Nuit Blanche exhibit will allow spectators to control CN Tower light show

Nuit Blanche exhibit will allow spectators to control CN Tower light show

The lights on the tower will change with every new text (Image: Rupert Taylor-Price) 

The nightly CN Tower LED display has garnered mixed reactions since it began in 2007—some even compared it to a sci-fi Christmas tree. Perhaps that’s why “E-TOWER,” one of this year’s Nuit Blanche exhibits, is giving power to the people, literally, by allowing spectators to control the light display via text messages.

The tower will start out with blue lights around the observation deck, but with each new text message, organizers will add one unit of energy, making it light up for longer intervals. “The lights will be more and more energetic the more people participate,” says Dave Colangelo, one of the artists working on the project. “It will be quite the spectacle once it gets programmed—something people will enjoy watching.”

The exhibit will set up five “participation zones” around the city in spots with the best view of the tower. After sending a text, participants will also receive texts back to enhance the interactiveness of the show, though the contents of the reply haven’t been decided yet. “It’s a new way to imagine public art,” says Colangelo. We’re looking at it as a new way to take the CN Tower back from the tourists for one night.