October 4, 2010
Here’s a quick video tour from the first-ever NYC Nuit Blanche festival, set on the industrial waterfront of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “Nuit Blanche,” literally meaning “white night” in French, is an annual all-night arts festival that has its roots in cities such at Paris, St. Petersburg, and Berlin, typically involving light as one of the main artistic mediums.
New York’s first festival, entitled “Bring to Light,” was well attended, turning the small neighborhood of Greenpoint into one large, open-air nighttime gallery. Neighboring craft and artist workshops opened their doors to the festival as well, providing venues for some of the larger light installations as well as a unique look into the local arts community. Most displays could be found outdoors, however, lining the closed-off streets (and engulfing a local playground).
The main attraction this year seemed to be projections, with over half of the displays involving a laptop computer and one to four projectors. Given the availability (and portability) of the technology, it wasn’t really a surprise to see, I just wished that there had been more exhibits utilizing other light sources, to give the festival some variety. In my opinion, one of the installations (shown in the video above) really transcended the technology and light source behind it to create a visually interesting, thought provoking display. I’ll let you guess which one it was!
I certainly hope the festival is revived again next year, but on an even larger scale. New York City has such a large artist (and lighting) community that an event like this could be ten times bigger if planned and advertised well in advance. After having had a chance to see the installations this year I might even consider displaying something next year! I could have brought my first studio project to display; it would have fit right in!