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Illuminate the Night: Nuit Blanche

To kick off Culture Days Manitoba, the celebration of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg showcased art and performances with an open call to participate in ‘Illuminate the Night.’

Starting in 2010, artists, galleries, cultural organizations and independent curators have created unique pieces for this event, lighting up the night and devising memorable experiences for Winnipegers to enjoy. Typically held one night, Nuit Blanche invited various groups throughout the city to have exhibits, performances, and art pieces from September 24 – October 24. The memories of these events have engraved themselves on the minds of many. Because of these unbelievable experiences, experimental storyteller Josh Banman and creator Nick Danjinger knew they had to participate.

‘Luv Lite’ is an augmented reality exhibit that tells the tale of an amnesiac angel who falls from heaven into the heart of a Canadian city. The display utilizes CRT TVs with the back-end built through Snap Chat to create what Banman describes as pure ‘brain candy.’

“Where I think it gets really exciting is can I invite my audience to think about how they see themselves, what augmented reality is, and what their relationship with technology is,” says Banman. “I want them to realize they’re the angel that’s playing with these TVs, and of course, they have amnesia. They didn’t remember they were an angel.”

Banman has a background in theatre, graduating from the University of Manitoba in 2011. It wasn’t until recently that he returned to the arts to explore many different mediums. Having worked for fortune 500 companies over the past decade in Change Management,  Banman has been working with the idea of how to integrate that into art.

“How do you educate an adult to adapt to stuff? I would love to apply some of that thinking in my art. To challenge my audience on the behaviours we need to have as individuals to have the society we desire that is equitable, just, that fosters individual freedoms.”

If you’ve been driving down Provencher Boulevard the past month, you may have noticed an unusual pink glow from Théâtre Cercle Molière.

Having a great love for Nuit Blanche, data analyst Nicholas Danzinger wanted to participate. Titled ‘A Flamboyance Of Flamingos,’ the luminescent pink sculptures are inspired by the community of Transcona in Winnipeg, where flamingo lawn ornaments have remained prevalent. Calling himself more of a creator, Danzinger grew an appreciation through creative avenues such as woodworking from volunteering at North Forge.

“I wasn’t really big into shop going through high school, and I went to University for business, finance, and technology,” says Danzinger. “After graduating from University, I got a tour of a community workshop in Winnipeg called North Forge. I was like a kid in a candy store, with all these 3D printers, laser cutters, and extremely powerful modern manufacturing equipment. Instead of getting a regular day job, I started a business and started learning from other members.”

Danzinger took what he learned to create his ‘Flamboyance of Flamingos.’ He first thought to apply a lighting technique called electroluminescent wire. 

“I thought I would design a wireframe and wrap pink wire in the shape of a flamingo. I discovered there was another technique that can make really cool light displays called edge-lit acrylic lighting. Acrylic is a plastic material, and if you get it in a clear sheet and you engrave a design, you can light up the edge, and the design in the acrylic will glow.”

He adds it’s been extraordinary hearing from people who have seen it and reconnecting with friends he hasn’t heard from in a while.

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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