In addition to the Nuit Blanche-curated shows related to festival themes, over 70 independently funded exhibits hit the streets, chosen by an artistic advisory committee chaired by OCAD's Sara Diamond. Here are some not-to-be missed indie offerings.
THE TRAPPINGS OF POWER
David Pecaut Square, King and John
The Algonquin artist's sculpture uses hanging animal traps, tools of traditional native economic activity, to comment on Canada's history of broken treaties and subjugation of aboriginal peoples.
THE N GAMES
League, Germaine Koh and Department of Biological Flow
MOCCA courtyard, 952 Queen West
Vancouver and Toronto collectives collaborate with artist Koh on this tournament of invented sports in which participants must draw on skills in improvisation, performance, cooperation and strategy to creatively solve problems.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Travis T. Freeman
Queen Mother, 208 Queen West
From a tree in Muskoka's Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve, an artificial-light-free stargazing zone, Freeman beams messages texted to 647-499-7544 out into the universe. A live video feed allows us to watch from the café's back patio.
Karen Abel, Jessica Marion Barr and Gareth Bate
401 Richmond West
Each artist focuses on a species whose decline warns of ecosystem deterioration: in Abel's Hibernaculum, glass bats hang from a chandelier; birds fall from the sky in Barr's Augury; Bates's Colony Collapse features wall drawings done with honey.
THE CHESS SET
Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie
Gates's life-size chess pieces are assemblages of scrap metal and all manner of menacing implements, from meat grinders to shovel blades and kitchen tools - returning the game to its medieval roots in feudal warfare.
YOUR TEMPER, MY WEATHER
AGO, 317 Dundas West
Bees have increasingly been recognized as front-line indicators of environmental health, and Borsato has assembled 100 regional beekeepers (in their apiary suits) to perform a massive collective meditation aimed at raising Toronto's environmental awareness.
MY VIRTUAL DREAM
Baycrest Health Sciences and University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
Leslie L. Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, 144 College
If you've ever wondered what your thoughts might look like, these medical researchers give you access to the Virtual Brain, cutting-edge imaging software that uses an interface to translate your neural activity into images and animations that flit across a temporary 60-foot dome.
CRINGEWORTHY! THE BEST OF THE WORST VIDEOS ONLINE
Andrew Gunadie and Andrew Bravener
Tiff Bell Lightbox, 350 King West
Gunadie and Bravener have curated the best "worst" videos found on online communities like YouTube and Reddit, exploring our fascination with obnoxious rants, music videos and found footage. The filmmakers responsible for the videos comment wherever possible.
FLAGS RAISED IN HOPE AND DESPAIR
The Nova Scotia-born, Ohio-based artist, whose projects conflate the miraculous and the skeptical, runs flags up a flagpole, but her flags are symbols of an individual's emotional states rather than nation states.
36: TORONTO ALLEYWAY EXPLORATION PROJECT
Harlem Restaurant, 67 Richmond East
This project explores the 36 kilometres of winding alleyways and back streets that form part of downtown's intricate network. The projection celebrates the hidden diversity behind Hogtown's main streets.