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Nov 042014
 

With the wild array of video, digital, performance, and public artists we have here, Illuminus is a natural event for Boston to host.

By Franklin Einspruch

The idea of nighttime, illumination-driven art festivals has a thirty-year history behind it, and has been picking up steam since the early 1990s in the form of what have become known as White Night events in Europe. I attended a Nuit Blanche in Paris in 2003, and spent a happy evening walking around the city from art installation to art installation, each aglow in its own way.

On October 25th, Boston got its first Nuit Blanche in the form of Illuminus, which took place on Harrison Avenue in and around the brick shell that remains of some grand warehouse, and now serves as raw space (usually parking) and food truck locus on Sundays when the area has its art walks. With the wild array of video, digital, performance, and public artists we have here, the event is a natural one for Boston to host.

The highlight among many intriguing events, including a building-size projection of animations by various artists, was “Your Big Face” by New American Public Art. Visitors were invited to put their smiling mugs in view of a camera that projected them onto a planar, three-dimensional, face-shaped screen eighteen feet high and hung on the building ten feet from the ground. Digital art offers unprecedented opportunities to push the possible in the name of delight. May Boston have many more nuits blanches to come. (All photos taken by Franklin Einspruch)

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