Archive for September, 2013

We’re on our way to Ottawa!

Pillars of LightNuit Blanche Ottawa Gatineau is tomorrow night!

We’re heading out to Ottawa today and we’ll be setting up everything tomorrow afternoon. To say that the last few weeks have been overwhelmingly busy would be an understatement, but after our test run yesterday we’re quite convinced that it’s all worth it and we hope you’ll agree when you see what we’ve done.

We’ll have limited internet access over the next few days, but we’ll do our best to keep in touch via Twitter, so please be sure to follow us if you haven’t already.

We’re very excited about sharing Pillars of Light with you, and we very much look forward to seeing you there!

Rik and Deane

A particularly exciting sketch on a napkin!Reader response to our last sketch on a napkin post was very enthusiastic, so we thought you’d like to see an even more exciting and technical sketch. Obviously we can’t tell you what it all means exactly (we do like to keep some air of mystery at times), but we trust that this very exciting document will further whet your appetite for Pillars of Light!

By the way, we’d be most grateful if you’d tell your friends about what we’re doing.  Obviously we’d like as many people to come see Pillars of Light as possible, so it would be greatly appreciated if you could spread the word on Facebook or Twitter or whatever social networking media you’re most fond of.

Speaking of social media, if you haven’t already RSVP’d to Pillars of Light via Facebook by all means please do!  We’re looking forward to seeing you all and we’ll be sure to say hi on the 21st!



On the right track…

Inspecting a PillarWe’re pleased to report that we’re moving along according to schedule, and we’re almost ready for next week’s debut of Pillars of Light.

We finished assembly of the actual pillars yesterday evening and we’re pleased to say that all the time spent breathing in glue fumes has resulted in some fine work that we’re both very pleased with. Needless to say there’s still a lot more that we have to do, a couple of challenges that have yet to be solved, and of course we have to physically get to Ottawa, but we’re on the right track to get everything done on time. Which is always a good thing when you have a hard deadline like a show…

We’re really looking forward to seeing you at Nuit Blanche Ottawa Gatineau next week, and if you haven’t already RSVP’d through Facebook by all means please do so we know to look for you.  We can hardly wait to see you!


Beginning to take shape

These will become Pillars very soon...As you can see, the Pillars of Light are well on their way to being finished!  We’ve been in production for a couple of weeks now and we’re happy to say that we’re well on target to get everything finished right on schedule!

As noted earlier in the week, we’ve learned a lot about acrylic and glue over the last few days.  We’ve also learned a lot about surgical gloves and hummus, but we haven’t quite figured out what we’re going to do with that particular knowledge just yet.  Give it time though, We’re sure we’ll come up with something…

We’re in the home stretch now, with just a little more than a week to go before we can share Pillars of Light with you at Nuit Blanche Ottawa Gatineau, and we’re getting more and more excited with every passing day!  We can hardly wait to see you!

Rik and Deane

Be sure to RSVP for “Pillars of Light” on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!




We’re excited about your art too!

One of the best things about participating in an event like Nuit Blanche Ottawa Gatineau is being part of such an amazingly gifted group of artists. We were blown away by the awesomeness of last year’s work, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what everybody has come up with this year!

Looking over the program for this year’s event we’ve found a few pieces that we’re quite excited about and we thought we’d take a moment to share our picks with you. We definitely think all of these are particularly worth checking out!

i) 99 Red Beacons, a roaming display by Britta Evans-Fenton

99 Red Beacons

Britta Evans-Fenton’s Bright Smiles was one of our favorite installations from last year’s event, so we’re really excited about her presentation for 2013. 99 Red Beacons is a roaming display that blends interactive commentary, communications theory, and 80’s nostalgia with 99 blinking red balloons.  Now really, how cool is that, right?  We’re kind of disappointed that we won’t have the chance to walk around with one of the balloons ourselves, but we hope that some of the roamers will stop by our installation to say hello!

ii) Cyclotrope Circus by A. Megan Turnbull at Arts Court and Grounds

Cyclotrope Circus

We’re pretty exited about A. Megan Turnbull’s Cylotrope Circus event at Arts Court. We like the idea of looking to the past to make something cool for the future, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what they’ve come up with!

iii) Lemonjellow Luminaries by Lemonjellow

Lemonjellow Luminaries

We’re quite looking forward to seeing Luminaries by Lemonjellow which promises to bring together installation art and dance in a uniquely uplifting and inspiring way. We’re up for that!

Needless to say there are tons of other things happening at NBOG that look fabulously awesome, and we hope to share more of our picks with you in the next few days.

In the meantime, be sure to let us know if you have any suggestions that we shouldn’t miss!

Rik and Deane


Be sure to RSVP for “Pillars of Light” on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!


Installation Assembly

At the end of the day, it all looks very easy.  You see a finished installation and it looks awesome and you marvel at how great it is, but very rarely does it come to mind how long it takes on the back end to get everything ready.  We can assure you that it takes lots of time.  Like, really, lots and lots of time.

Installation AssemblyWe started putting everything together on the weekend, and even though we had planned everything out in intricate detail (on napkins), even though we spent a few hours at the hardware store finding the right tools, even though we were pretty much ready for anything, it still took a long time putting it all together.  And we still have a long way to go, but it will all be worth it when we can finally share Pillars of Light with you.

We can hardly wait!

Rik and Deane


Be sure to RSVP for “Pillars of Light” on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

Working with new materials…

With every installation that SubZeroArts does, we try to build in a learning component for the sake of development.  Whether it’s developing new programming, or trying to figure out new problems, or working in different environments, we always try to build on our knowledge base and increase our experience.  Admittedly that kind of thinking can lead to it’s share of challenges, but we like to think that it makes us better artists and keeps us sharp. And really, how much fun would it be if there weren’t any challenges?


We’re learning a lot about acrylic and a related material you may already be familiar with, glue.  You would think that there isn’t much to know about acrylic, but you would be wrong.  There is a considerable knowledge base that one needs when working in this medium.  And don’t get us started on glue.  There should be a masterclass on that stuff…

Rik and Deane


Whenever we do a new installation we’re always very lucky to have an interested audience who want to help us out. We’ve always thought that it was a very pleasant side effect of making interactive art, and we’re really grateful that you’d like to participate in our work this way!

Pillars of Light

With that in mind, a few of you have asked how you can help out with Pillars of Light, so we’ve put together a few suggestions about how you can help us out;

1) Help us spread the word!  Give us a signal boost!  Like us on Facebook!  Retweet some of our tweets!  Help us spread the word about Pillars of Light!  Tell your friends about us, send them a link to our site, post a blog about us and let your readers know what we’re doing, hire a skywriting biplane to make a great big sign in the sky, make a post about SubZeroArts in your favorite community, or ask Lady Gaga to tweet about us!  By letting people know about us, you’re increasing our broadcast range and increasing the support for our project, and that’s pretty cool, right?

2) Make a donation to SubZeroArts!  Okay, it sounds mercenary, but the truth is that it costs a lot of money to do something like this.  And admittedly we could use some help to upgrade some of our gear and buy some more equipment and ultimately make Pillars of Light the best possible installation we can.  We’ve set up a donations page on our website, and every donation we get will go towards making Pillars of Light into the  most  awesome installation it can be!

3) Get us in touch with more people!  Okay, this is slightly different from spreading the word.  While we love Ottawa and all of our friends there, we aren’t as well connected as we are here in Toronto, so we’d really appreciate if you could tell your Ottawa friends about us.  Maybe you know somebody in Ottawa that can help us spread the word, or maybe you have a friend that writes for an Ottawa event blog that might be interested in what we’re doing.  Maybe your sister lives in Ottawa and she can invite her karate club to drop by and see what we’re doing, or maybe your cousin’s archery team would be interested in an outing to see Pillars of Light!  Get them in touch with us so we can keep them in the loop too!

So there you have it, three simple things that you can do!   If you’re looking to be part of Pillars of Light, these are the best ways we can think of that you can help us out.

So what do you think you can do to help?

Rik and Deane/SubZeroArts


We had an interesting conversation last night with an old friend who’s been to a few of our installations in the past. She said that she liked coming to our events because we make installations so she can make art, and she liked being an artist for the length of her visit to our spaces. And her comment really resonates with us.

Because that’s what we do.

In all of our work, we want you to be just as much a part of the creation of the art as we are. We want you to direct the flow of what you see, we want you to create your own soundtrack to match your mood, and we want you to have an artistic experience that’s just as unique as you are.

That’s the idea at the heart of SubZeroArts, and that’s what we’ve tried to do with all of our work over the last few years. It’s what we want to do with Pillars of Light and we hope that you’ll want to make art with us when we’re ready to share the experience with you on September 21st.

Rik and Deane

Be sure to RSVP for “Pillars of Light” on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

Pillars of Light

An awesome collection of artists!

iconpicWe’re very excited to see that the Nuit Blanche Ottawa Gatineau website has been updated with this year’s program of artists.

There’s an absolutely amazing wealth of talent participating in this event, and we’re very flattered to be part of such an awesome collection of artists!

Over the next few weeks we’ll let you know about some of our picks to see at this year’s event, so be sure to check back and see where we’re going to be (when we aren’t minding our own Pillars of Light that is…)

And if you have any picks to see this year be sure to let us know, we’re always interested to hear your suggestions!

Rik and Deane

Be sure to RSVP for “Pillars of Light” on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

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