Friday, May 28, 2010

Cutely Creepy: Electronic Rabbit Opera coming to Luminato

Luminato remains a bit of a cipher for many in the visual arts community. But I can't resist posting this video of Nabaz’mob, an electronic-rabbit "opera" that's just been announced as part of the fest. It won the Prix Arts Electronica Award of Distinction Digital Musics in 2009 and will run from Saturday, June 12 - Sunday, June 20 in the Distillery, for free. More vids of the work can be viewed here.


Anonymous said...

What do people have against Luminato? I've never been able to figure out exactly what the problem is.

Is it that it gets funding?

Leah Sandals said...

Hey Anonymous,

Good question.

I think for visual arts folks, from what I've heard, it's a combination of things.

One would, yes, be the money factor. To a lot of people who have worked in culture festivals (vis-arts and otherwise) for many years, the millions of dollars (roughly $13 mil a year, as reported by Murray Whyte - that magically showed up for Luminato were a surprise. (Compare this to the $56 million annual budget of the Ontario Arts Council as a whole, and you can see who some eyebrows might have been raised about the financial efficacy of this endeavour in supporting Ontario arts and artists.)

Also on the visual arts front, Luminato's timing coincides every two years with the opening of the Venice Biennale. So some people in the community say that the timing alone precludes it from taking visual arts seriously.

And further on the visual arts front, some people have qualms with their curating--ie. that it has not been up to a high standard.

My personal qualm with the festival, as I expressed on Spacing Wire a few years back, was that the festival was not accessible financially to many members of the Ontario public. You can read the full post here:
To be fair, I've noticed that since I wrote that post, Luminato has made a greater effort to designate events as free or accessible, though I haven't crunched the numbers myself, they proclaim this year's festival "80% free." Again, as I mention in that original post, all that really highlights for me is the need for improved measures of accessibility, as well as a need standards of what access we should expect from our arts institutions and festivals.

I'll also admit I've enjoyed some works at the festival over the past few years--but that doesn't mean its operations and finances should be beyond questioning.

What do you think?

kat said...

I've always enjoyed the night walk of enjoying creepy, strange and ineffable art during the NuitBlanche, but for some reason, Luminato has an image of free hairdos/make-up and street performances and expensive ticketed performances. The only think I cannot wrap my head around is that most of the performance arts are ticketed whereas visual arts are mainly free.

Oh, by the way, Harbourfront Centre is not holding Luminto this year (we are going through installation during Luminato) but make sure to come see our summer exhibitions opening on June 18, 6pm. All of our venues, including the large outdoor photography show, are changing. I'm sure you've probably come across it, but [] this is the HFC upfront web where Pat's been writing about the upcoming Beyond Imagining show. Hope to see you at the opening!

Leah Sandals said...

Thanks for your comment Kat.

It hadn't occurred to me about Harbourfront's participation in Luminato this year. Was there a reason for that? I do know about the upcoming show on the Ontario Greenbelt and am looking forward to it...

Also, yes, I think Luminato can seem to vis arts folks like more theatre-focused... maybe it does a better job in that genre? Although less well on access on that front? And yes, the free hairdo thing maybe seems a little less rigorous than desired for some art folks!