Last Satuday, the 21st of November, a bunch of random artists and performers got together to create Victoria’s first Nuit Blanche. It was to be an unofficial event, unlike Toronto’s Nuit Blanche sponsored by ScotiaBank and invloving government and galleries. The idea was to come out around 10pm and create or display something that would disappear by the next morning. When I first heard about it, I knew I had to be a part of it, but I couldn’t think of what to do. Photography doesn’t lend itself well to outdoor displays, and it’s not typically a performance art.
I finally came up with an idea to recreate our Candy for your Portrait experiment, which my friend Irene and I tried randomly one cold day in February at the inner harbour in order to get some group shots for a portrait class I was taking. Of course, I didn’t come up with this idea until the day that submissions were due, so I spent all day asking friends and coworkers for advice on how to make it happen. I wanted it to be more than just me with a camera and a friend handing out candy, like it was last time. I wanted it to be interactive and fun. I wanted people to see what we were doing on the spot. I had the idea to project the images on a wall as we took them, but I had no idea how to pull it off. With help, I figured out that we needed a generator to run the projector. I spent the next few days trying to figure out how to get and use a projector and generator, with the help of many people.
I wasn’t sure if I could get this all together, as I’ve never tried to put together so many elements and people for one event. But thankfully a lot of people responded to my pleas for help. I learned that delegating to people who really want to help is super easy. Aaron volunteered to get the candy and he brought along his studio light. Phil agreed to rent a generator, since I couldn’t quite wrap my head around how to get or use one (though I did have some great advice on what kind to get). Lynn brought a folding table that she happened to have in her car. A bunch of other people showed up to help out and made the whole process a ton of fun: Irene, Eileen, Khanh, Emily, and Jon. Other friends stopped by throughout the night and a bunch of wonderful strangers posed for us. We got a lot of compliments about how fun it was. I was even surprised how interesting it was to see the photos instantly projected on a building in Trounce Alley. People were captivated by seeing themselves and their friends up there larger than life. Another Nuit Blanche group stopped by with their paper mache deer sculptures, people gave us glow necklaces, people played hacky sack with us, and someone left us a cute bouncy ball in exchange for the candy. Thank you so much to everyone who helped out or posed for us or gave me some technical guidance.
All in all, it was a super fun night. We checked out the other installations and I was impressed with what can come together in the middle of the night in this often sleepy city: a saucy pirate fire show, origami in trees, random art installations, and a whole bunch of smiling people.
Click on the grid above to see the full version of it. Note: I didn’t shoot all of these. Aaron shot a large percentage of them and other members of our group shot some too. I didn’t want this to be my event, but our event. All of ours (the photographers, the helpers, and the subjects).