I had the chance to preview Scotia Bank’s awe-inspiring installation at the Scotia Bank plaza off Adelaide Street last night. Entitled FLUXe to represent the state of constant change in which we live- and in which this installation operates- this piece is sure to be a crowd pleaser during tomorrow night’s Nuit Blanche.
More than anything, the work is technologically inspiring in an extraordinarily accessible way, while at times being graphically stunning to boot. Using Blackberry tablets, participants can access a control pad which allows them to draw simple shapes, words or random lines onto a plain red screen. In real-time, their drawing is projected onto FLUXe’s huge LED screen. An interlocking series of screens, the 100’ x 33’ screen is currently the largest one in Canada.
Unlike the overly simplistic digitized red-screen image that the participant sees, the image on the massive street LED is realized in one of nine artist created “brush-strokes”- basically a series of repeating graphics following the line drawn on the tablet. Participants draw simultaneously, and often their lines are invisible until a prior “artist’s” markings have faded out to reveal their contribution.
Curated by Steve DiLorenzo of Pixel gallery, his choice of nine artists reflects a graphic and international diversity that makes amplifies his conceptual vision and keeps the piece graphically entertaining. With some of the brushstrokes whirling around in an Avataresque state of 3D, each accompanied by their matching soundtracks designed by Toronto musician Graham Miller, the piece won’t let down most of tomorrow’s inebriated revelers. I’d try to hit it early however if you’re eager to try your hand, as I imagine the thrill I experienced last night of drawing a few random lines on the tablet will probably come with a good hour of waiting during tomorrow’s festivities. If you do get the chance, I highly recommend trying Zena Holloway’s ethereal three-dimensional underwater photograph brushstroke or Brazilian artist Eduardo Recife’s melange of romantic iconography. (The two brushstrokes are featured intermingling on today’s header image)
Once you’ve finished your masterpiece, you can email a screen capture of your work (see mine below) to yourself to share with your friends. The capture will also be automatically uploaded to the FLUXe Facebook page which if you choose to ‘like’, Scotia Bank will donate a $1 to Arts for Children and Youth up to a maximum of $15,000.