the story - people
sunday, october 03, 2010

01. one and a half million people on the streets of toronto from sunset at 5:57 pm october 2nd to the sunrise october 3rd were celebrating art at the 5th annual nuit blanche [white night] organized by city of toronto with the generous support of scotia bank. we were there walking from one exhibit to the other, one performance to the other [we calculated approximately 8 km for little more than three hours]. night was pretty cold but absolutely not the hearts and spirit of the people.

02. official program promised that the city will be transformed for this one sleepless night by 130 contemporary art exhibits created by more than 500 artists. this year event was easily walkable, parts of young street, queen street and some surrounding streets were closed for traffic, making it people friendly. art was maybe not as impressive as some previous years but this event was dedicated to people. city was transformed even further by other side of the equation – observers.

03. "the city of panic is the place where nobody has the time anymore to get close to each other, for the caresses for the pleasure or for the slowness of whispered words. advertisement exalts and stimulates the libidinous attention, person to person communication multiplies the promises of encounters, but these promises never get fulfilled. desire turns into anxiety and time contracts.” [f. berardi (bifo), city of panic, 2007]".

I used this quote many times before, manly to warn, primarily myself, of what was happening in the cities all over the world. tonight toronto was different. this first sight [psychograph 01 ] reflects this group emotion, dancing with strangers attracted thousands of "not a strangers" any more.

04. my daughter, also great artist [] and part of the "crowd" tonight, described the atmosphere as: "not everybody understood fully the art presented but everybody acted as they would like to act every day, happy, friendly, creative, showing their best side, ready to engage, ready to share their personality with others".

05. I would add one more emotion to the list – LOVE. following the chronology of the photos you might think that only young people attended the event. partially true, they are as allways most active part of city population, but all other generations were also present in significant numbers and also enjoying themselves. other noticeable fact was that toronto diversity was exposed, all of its 300 or so languages can be heard on the streets and squares, great mix of mutual understanding, passion and love for each other. fire on dundas square was enormously popular for at least two reasons. it was warming us physically and emotionally, specially confronted with cold, heartless advertising screens praying on us from above. [psychograph 02 ]. one of the screens was stolen by the artists [using words for "I am" on many languages, one was my favourite "ja sam" on serbian - last chronology photo left], but it was almost completely lost among other advertisements. my opinion expressed long time ago during the creation of this square was that this space is a hybrid between reality and cyber space.

07.we visited few more exhibits, nearby nathan philips square with live music and thousands of people enjoying it and on our way back, overwhelmed with emotions we experienced the "final touch". this was not part of the official program. this spontaneous group of young people, for the lack of better title I am calling them "love toronto" , was just parading down the street with such a powerful positive "vibe". mental reaction to this performance, psychogeographical articulation and sudden revelation of the future of this city and probably even country, usually deeply encrypted within everyday city affairs, surfaced in the middle of this night. [psychograph 03 ]

08. just this last spectacle was surely enough to justify all the "expenses" city of toronto invested tonight.

we can be just scared of some prospective mayoral candidates [scary letter F!], that expressed their negative opinion about necessity of the ART, and events like this, in the life of ordinary people. this type of encouragement is essential for the wellbeing of all of us.


a.j. []

you can see more photos from this event in our facebook album.

:: select new psychograph ::

:: created by 2010 :: last time updated 03.02.2011 at 23:44:00 ::

psychograph 02
psychograph 01
psychograph 03 – click to play