KELLY MARK Glow House #3 (323 Palmerston) presented by the Images Festival and the Power Plant, dusk to dawn to April 23. 323 Parliament (view from outside only). 416-973-4949. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
If you tend to pick Palmerston as your number-one bike route between Bloor and College for its imposing houses and old-timey streetlights, you'll be rewarded for the next few weeks by the most recent version of Kelly Mark's Glow House.
Piling 50 televisions into each room in the front of the house in this unsuspecting neighbourhood (you wonder what the denizens of the B&B across the road think) and tuning them all to the same channel, Mark achieves a marvellous flicker and jump of lights. None of the TVs is actually visible from the street, only their unholy glow.
The residents of the house, who all opted to stay for the duration of the show, must be going batty.
The first time Mark pulled this off was in Winnipeg, before she was invited to do it again in the UK and now in Toronto as part of the extensive and fantastic off-screen programming of the Images fest.
I'm not sure who coined the old television-is-the-new-fireplace idea, but Mark embodies the notion perfectly. Beyond what's on TV there's the light we bask in, shimmering with colour and a random hypnotic pulse. Seen from the street, it's very pretty, and I can't help wondering if a big part of the attraction of TV is just that simple flicker, since a good campfire offers better entertainment.
Outside the house around midnight, several small groups gather to watch. People driving by notice the crowd and the light and stop to watch as a lone security guard strolls around in front of the house. A kind of camaraderie breaks out among strangers, and I swear I can almost smell a s'more.