the project was well received, the concept well understood. i smile, even now, with delight. as my theory predicted, the experience met with enthusiasm and positivity. people want to connect. and many did. both online and in person.
the box itself was as i imagined. better! it was a work of art in and of itself sitting under the tree on the patio at Social. many thanks to Social for hosting me again this year.
a million thank yous to my collaborators, artist and pal Adam F. Davidson and his enthusiastic father for their work on building the ‘crowd box’. i stayed warm and dry and felt rather cozy inside the box.
i entered at 6:21 and stayed until the rain and late hour chased off the crowd in the courtyard. seven hours inside with a fairly steady stream of visitors all night long.
i managed to create the effect of being visible to onlookers while not being able to see out save for the holes cut in either side. as it was explained that i could not see out i could hear relief and a change in the crowd’s willingness to reach in and touch me.
i was touched. spiritually and physically. nicely always. hand shakes, friendly back pats, and gentle pokes mostly. one pat on the head and poke of my nose. each one made me smile. what i did not expect was the need for people to chat. only a few dared touch me without some sort of verbal interaction first. i had many small philosophical exchanges. this heightened the value of the connections. i felt that people want to make a more significant human connection. the twitter connections for the most part augmented or facilitated the human connection.
i was given a leaf. a Christopher Griffin supernova button which i treasure. and, i was given, very solemnly, an unopened deck of playing cards. the cards are a great souvenir. it was an interesting connection.
the experience was lovely. it is a vision fulfilled. there is deep satisfaction in that. my trust in the crowd was deserved. i would have easily stayed longer. maybe i can do this again in some other crowd. without rain.
many thanks to the other artists and the #NBOG13 organizers. a success despite the rain.
many thanks to my dearest friends who came to stand guard and help in the driving rain for eight hours.
many thanks to CBC and CTV for their coverage of my project.
many thanks to the many ottawans that came out in the serious weather to still make the event happen. you are a great CROWD. i am happy to be among you.
looking forward already to #NBOG14!
feeling very satisfied
p.s. might anyone have an extra copy of the #NBOG13 map? i hunted one down but it ended thoroughly soaked in the rain.
my ‘crowd box’ project will be in the byward market zone at Social
i was delightfully reminded of last year’s nuit blanche ‘walk with me’ walking stick project with the arrival of a message from an eleven year old boy named Félix this week. he found the ‘school age’ stick in a library. he wanted to know if he could send the stick abroad. it had been a while since i had heard from one of the sticks. what fun! it made me happy.
…and i take that as a good omen for this year’s project
Lainie Towell , co-curator of Nuit Blanche Ottawa at the opening ceremony – photo Ottawa Citizen
” OTTAWA — Lainie Towell held a 1.5-metre wooden staff decorated with gold paint and peacock feathers as she welcomed the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd gathered at Hintonburg’s Orange Gallery for the launch of Ottawa’s inaugural Nuit Blanche.
The co-curator of the festival passed the piece of “live art” to a couple in the crowd in what was expected to be the first exchange of many during the all-night art extravanganza…”