The city of Vancouver is now recovering from the gigantic spectacle that took place last month. As stated in earlier blog posts, the international spotlight allowed for more public artworks to be shown. The abundance of light-based installations situated in public spaces throughout the city might have encouraged visitors to experience creativity (did they? not sure), however, they also added to the visual spectacle of our city that was projected to the rest of the world (at least I hope they did). Some pieces perhaps contained more of a critical message (many throughout the downtown Eastside) while others were meant to be more celebratory (ideally positioned for the cameras). For a good overview of the art on display throughout the Olympic time period, click here.
Vectorial Elevation, by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, is a piece that is more on the celebratory side of things, funded by the Cultural Olympiad. It does, however, make one think about the spectacle of light projections and when and how we include them in our society. The piece was positioned over English Bay for the duration of the Olympics, and consisted of searchlights that were ultimately controlled by participants who submitted geometric configurations through the internet. People from all over the world interacted with the work online by creating personal designs for the light beams, which they could then view and archive on a personal webpage. Continue reading
I partook. I experienced the crowds and the excitement…
The good thing about the Vancouver Olympics is the amount of free music and art events on throughout the city…so many to choose from and lots of locations too. Chris and I went downtown on one of the nights when it was still raining. We really wanted to see Wilco, for FREE! We decided to venture out without any expectations since we didn’t know how many people would be lined up for the list of bands playing that night at the Yaletown venue of LiveCity Vancouver. The line-up stretched for many blocks but, fortunately only took a 20 minute wait. The security at the gates was exactly like airport security, plastic tubs and all…which, in my opinion, makes the most sense since “airport” is a word understood across many languages. There were, of course, line-ups for pricey food and waiting times seemed to be the main topic of conversation amongst international visitors. The rain continued off and on, but nice and light. The two screens on either side of the stage were Continue reading
Last week I attended the opening of CODE.Live at Emily Carr University Art + Design (venue 2). I also went to the CODE Dialogues, where participants discussed current art practices that incorporate digital technologies. Although I still have to check out the other CODE venues, along with so many other exhibitions going on in the city (it’s a bit overwhelming), I’ve been thinking a lot about a few of the projects on display in Vancouver right now…
Code.lab is a publicly-sited art project that asks visitors to consider the relationship between the observer and the observed. This page gives you a very brief summary of the project, but I really encourage you to visit the project website before you go down to see the project in person on Granville Island. As a writer who occasionally reviews art, I’ve been thinking about what I have to say about this piece/ work/ project/ exhibit that hasn’t already been covered by the artists themselves. How might I contribute to the understanding of this project, besides encouraging a few others to contemplate the ideas explored? One aspect I’ve been thinking about is the generation of the project and its creative process… Continue reading
I attended a very interesting exhibition and symposium this past weekend at the Western Front entitled Learning from Vancouver. The intention of the symposium was to negotiate current mediatizations and images of the city, and to create dialogue about these issues. I attended talks exploring issues of technology, public and social space, and concepts which extend on”Vancouverism. The current moment we find ourselves in – the Olympics – was, if not incorporated into discussions, undoubtedly in the back of everyone’s minds throughout the event.
The highlight of the weekend was meeting my longtime pen pal and virtual mentor, Tom Sherman. Tom was the keynote presenter and spoke about “Media Art in 2025.” It was a quite a big deal for me to meet him in person – we’ve stayed in touch via email ever since he sent me a personal letter in response to my first published feature article back in 2001.
During a panel discussion on Saturday, Henry Tsang and Glen Lowry used the youtube video below as a backdrop to and entry way into their discussion of the global perception and appropriation of the city of Vancouver. The video has become very popular, and draws attention to the spectacle this city is about to become…the clock is ticking (and I’m preparing my bunker!).
I just found something online that I never ever thought I would find (unless it was me who uploaded it). It’s a short animated film by Frank Mouris and Caroline Mouris done in 1973, called Frank Film – an unconventional biography done in collage animation. I saw this in a film class in 1999 and it changed my path…inspiring me to work with found footage and, later on, the potential for still images to move. The quality is not that great, but you’ve got to watch it (not that awards are everything, but it did win an Academy Award for best short animated film).
Frank Film, 1973
Ken Lum’s “Monument” piece was installed a few days ago at Clark & 6th, just down the street from where I live. They lit it up today. It’s a lot larger than I thought it would be, but maybe that’s because I’m viewing it from only a few blocks away. I’m sure it will get the town talking…