Photo: Benoit Pailley
Since the first “nuit blanche” event in Paris in 2001, a tradition of free, nighttime art events has expanded to dozens of cities and drawn millions of participants worldwide. This global network of locally organized events encourages artists to engage with a diverse public audience—presenting site-specific light and projection art that activates public space and uniquely transforms the built environment.
On October 24, Richard Flood will moderate a roundtable discussion considering the future of the international “nuit blanche” phenomenon. The organizers of Nuit Blanche New York, Ethan Vogt and Ken Farmer, will be joined by Shauna McCabe (Curator, ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche Toronto), Steve Dietz (President and Artistic Director, Northern Lights), and Council Member Stephen Levin to explore critical responses to, challenges, and opportunities for the “nuit blanche” model, and visions for its continued evolution. Informed by this global context, panelists will propose strategies for sustaining an annual “nuit blanche” tradition on the New York waterfront, rooted in the extraordinary potential of the city’s public spaces and creative communities.
Moderated by Richard Flood, New Museum Director of Special Projects and Curator at Large
Founder and Artistic Director, Northern Lights.mn
Steve Dietz is the Founder and Artistic Director of Northern Lights.mn. He was the Founding Director of the 01SJ Biennial in 2006 and served as Artistic Director again in 2008 and 2010. He is the former Curator of New Media at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis where he founded the New Media Initiatives department in 1996, the online art Gallery 9, and digital art study collection. He also cofounded the award-winning educational site ArtsConnectEd with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the artist community site mnartists.org with the McKnight Foundation. Dietz founded one of the earliest, museum-based, independent new media programs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1992.
Chris Jordan explores the mediums of light, movement, and time through the use of technology. His installations have appeared at MoMA, New Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Natural History, Chelsea Art Museum, Times Square, numerous galleries and clubs, and the incidental spaces in between. The common elements that define Jordan’s work include explorations into memory, photography, film, interactivity, and projections. By examining the political and social implications of technology through a diversity of media, his work challenges the viewer to redefine perceptions of audience and performer. In addition, Jordan teaches interactive design at Baruch College and NYU, and organizes T-Minus, G33kXmas, rooftop movies, and visualist salons in New York City.
New York City Council Member, District 33
Stephen Levin grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey, and came to Brooklyn to work as a community organizer after he graduated from Brown University. In 2006, Stephen became Chief of Staff to Assembly member Vito Lopez, Chairman of the Assembly Housing Committee (D-Williamsburg). In 2009, Stephen was elected to represent the 33rd District of Brooklyn, which covers Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, and Vinegar Hill.
Curator, ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche Toronto 2012
Shauna McCabe is a curator, writer, and arts manager. Currently Executive Director of the Textile Museum of Canada, she has held the Canada Research Chair in Critical Theory in the Interpretation of Culture since 2007. She also held positions as Director of the Rooms Provincial Art Gallery and Senior Curator of Confederation Centre Art Gallery. She has produced over fifty exhibitions of Canadian and international artists, most recently “Rural Readymade” (2011), “Krimiseries” (2010), “Dig Up My Heart: Artistic Practice in the Field” (2010), “Formerly Exit Five: Portable Monuments to Recent History” (2010).
Ethan Vogt, Executive Director
Ken Farmer, Creative Director
NBNY (Nuit Blanche New York) established Bring to Light as New York’s addition to the global “nuit blanche” phenomenon—transforming industrial façades, parks, piers, and waterfront promenades with site-specific light, sound, performance, and projection art. Since its founding in 2010, Bring to Light has attracted over 25,000 people and exhibited work by over 100 emerging and international artists (including Jeremy Blake, Rita Ackermann, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, Richard Serra, and Krzysztof Wodiczko), creating an accessible and innovative platform for site-specific performances and creative experimentation.