Post by Megan Smith, Artengine’s Critical Resident Blogger and co-curator of Nuit Blanche Ottawa. Initally posted on Artengine’s blog. To read our conversation with Megan Smith and Ryan Stec (Artengine’s Artistic Director), or for more information about the Critical Residency, click here.
On Saturday September 22nd, Ottawa will host its first Nuit Blanche, an all night event which sees artists take to the streets to animate them in new ways and to temporarily alter the pedestrian path into a new culturescape. Here are a few projects that are of particular interest to me for their sophisticated uses of digital or electrical technology in the making of art, and their critical yet playful approaches to engaging with their audiences. These artists or collectives are individually using new and established technologies to encourage the audience to re-interpret their location and their actions. Some ask the audience to consider the influence that social media has on identity, and others return to basic electronics in order to place power back in the hands of the audience. All of these projects are about activating the body, engaging with an audience and empowering ones sense of identity. Most importantly they demonstrate how the social space formed in reaction to their work is both playful and beautiful, even if it is but for one fleeting night.
With only hours remaining before the event I know how hard these artists are working, problem solving and strengthening their work and I am very proud to have included them in the program and to point them out to the Artengine and Apartment613 communities.
Once the event is over I will feedback here my thoughts on these pieces and how the city received and engaged with them. Please see the Nuit Blanche website for the full list of projects happening on the 22nd. It is showcasing a phenomenal line-up of local, national and international creativity in Ottawa for one night only.
BLINK COLLECTIVE (Ottawa)
BYWARD ZONE – BLINK GALLERY, HEADER HOUSE, MAJOR’S HILL PARK
BRITTA EVANS FENTON (Ottawa)
BYWARD ZONE – M10 ARTSCOURT, 2 DALY AVE, OTTAWA
CAMERON MCKNIGHT-MACNEIL (Ottawa)
BYWARD ZONE – OTTAWA SCHOOL OF ART, 35 GEORGE STREET, OTTAWA
KATRIEN VAN LIEFFERINGE (Leeds, UK)
BYWARD ZONE – BYWARD MARKET SQUARE & YORK
LUMINARTISTS – Anthony Scavarelli and Henri Kuschkowitz (Ottawa)
‘Singin’ in the Rain’
BYWARD ZONE – OTTAWA SCHOOL OF ART, 35 GEORGE STREET
BYWARD ZONE – CLUB SAW AT GALERIE SAW GALLERY, 67 NICHOLAS STREET
Andrew O’Malley (Ottawa)
‘Thank God for the Weather’
HINTONBURG ZONE – FRITZI GALLERY & GREAT CANADIAN THEATRE COMPANY, 1233 WELLINGTON STREET WEST
Nuit Blanche page http://nuitblancheottawa.ca/?ha_exhibit=andrew-omalley-hintonburg-zone-fritzi-gallery-1233-wellington-street-west
BEA LAMAR (Los Angeles)
‘U.F.O. United Fresh Optimism’
HINTONBURG ZONE – 1000 WELLINGTON WEST
GRETA GRIP (Ottawa)
‘ACTION! QR CODES!’
HINTONBURG ZONE – TWISS & WEBER, 177 ARMSTRONG STREET