Toronto, October 3, 2009
Scottsdale Public Art, Toronto Special Events, and the Provincial Ministry of Tourism's Celebrate Ontario fund have co-commissioned the next iteration of Therrien's 4 LETTER WORD MACHINE for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2009.
This year marks the fourth annual sunrise to sunset Nuit Blanche festival in Toronto. On October 3rd, more than 550 artists will transform Toronto into a celebration of contemporary art, where installations will be discovered at over 132 locations throughout the city—from museums and galleries to unexpected locations such as churches and grocery stores. D.A. Therrien's large-scale spectacle installation BEAUTIFUL LIGHT is the keystone artwork of this year's Nuit Blanche Toronto. The 4 LETTER WORD MACHINE will be suspended 214 feet above the plaza of Toronto City Hall for an all-night performance visible from several miles away.
The new artwork is approximately 25% larger than the prototype (each alphanumeric display will measure 23 x 23 feet), with safety and design upgrades making it weather resistant, international code compliant and module based. Innovative design solutions and material selections will allow for the artwork to be built in modules reducing fabrication labor time considerably, making set up and strike faster and more efficient than the prototype artwork.
Scottsdale, January 2009
Therrien launched the debut of his prototype 4 LETTER WORD MACHINE and the first BEAUTIFUL LIGHT performance early in January 2009. Commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art, this two-night only installation and performance was suspended more than 100 feet over the Arizona Canal in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona. The spectacle featured an 80-foot-wide array of quartz lamps, called the 4 LETTER WORD MACHINE, designed by the artist as a visual communications and translation system using code and graphic patterns.
During several shows throughout both evenings, performers ascended to platforms over the canal and controlled the four 16-foot-square alphanumeric displays via archaic electro-mechanical switches. Brilliant bolts of white light scrolled through a spectacular display of mysterious transmissions, beginning with the broken word FEAR, which were accompanied by ethereal sounds reminiscent of electromechanical devices and the hum of technology. Ten performances over the two night period began with chaotic patterns in light, gradually revealing partial words and DNA code from the gene FOX2P which develops the ability to communicate. Patterns and partial words through challenged viewers to resist the compulsion to read and comprehend the messages. The performance culminated in visual clarity, featuring elemental words such as - TEXT, LIFE, LOVE, FATE, MORE, LESS, HOPE.
Therrien is currently working with Scottsdale Public Art on design concepts for a second BEAUTIFUL LIGHT performance as the central artwork of a signature event to take place on the Arizona Canal in downtown Scottsdale during fall, 2010.