For anyone who hasn’t experienced Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s all-night contemporary art-a-thon, the night is a bit of a trip; and with the TTC extending subway service and offering a Special Event TTC day/ “nuit” pass, that trip can be both cultural and literal. And you best believe that in Nuit Blanche’s vibrant “art is everywhere” esprit, the installations don’t stop once underground, thanks to co-producers Pattison Onestop and Art For Commuters. From7:03pm Oct. 5th to 7:03am on the 6th, the subway’s 600 LCD screens will be home to two alternating pieces by new media/ generative artists Lorenzo Oggiano and Marcin Ignac—pieces which have been “synthesized” to become the larger project, Drift: Synthesis.

 Drift: Synthesis focuses on the evolving relationship between biologic and synthetic forms, a subject which is not only topical (all of this, and also: y’all watching Orphan Black???!!!), but also, it turns out—hypnotically beautiful.  Ignac’s pieceuses the jellyfish as a departure point, and from there, “algorithmically generates imaginary sea creatures”. Now, that sentence alone, combined with the piece’s title—Cindermedusae—has both my adolescent science nerd and “very cool now” twentysomething selves wetting our art/ science pants (see: “very cool now”…). And the piece itself is insanely captivating—both whimsical and very meditative, not unlike the experience of reallllly vibing out on a lava lamp (but more beautiful, and featuring more sophisticated content, obviously). 

Oggiano’s piece is a 3D Cinematic Experience featuring “Quasi-Objects”—that is, objects that explore up-close our progressively relative “natural forms of life” as they are faced with techno-biological evolution. If that sounds intimidating—don’t worry: like Ignac’s piece, Quasi-Objects/ Cinematic Experience is captivating and evocative, with striking colors, and bold movement. Moreover, the pieceprovides haunting food for thought re: the intermingling of the synthetic world with the natural, a message which will no doubt be heightened in the context of the human being in the urban environment.

Drift: Synthesis runs from 7:03pm October 5th-7:03am October 6th, and is co-produced by Pattison Onestop, and Art For Commuters.