6th Annual Chinatown Remixed: Jesse Burcsik is lighting up Chinatown!

By Yasmin Nissim

Jesse Burcsik is excited. And you should be too! He has been working with various mixed media for 10 years now and has also been part of several collaborative artistic efforts. Chinatown Remixed, however, will be home to his very first personal vernissage. A passionate and imaginative individual, Jesse is looking to bring together a physical and virtual community experience through “Illuminated Peoples”, a live-art exhibit you can take part in from sundown until 11PM in the Zen Kitchen parking lot.

Billed as the “Letter Project”, I had first thought that this live-art experience would somehow involve writing letters, but it’s much, much bigger than that! Using a variety of colours of LED wiring, 8-foot scaffolding and a lot of batteries, Jesse has individually mounted and illuminated each letter in the word “Chinatown”. The fun part is what he would like people to do with all of these neon-lit characters.

People will be encouraged to take down a letter and walk around Chinatown Remixed, taking pictures with their chosen character and tagging their photos with the appropriate title, which Jesse will provide. While people are out adventuring with their letters, a real-time projection of the photo feed being populated by participants for each individual character will be displayed back at Zen Kitchen. So even if one of the letters is off on a walk, the space it occupies will have an awesome projection of its journey.  Jesse has partnered with Matt Cameron for this portion of the project. 

Jesse’s goal is to help people see that they are part of a larger community than they may realize. By bringing people together both online and in the physical world through their participation in this project, he’s hoping to encourage them to forge new connections, while unifying the networks and links they already share.

There is an underlying social message inherent in Jesse’s project that touches on the way people interact with each other and the importance of social media and technology to these relationships. But this is also a fun experience that doesn’t require any prior knowledge of art, and it’s accessible to anyone interested in participating. This is one of the best parts of Chinatown Remixed and live-art experiences such as Jesse’s: you aren’t just observing the art, you’re part of it!