16 October 2010

Nocturne-al immersion

got to stroll through a unique halifax experience: outdoor art installations, at night.

the third annual nocturne: art at night project happened in halifax tonight. we missed it last year because dave was in portland, i was preggo (and thus feeling like crap), and nutmeg was having butt problems that required attention. but this year a high concentration of artsy things were occurring just down the street from us and i was determined not to miss it.

the event was going on from 6p-midnight and X had spent the last few nights keeping us up late, so i thought "perfect, if she stays up late, we can see lots of these installations. win, win." so before dave started dinner we popped out at 6p for a quick peak at the closest art stations. we saw a circus troupe doing some warm-up fire dancing, we tried to find something billed as a "giant baby mobile" but of course we had no luck. we did catch an artist who was on exhibit literally mopping up a puddle of her own tears though. but everything else we tried to see (something called "free parking," a facebook exhibit, a glimpse into the inner workings of a local postal initiative) was just not up and running yet. damn artists, not a punctual bunch.

so, after dinner, we went out again. we got to see more fire dancing but now barrington st was very crowded and almost too busy to really get up close to see the other exhibits. so we went down to the waterfront installations. my favorite one of the night was a tall white box thing that had an accordion air bladder attached to a horn that faced out onto the water (#32, The Same Boat Horn). you pulled a handle to fill it with air and then leaned on the bladder to push a somber-sounding cry out of the horn onto the dark and quiet waters. very affecting. although, at one point, dave and X went around to the horn side to check it out when i was just starting to push on it and X got spooked by the loud noise and started crying. and we were done with that one.

the facebook installation was also on the waterfront but it wasnt very impressive so we headed back up toward home. one block from us, at the jazz east location, they were having an art exhibition, live music, and free charcoal portrait sketches. X really seemed to like the acoustic drum/bass music so we stayed until they took a break, at which point it was clear she was very ready for bed. this was 9p. there were still lots of interesting live street performances to come but of course this was the one night of her recent sleepless stint that she didnt stay up late (and by late, i mean 1a). oh well, at least we got to experience a little of the energy of the night. it was the kind of thing i thought was perfect for halifax and made me happy to live here.

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