WHERE: U of T' s King's College Circle
WHAT: Newmindspace's NightLights installation to bring back the night sky obscured by light pollution
WHEN: Friday, November 10, 8 pm
The three stars twinkling through the clouds couldn't hold a candle to the 200 LED lights artist group Newmindspace hoisted 100 feet into the air via 1,000 black balloons.
The org led by Kevin Bracken and Lori Kufner was formed in 2005 to, they say, "reach cosmic goals' by blending political concerns and participatory installation art. But this particular happening didn't go exactly as planned.
The original message was to show that stars -- even artificial ones -- can still shine even in a light-polluted city. But the theft of 300 lights early in the evening left organizers out $500 and with a message that wasn't entirely clear.
"The evening might not have lived up to your expectations, and it certainly did not live up to ours,' wrote Bracken in a letter the next day.
But some of the 250 people who attended might disagree.
"During the blackout three years ago, I remember looking off my balcony and seeing blankets of stars unlike any I had ever seen before,' said participant Steve Nabieszko, sporting flashing lights on his fingertips to represent celestial bodies. "Tonight Toronto is actually illuminated by stars for the first time.'
"I don't normally get out on a Friday night and play with balloons and neon,' said a man named Bob, sporting a lit-up Santa hat. "The main point is just to get people together and put together a spontaneous installation.'
Still, the environmental message may have been lost, said Sara Thompson and her mother, Judith, as they flew a bundle of LEDs and balloons like a kite. "They were apparently supposed to compost the balloons afterwards, but a lot of them are floating away,' she said. "People won't be able to see the lights 10 feet above ground from miles away, which was the intention.'
No matter. The organizers declared that they had "nothing but love for everyone who participates in our events.' And they're hoping folks will send contributions to make up for their loss.