a plan to see everything that i want made up in advance... or maybe i'll just do exactly what i did this year and see what happens. if there's one thing that contemporary art teaches you, it's that there are no rules.

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: hot stuff, comin' through

i don't even know what to say about the weather. the end of september saw temperatures at a scalding 36c/ 97f outside. this is especially annoying because we've had a moderate summer. most days it rained a little in the morning, the temperatures didn't creep into the 30s too often and there wasn't the normal stretch of a few weeks when it felt like we were living on the sun. now, we've receded into more normal fall weather, although it's still on the warm side for mid-october. that climate change thing is a bitch.

trying to think of something positive in the situation, it does put me in a perfect frame of mind to write about urban decay's naked heat palette. it's the latest in what appears to be an endless series of warm neutral and red eyeshadow palettes that have followed in the footsteps of anastasia's modern renaissance. [which i ultimately decided i didn't need after doing a thorough search of my considerable stash.] i do think that it'…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…