Deadline Extended: Midnight Friday 30 May 2014.
When artists like Genevieve Thauvette tell the region The World Is Yours, we at Nuit Blanche HQ identify. That is exactly how we feel as creative individuals in the city. When the rain battered down the artist’s 30-foot blimp during last year’s event, we felt the strain. The life of her work on that stormy night was a reflection of a complex relationship, one that raises our heads above the firing line and allows the unknown to participate in the live creative experience. The one-off is a vulnerable and dangerous space, where anything can happen.
Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau is flowing against the current and we have come to expect the unexpected. We look at events like ours rising up all over the world and we know that we are not the only ones operating in partial darkness. We work as a team of volunteers. We disperse the bulk of our budget directly to the artists. We get city permits that extend later than any other events and we ask our councillors to celebrate with us. They do. We have delivered two fantastic events in the city by bypassing the regular systems that operate in the region, by not ticking the boxes and by building bridges where there were none. Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau has been an immense experiment that we asked the region to help us deliver. Together, we have celebrated several creative breakthroughs in the region, we have built a new platform for practice in the city and we have connected people in new ways. We have made experiences possible that we could not have imagined. We value our experiment, our time, place and occasion to celebrate in Canada’s National Capital.
Over the last two events we asked artists to respond to the concept of community. This year we are asking our artists to turn that idea on its head and instead tell us about the positive and negative aspects of a BYPASS. The Oxford Dictionary says that the noun bypass is ‘A road passing … its centre to provide an alternative route for through traffic…[and] A secondary channel, pipe, or connection to allow a flow when the main one is closed or blocked.’
We can identify with these statements as programmers and curators in the city and as the builders of Nuit Blanche. The complexity of the problem and the incredible and inspirational results are what drive us to find circuitous routes through the classification, organisation and management of the National Capital Region. We have found a way to bring you something special that continues to grow because we have bypassed many systems by creatively circumventing the regular routes. As artists strive to develop original work they bypass age-old systems, they pull apart theory and research, they build in new directions. They, like us, can be radical, awkward and naïve, but we all give it our best shot. We want to know how you bypass your way through this city both culturally and creatively. Don’t be afraid of building something new. We give you the platform from which to extend off of.
Megan Smith + Ariane Nazroo