White night, white lights

Tonight is the first white night for Madrid.

The name comes from those nights that aren’t nights. Either up north or down south during summer and winter respectively if you go far enough light floods Earth 24/7. Or, alternatively, from those people who spend all the night out on the streets, with their lives illuminated by the artificial lightning of bars, parties, discos or any watering hole that stays open till the sun shines through the cracks of the windows.

The idea is to open the city to its inhabitants for one full night to say goodbye to whatever season ends, and flaunt the offerings the city has for them.

Berlin is said to be the womb of the ‘notte bianca’ though Paris seems to be where it really got interesting in 2002. Rome was to follow, and in 2006 Madrid joined the bandwagon along Riga and Bruxelles.

If you are in Madrid make sure two check out two events:

  • Ben Fry‘s installation at the Palacio de las Comunicaciones. In the same place Casey Reas has another piece that should be worth taking a look at. He created along with Fry a java-based programming language called Processing that helps artists tap the computation potential of computers to represent abstract ideas of iteration and interactivity. Expect both pieces to be Processing-based.
  • Matthew Barney‘s Drawing Restraint 9 will be shown tonight on the top terrace of la Casa Encendida around 22.00hrs. Barney is famous on two accounts: he is Björk’s current boyfriend and he produced the Cremaster Cycle (official site), a five piece video-art installation that is actually worth watching.

Considering that Drawing Restraint 9 is only shown once and that the Palacio de las Comunicaciones is open from 21.30 till 6.30 it would be wise to go first to la Casa Encendida and after that to check out Fry and Reas’ pieces.

Should be fun.

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