From dusk on October 4, 2008 until the early pre-dawn hours, downtown Toronto was transformed into an exploration and celebration of contemporary art. In its third annual installment, “Nuit Blanche” captured the imagination and discovery of the public with over 150 exhibition and independent projects.
The energy and excitement is hard to convey. But more important than the vibe was the apparent dearth of commerce (other than an occasional cocktail or craft purchase for those who participate as collectors opposed to simply observers). No entrance fee, no t-shirts, no donation boxes… a truly refreshing experience, given the status quo.
Bringing us to the title sponsor: Scotiabank. Obviously the funding had to come from somewhere. And while I’m sure Mayor Miller earmarked a significant chunk of the budget to accommodate the sleepless night, it seems like banks are the obvious choice to fill any gaps.
What significance does Scotiabank have regarding art? Do they even care about art or is it just a corporate tax write-off? Don’t get me wrong… I’m not suggesting that there aren’t a handful of individuals at Scotiabank that love art, but rather that art does not define Scotiabank. Art is not the essence of a bank. Conversely, it is precisely the inverse. Perhaps any opportunity to plaster their brand all over the city is reason enough. I bet the Nuit Blanche: Calgary Edition will be brought to you by Imperial Oil.
Maybe if we all get Scotiabank Visa Cards we’ll have *way* more social programs and events. Of course we’ll actually be the ones footing the bill through interest payments.
Lest those of you whom did not experience this wonderful event, I have provided a link to a video of Project Blinkenlights from Berlin. Stereoscope, converts Toronto’s City Hall into the world’s largest interactive computer screen.