Toronto’s free all-night contemporary art event, Nuit Blanche, is being reimagined this year by The University of Winnipeg’s Dr. Julie Nagam.
Nagam is this year’s inaugural artistic director and will have the challenge of taking North America’s largest public art exhibition online. As Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Collaboration and Digital Media, Nagam is using her scholarship and expertise in digital media and design for the expanded digital content and special online events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She will focus on the connections across urban, polar, and pacific landscapes, revealing the space between us as a potential site for sharing knowledge.
This includes a totally BIPOC-focused lineup showcasing new augmented and virtual realities that are interactive and engaging, bringing art into any public space or your home. You can take this work and slap it on a wall, place work on your kitchen table, or place it in a yard.
“It’s an exciting time for digital media because we are so relevant with the global shift to virtual environment because of COVID-19,” said Nagam, who is currently in the thick of collaborating with more than 40 commissioned artists engaging the public through streamed content (Nuit Live); augmented and virtual reality (Nuit in Your Neighbourhood); soundscapes with incredible DJs; podcasts and talks with key national and international arts leaders (Nuit Talks and Nuit Podcast); and finally a digital walk down memory lane with over a 1,000 works from the last 14 years (Nuit Archive).
I am thrilled with all the virtual additions and the possibility to create a new adventure, which will allow for ground-breaking creative and engaging with public art into the future. Nuit Blanche 2020 might feel and look different, however, the overall programming endeavours to recreate the feeling of exploring art in public spaces and the excitement of discovery, wonder, and awe it brings.”
The City of Toronto/Nuit Blanches is a partner on Nagam’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant.
Nagam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at UWinnipeg. Her scholarship, curatorial, and artistic practice have been featured nationally and internationally. She is also the director of the Aabijijiwan New Media Lab, the Co-Director of the Kishaadigeh Collaborative Research Centre, and a collective member of member of GLAM, which works on curatorial activism, Indigenous methodologies, public art, digital technologies, and engagement with place.