Ever since the blackout i've been dying for that exact same experience, one where almost no light can be seen, it was pretty awesome. I'm pretty sure it would attract tourists well, instead of nuit blanche, how about nuit noir?That would be a huge tourist attraction actually. You can see a light-up city or light pollution virtually anywhere. A mostly dark night-time skyline would be very unique. Leave enough light that you still know it's there but few enough that you're not entirely sure.
Heck, the blackout was one of the most unique experiences within Toronto that I've had.
Nope. There has only been one night where I could accidentally walk straight into a streetcar in the middle of the road because I couldn't see the damn thing. Was it was a New or Crescent Moon?Hahaha.. Nuit Noir.. De facto.. isn't EVER night a Nuit Noir?
I found this hilarious.Nope. There has only been one night where I could accidentally walk straight into a streetcar in the middle of the road because I couldn't see the damn thing. Was it was a New or Crescent Moon?
I grew up in remote parts of Ontario and have no issues walking through a bush at night without any sources of light but the moon and stars. Completely different experience doing that in downtown Toronto.
Nuit Gris Oscuro is the de-facto standard.
Great pic T,B.Photographed the Stump last Sunday... kiss it goodbye folks, it is almost history:
lmao!..damn im out of paint.Great pic T,B.
Almost has a religious quality to it, drawing all the forumers to form a circle around it while naked and telling the cops we are re-enacting the pre-winter solstice rite of our forebearers that built "stumphenge". It would be appreciated if everyone would cover themselves with lots of paint so that we don't see too much detail, however.:lol:
-------------------Now, that's a bright idea
Artist James Turrell, famous for his massive crater project in an Arizona desert, tells how he plans to animate a downtown Toronto high-rise
These days, just a few steps east of the intersection of Bay and Adelaide streets in Toronto's business district, the remnants of a concrete column can be seen in a state of semi-dismantlement amid the rubble of demolition, a battered grey monolith flowering with mangled rebar and clumps of concrete.
It turns out it's not so easy to tear down the footing of an office tower, in this case the ill-fated stump of the long-planned Bay Adelaide Centre, an eyesore since 1991.
“It's like our monument to the recession,” says Jane Perdue, public-art co-ordinator at Toronto City Hall, and one of those responsible for shepherding into existence the forthcoming project on that site by noted American artist James Turrell. His artwork — a multifaceted, coloured-light installation — will animate the new Bay Adelaide Centre, slated for completion in 2009. And it will be the biggest urban public-art project of his career.
Since the effective building freeze of the early nineties, the site has been owned by a variety of developers, but now belongs to Brookfield Properties, and is likely to become an emblem of Mayor David Miller's dreamed-of cultural capital. Designed by Carl Blanchaer of Toronto's WZMH Architects, the 50-storey tower will be largely fabricated from transparent glass, a daring move, perhaps, in our frozen north, but it will have a certain incandescent brilliance, thanks to Turrell. Astonishingly, it seems likely a Toronto developer is poised to make something world-class. But who is this visionary artist preparing to cast his spell over the city?
Turrell was in Toronto last week, meeting with key players at Brookfield as well as their art consultant, Karen Mills, hammering out a budget (around $3-million), and reviewing the site. (He also gave a standing-room-only talk at the University of Toronto.) With his long white hair, beard and extravagantly bushy mustache, he looks like an American mystic in the Walt Whitman vein, an avuncular sage who wanders the globe creating art installations, attending exhibitions of his own work, accepting accolades, giving lectures — whatever it takes — in his mission to complete his magnum opus, the Roden Crater project in the Arizona desert.
The artist bought the volcanic crater and the land it sits on nearly 30 years ago, and set about tilling the extinct volcano to his aesthetic requirements, cutting channels in its core, sculpting its rim, and creating platforms for skygazing. Financial backers have come and gone over the years — most notably the DIA Art Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation — but Turrell maintains his equanimity over these shifting fortunes, a kind of “it was good while it lasted and no hard feelings” vibe that bespeaks a good-natured endurance.
Over lunch, he confirmed he is about 65-per-cent finished, and he is still going strong, working with engineers and a team of native American stonemasons from the community there. The slowly unfolding undertaking is about as far from the caffeinated pace of the art world as one can imagine: Turrell's points of reference are the monoliths of Stonehenge, the Nazca Lines of Peru, and the Egyptian pyramids. Clearly, this is a man who takes a long view of success.
The long haul, though, is taking its toll. At 63, he looks like a man who has seen it all, and there's a touch of weariness now to his wanderings. At his lecture at the university, for example, he reheated several of the anecdotes from lunch — including a hilarious story about an Oregon Supreme Court judge who sued Turrell for lack of conjugal services after his wife broke a wrist in one of his mind-bending installations. This is the Turrell road show, honed over many miles.
He's also attending to preparations these days for his major touring retrospective in 2010, to be organized by the Guggenheim Museum in New York. You sense that the financial needs of the project, and the related need to maintain a front-row visibility, take him many miles from the things he loves most — making art in the Arizona desert.
Like his father, who died when his son was 10, Turrell is a pilot, and his love of light and the sky can arguably be traced to that shared passion. As well, his fascination with illumination is linked to his Quaker roots, and the Quaker notion of communing in prayer in search of an inner radiance. This passion for light has lead Turrell to create a range of important works.
Among the most spectacular are the simplest: his “skyrooms,” architectural interiors with some or all of the roof removed to admit the heavens. (Sitting in these spaces, one has the exhilarating sense of the sky as something tactile and alive.) He is also known for his installations and coloured-light projections in which such visual phenomena as depth and colour perception are manipulated by the artist, sometimes producing the uncanny effect of solid volumes hovering in space. All his works produce a heightened state of seeing, with the viewer invited to scrutinize the foundations of his own perceptions. (Among his many other achievements, including both Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, Turrell holds a degree in perceptual psychology.) They hum with spirit.
Turrell's public-art projects for such corporate clients as Brookfield fuel the Roden Crater endeavour with fresh infusions of cash, and, perhaps, a reprieve from its gruelling scale, but they spring from a kindred sense of wonder. The roots of his Toronto proposal, for example, lie in his childhood, he says, and his recollections of flying over Los Angeles at night with his father.
“The lights of the buildings,” he says, “are like a bioluminescent lichen” spread out over the land. Los Angeles is “a peasant by day, but it's a princess by night.”
The Toronto site, too, will be transformed dramatically from day to night, shedding its businesslike efficiency for something more sublime and otherworldly. Turrell is planning to include a series of smaller-scale, linked light works for the Adelaide-facing lobby of the building, and these will be visible by day. But at night their context will change, as the lobby, the outdoor plaza and the exterior supporting piers and top of the building come to radiate a shifting display of LED light.
Though neon light is his favourite, LED light is notable for the precision of hue you can attain, he says, and for the way you can precisely regulate its intensity. (Once installed, it is also the most economical.) “Traditionally, in cities,” he says, “people light the skeleton of a building, and the windows are left dark, like a death mask.” Instead, his illuminations will radiate from the windows, which will be tinged with light that will shift between various hues in a variety of sequences, driven by computer.
Turrell has created large-scale works of this sort before, and, listening to him mull over the engineering requirements, his proficiency is evident. The closest in concept to the Toronto proposal, he says, are Tadao Ando's building for Takarazuka University of Art and Design in Osaka, Japan; and the headquarters of Verbundnetz Gas AG, in Leipzig, Germany (designed by Becker, Gewers, Kuhn and Kuhn), where, he says, “people come out to watch the building at night.” The headquarters of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association in Zurich (designed by Tilla Theus) is another such project, a glass hummock that is infused with colour once evening falls.
While working on the Toronto project, he will also be developing one for the new Government Services Administration building in San Francisco, a slab-like creation that has a square section missing at the core. “I am essentially designing raiment,” he says with a quiet smile, describing his plan to ring the central void with light.
Toronto, though, given its light-starved northern vantage point, may be the optimum place for one of these creations. “If you think of Vermeer and Rembrandt, of Turner, and, of course, the Impressionists — these are all people who were working in places where light is precious,” says Turrell, who sees a fascination with light as a quality linking artists and the people who love what they do. “The Impressionists were drawn to the Mediterranean — they weren't from there. The ones who treasure light the most are the ones for whom it is most rare.”