Transformers: Swintak Turns Dumpster into Boutique Hotel



Nuit Blanche
was a one-off, a night-long shot-in-the-arm last year from Toronto's creative community that was an overwhelming success, with 425,000 people out in the rain from 7PM to sunset. Being an early-to-bed type I missed it, but flakes like me are lucky; it was such a success that they are running it again. I particularly want to see the work by an artist recently seen at Conflux, Swintak, who is transforming a City of Toronto dumpster into a boutique hotel, complete with "rosewood furniture, multiple-hundred thread count sheets and a two-item room-service menu to give the outsize garbage can a sheen of the luxurious." On Sept. 29 she will move it to an alley behind the Burger King. You can't stay all night; ten minute stays only, which is short even by the standards of other hotels at Spadina and College.

From the Star:

"I think that's a good amount of time," Swintak says, arranging buttons on a rolling spa bed she's building. "You can't have a boutique hotel without a spa," she says, indicating a hollow, cranium-sized notch at the dumpster's one end.

"It's kind of a new concept we're calling a head spa," she says, explaining that guests will wheel into the notch head first for their treatment.

The "treatment," of course, is of a city's upward spiralling economy and thirst for luxury in previously downtrodden urban corners. "Really, what I'm doing is gentrifying the dumpster," Swintak says. ::The Star
Nuit Blanche at a glance: (from the Star:

Projects from independent partners – galleries, museums and neighbourhoods – increase by half over last year, expanding and covering the city from Yorkville to St. Clair and Bloor/Landsdowne, south through Chinatown and the University of Toronto, along Queen Street West out to Parkdale, south to the Gardiner Expressway and east through Downtown Yonge and Church/Wellesley to the Distillery District.

A lecture series with free public events on Thursday, Sept. 27, and Friday, Sept. 28, in the OCAD auditorium, 100 McCaul St., featuring Nuit Blanche contributing artists Sara Graham, Millie Chen and Dyan Marie from Toronto, Adad Hannah from Montreal and Laura Belém from Brazil.

An interactive project, txtArt, will let people create their own audio experience via their cellphones. SMS keywords and extension numbers will be printed on exhibition signage, and the public can listen to exhibition artists or curators discuss their work. Audio files will also be available for download before the event for a personalized MP3 player audio tour. Additionally, txtArt interactive projection screens will be available near the information hubs in all three zones. These billboard-sized multimedia projections will display text messages sent by the audience to txtArt in real time.

The public can choose their favourite project in each zone. Information on how to vote will be available in each information hub.

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