Post Industry meets Art along the south shore of False Creek
Post Industry meets Art along the south shore of False Creek
As reported in the BBC News one of those elements most of us associate with childhood has made its debut in Toronto harbour-a really big rubber ducky.
At over 15 meters (49 feet 3 inches high) this rubber duck was “designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman and has travelled the world, from Brazil to Taiwan.” Somehow the duck was seen as the perfect thing to float in Toronto’s waterfront as part of the 150th birthday celebration for Canada. Yes, there is no real connection between a large duck which has travelled the world and Canada’s 150th. But the duck did attract a lot of visitors during its debut at the Redpath Waterfront Festival on July 1st, and it will then be travelling across the province “on tour”.
Estimates from 2015 suggest this duck cost $20,000 to float at each venue. And indeed when the Rubber Dick was floating in Belgium it was stabbed 42 times, meaning that a security guard detail had to follow the duck as it floated in the Belgian nights.
While Altas Obscura says that “the duck’s biggest sin may be its own ubiquity, ” the real issue is whether this is art-or just a way to bring attention and commerce to the waterfront. During its three-day Canada Day weekend float in Toronto, the Waterfront Festival smashed attendance records and generated commerce for local businesses from Starbucks to water taxis. There were crowds of people wanting to take selfies with the duck, or to take a boat out to the duck.
For Toronto the Rubber Duck was an economic booster-but is it art?
Starting June 28 at sunset (late — after 9:45, Tues-Sat), this event will put 25-minutes of video+music onto the underside of the Cambie Bridge, near Cooper’s Park. There’s been lotsa buzz over it. But now, the secrecy is fin-ished. The fish are out of the bag [groan].
Perhaps you can be convinced to migrate to the area for fun and a #salmonsocial evening.
Some of the creation story:
Inspired by a bike ride and a riverbank
In 2010, when filmmaker Nettie Wild stood on the banks of the Adams River watching sockeye salmon migrate, she knew instantly that she wanted to share this incredible spectacle with other city dwellers. The question was, how?
Initial development support came from the National Film Board to create a short work. Then Nettie began experimenting with installation ideas – searching for a place to project images into a public space. After a few days spent cycling around Vancouver, Nettie and editor Michael Brockington realized just how much of the city’s downtown architecture is covered in glass – not a surface for projections.
Serendipity and salmon
Heading home disappointed, they opted for the bike path that goes by the Cambie Bridge. That’s when Nettie and Michael stopped in their tracks. The underside of the bridge was the perfect projection site.
And some of the tech story:
[The event] is, apparently, a first for large-scale use of 3D projection.
Securing beautiful imagery was just the beginning. Projecting high-resolution images filmed in the wild, on multiple surfaces of a kilometre-long bridge several meters in the air? Not a feat with a ready-made blueprint. Chief technologist Anthony Diehl was also now on the project, providing expertise in digital mapping and large projection events. The team developed new ways to create and pre-visualize film sequences on a 3D laser scan of the Cambie Bridge
A few quick facts:
• Public launch June 28th
• Viewing at the north-end of the bridge, Coopers’ Park/Marinaside Crescent
• Runs Tuesday – Saturday (except during Celebration of Light fireworks)
• Show starts at 10:00 pm (best to arrive before 9:45 pm)
• Projection event lasts 25 minutes, with original score (no narration)
• Show moves to 9:00 pm on August 15th
• Accessibility viewing area
• Standing audience capacity of 800
• It’s free and family friendly
From Creative Mornings:
Be part of FIELD, a public art installation in Ackery’s Alley.
Have you seen or experienced the recently transformed downtown laneway Alley-Oop? Well, today the team behind Alley-Oop soft launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to create a permanent, immersive, interactive public art installation called FIELD designed by the immensely talented (and past CreativeMornings speaker) Alex Beim from Tangible Interaction.
FIELD will be located in Ackery’s Alley, situated next to the Orpheum theatre and named after their famous 1930’s manager, Ivan Ackery. Beim’s light + sound field will detect the presence of a person, changing colours and emitting sounds in reaction to movement like a large musical and light instrument that creates a unique composition every time someone moves through it.
It’s at Charles Dickens Elementary school (17th and Windsor), and does not portray the English writer. It does portray a rocket ship, lightning bolt, a yin-yang Venus balloon, and a dancing cactus. It extolls “Imagination”, and lives near a white lilac bush.
The Blenz at the corner of Thurlow and Georgia would be a good place to grab a cuppa during Bike to Work Week. It seems to be a repurposed lobby space that still has the leftovers, including this art work:
It’s a big piece – five pieces of paint on plywood – that nicely captures the sensibility of Vancouver in a playful way. But there’s no recognition of the artist (anyone know?).
The Vienna Model exhibition, curated by Wolfgang Forster and William Menkins, explores housing in Vienna, Austria, through its portrait of the city’s pathbreaking approach to architecture, urban life, neighborhood revitalization, and the creation of new communities.
Vancouver is consistently ranked alongside the Vienna as one of the world’s most livable cities. Vienna has a stable housing market, with 60% of the population living in municipally built, owned, or managed housing. By comparison, Vancouver is undergoing a housing crisis. Vienna’s housing history and policies provides alternative approaches for British Columbia.
As Vancouver embarks upon a community engagement process revolving around housing, The Vienna Model expands discussion about urban planning options and encourages dialogue and debate on the future of the city.
Another intro is HERE, but you need to scroll down the page a bit. Some of Vienna’s designs are whimsical, colourful and arresting (see below). Maybe a bit too whimsical, a bit too colourful for Vancouver. Oh well. We can dream.
The Hundertwasser-Haus in Vienna, designed by the expressionist painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser with architect Joseph Krawina. Credit: Isik Mater.
This 49 minute video explores a 3200-unit residential development in Vienna.
From Nuvo Magazine, Vancouver will have a very special visitor this summer to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday-an original sculpture by Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí called “Dance of Time 1”. This installation will be situated close to the waterfront and is a two meter high bronze sculpture of his signature melting stopwatch.
“The $750,000 sculpture, on loan from Swiss non-profit art organization the Stratton Institute, has been gifted to the city by Vancouver’s Chali-Rosso Art Gallery in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.”The large-scale piece is the last addition to the private gallery’s Definitely Dalí project: a collection of 100 artworks including smaller sculptures, watercolour paintings, and drawings by the surrealist artist, on display at the Chali-Rosso Gallery.”
Dali was noted for being extremely eccentric in appearance, sporadic in behaviour and the absolutely best publicist for himself. He famously said””It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.”
I found out what that meant on an Air France flight from Tenerife to Lyon decades ago when the plane was held while Salvador Dali tried to board with his entourage of young women dressed in diaphanous dresses.The flight attendants did not want him taking his personal two meter long walking staff aboard. Dali, who was quite short with a very big waxed moustache, was not getting on the plane without it. He also carried two bouquet of orchids. Like his work, his life was a performance.
The Dali installation at West Hastings and Hornby will be here from May 6 to September 2017.
Walking near Nelson and Howe (808 Nelson St., Nelson Square) and discovered this fun showing. Dozens of reproductions of a comic strip character called Tian Tian, in various sizes, altered by artists.
Tian Tian is the creation of Hong Kong’s Danny Yung. The exhibit is one of those things that makes a city a stimulating place, when serendipity meets cross-cultural fun.
Click any image to see a large version slideshow of them all.
The Blank Boy Canvas collaboration has been brought to North America in an exhibit designed to stimulate conversation about creative reasoning and the individual approach to creative execution. The three-dimensional, nearly 2 ft. casting has been given to selected artists to freely express, create or alter while exploring the theme of infinite possibilities. This cross-cultural collaboration transcends language and denomination. Explore each artist’s creation, and learn more about them!
Its seemed like a simple thing, but became a icon in Los Angeles without really trying. When British designer Paul Smith opened up shop on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood 11 years ago he painted the concrete wall a very very bright pink. Originally thinking that this would attract passing motorists, this wall has become the message for thousands of Instagram photo takers with over 44,000 posts on the tag #pinkwall.
Paul Smith’s Pink Wall has even been featured in Fashionista.com where Dani Mau noted “One visitor I spoke to even referred to it as a “landmark,” and as of a few months ago, it has its own security guard tasked with preventing cars from colliding with photo-takers and attempting to enforce the no-professional-cameras rule.There wasn’t one moment during my time there that the wall wasn’t at least 70-percent occupied by friend groups, couples and even entire families taking photos without any detectable shame or embarrassment.
Visitors tended not to take a quick shot and leave, but rather spend upwards of 10 minutes crafting the perfect photograph, pausing to look at the results, giggle, and start over with a new pose. The scene was more reminiscent of what might go down in front of Niagara Falls or the Eiffel Tower than your typical Instagram wall. “
Now Paul Smith’s products are not cheap, and certainly many of the folks taking photos with the pink wall may not be able to afford his products-yet. “While knowing about a brand doesn’t translate to sales now, that doesn’t mean it can’t in the future…Well, perhaps 20 years from now, when they’re celebrating a recent job promotion by treating themselves to a new work outfit (Paul Smith) or cocktail dress (Dolce), they’ll remember the brand that provided so many exciting Instagram moments during their youth.”
Design Boom describes the whimsical and interactive piece designed by Florentijn Hofman of the Netherlands which is a centrepiece of a public park in Shenzhen China.
This artist is well known for whimsical animal sculptures, located throughout the world. The concept behind the octopus created in Shenzhen is to create a space that can be explored and enjoyed by kids and adults. “Hofman worked closely alongside the team at UAP throughout the design, development, and fabrication of the project, investigating the materials required to bring ‘kraken’ to life. providing an imaginative space for families to explore, visitors enter the playscape through the character’s tentacles, where they climb through a netted abyss. upon arrival to the top, a large playable space awaits within ‘kraken’s’ rounded head.”
The sculpture is well-integrated in the site, and its effective adoption by the community is evident in the photos-everyone wants to interact with this wonderous creature.
The Vancouver Sun reporter Kevin Griffin gives the latest on the Vancouver Art Gallery’s missive to build the proposed Herzog & de Meuron-designed Vancouver Art Gallery building. This building has attracted a lot of comment due to its blocky appearance, the lack of any treatment on the ground plane, and the fact it has no interaction with any of the other buildings on the streetscape.
But never mind that-Anne Webb the associate director of the gallery discusses why this building architect and design are best. “I have followed the career of Herzog & de Meuron from the early days. I was thrilled to learn that they were chosen to be the architects. I feel that they are among the best architects for museum buildings because they put art and artists first. They work with artists and understand artists.”
Nice that the building is great for artists, but is it great for the community? And since the Vancouver Art Gallery is asking the federal government for $100 million towards building this behemoth, is it okay for citizens to want a design they can support too? One that has some streetscape interaction, and is inviting?
Ms. Webb was formerly managing director of contemporary culture for the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, which built the $300 million dollar controversial The Crystal addition by starchitect Daniel Libeskind. Despite the estimates of 1.4 million annual visit projections, that didn’t happen, and are substantially less at about one million annually. The visitor complaints include the higher ticket price, an inhospitable entrance, and a confusing ground orientation.
The Crystal-addition on Royal Ontario Museum
The submission to the Federal government states that the “goal is to raise $350 million for the new gallery: $300 million for construction and $50 million for an endowment.” The Province has already contributed $50 million and the City of Vancouver provided the land, valued at $100 million. Privately, the gallery must raise $150 million dollars-$30 million has been raised so far.
Price Tags has already commented on locally developed options by well-known and respected architects to rejuvenate the current Vancouver Art Gallery site, which is truly the public space and meeting place in the city. But that location and concept has been dismissed. The Federal submission reads: “The renovated provincial courthouse has served the gallery and the community well over the past 30 years but, faced with an aging, deteriorating and overcrowded facility, the time has come for a new Vancouver Art Gallery.”
Ralph Segal was the senior architect and development planner for the Planning Department of the City of Vancouver. He is a well-respected professional that cares deeply about the city, and who was involved in most of the major planning and design decisions in the City in the three decades prior to his retirement.
Ralph has suggested in the Vancouver Sun letters that a special public place be named after the late Vancouver architect Bing Thom, who was cited by Stephen Hume in his series on 150 Noteworthy Canadians in the Vancouver Sun as a “Visionary artist, calm philosopher who meditated every day — even while juggling complex obligations that involved hundreds of millions of dollars — business wizard, respected by all as a kind, decent man, his stunning architecture marked the world.”
Quoting Ralph Segal “Thank you to Stephen Hume and The Vancouver Sun for the profile of Bing Thom, in which are cited his many prestigious national and international awards and medals for architectural excellence. As impressive as this list is, it does not even begin to touch on the equally important contributions he has made to mentoring and encouraging innumerable individuals and groups that he has inspired with his visionary advocacy and pragmatic approach to problem-solving.”
“A fitting commemoration to all these accomplishments would be the naming of a special public place, preferably in northeast False Creek, a downtown precinct now being designed, envisioned as connecting adjacent future and existing neighbourhoods such as Chinatown, Strathcona and the Downtown Eastside with False Creek. A prominent public meeting space named in his honour would celebrate the depth of his insights into how the art of city-building can be the vehicle that brings together people of all backgrounds and interests, furthering his philosophy of inclusiveness.”
You can read a bit of the extraordinary contributions Bing Thom has made to Vancouver and public life on this link from Price Tags. Here’s hoping that Bing’s legacy can be honoured in a place name.
Wraps on utility boxes have been around for awhile. But typically the coverings have been, um, pedestrian – appropriate, I suppose, since they’re next to sidewalks. City scenes, leafs, whatever blends in.
This, though, on Denman near Pendrell, is a recent development that maybe marks something more offbeat:
No, not because it’s a bicycle! The images on image: public art from the Biennale.
Tara Culham passes along this article from Twisted Sifter.com where from Feb. 25 through April 30, 2017, “the Coachella Valley California and its desert landscape will become the canvas for a curated exhibition of site-specific work by established and emerging artists, whose projects will amplify and articulate global and local issues that may range from climate change to starry skies, from tribal culture and immigration to tourism, gaming, and golf.”
Perhaps one of the coolest pieces is Visible Distance / Second Sight an art installation by Jennifer Bolande for DesertX. The series of billboards at this location have had advertising images replaced with perfect images of the landscapes that the billboards are blocking.
“Each photograph is unique to its position along this route and at a certain point as one approaches each billboard, perfect alignment with the horizon will occur thus reconnecting the space that the rectangle of the billboard has interrupted.”
This is called “Burma-Shave” after the shaving cream company that made sequential advertising designed to be viewed from a car. And perhaps this is another glance at a 20th century way of advertising that may radically change as motordom moves on to car sharing and more heavily used public transit.
Ray Spaxman picked up this link: 15 Incredible Before & After Street Art Transformations
Here are a few:
“Renaissance,” Le Puy en Velay, France
Starling Mural In Berlin, Germany
I will admit it. I get very attached to some of the great public art in the City and always shocked when it is suddenly “gone”. Like the wonderful bronze cattle “Kanata Bella Futura” by sculptor Joe Fafard that used to be to the south of the Cambie Canada Line station. I called Liz Watts, a landscape architect that was at that time doing some work with TransLink. She told me that the cattle had been “sold” but that something new was coming. The cattle were here as part of the marvellous Vancouver Biennale which every second year brings in a temporary exhibition of great public art and performances.
The Walking Figures took over from the cattle at Cambie Station. As reported in the Vancouver Sun , while the Walking Figures by Magdalena Abakanowicz will remain at Cambie Station, the nine Walking Figures on Lonsdale in North Vancouver are going to Montreal for La Balade Pour La Paix: An Open-Air Museum, a public art project along Sherbrooke Street in Montréal from June 5 to Oct. 27. As well the eight red monks in “The Meeting” by Wang Shugang in North Vancouver are going and Jonathan Borofsky’s Human Structures Vancouver’ near Olympic Village West.
There is another piece of art that could go-that is Marcus Bowcott’s Trans Am Totem. Barrie Mowatt, founder and president of the public art Biennale responsible for this piece thinks it should stay here. The Trans Am Totem is “a stack of five cars on top of an old growth cedar. Weighing an estimated 11,000 kgs and standing about 10 metres in height, the sculpture is located at on Pacific Boulevard where it turns into Quebec Street at Milross Avenue.”
The Trans Am Totem evokes very strong emotions. Some people love its reference to post motordom. Others in the adjacent buildings feel that it is a bit too direct in its messaging. This piece is looking for a philanthropist willing to pay $225,000 to keep it here.
As noted in the Vancouver Sun “Given the size and complexity of the work, that’s amazingly inexpensive. By way of contrast, the incredibly popular 14 bronze sculptures known popularly as the Laughing Men — and officially as A-maze-ing Laughter — were purchased for $1.5 million and donated to the city by the Wilson5 Foundation, the family foundation of Chip Wilson and his wife Shannon. The work is located at Davie and Denman in the West End.”
Something to mull over as the green slime of winter cloaks the Main Street Poodle.
This is excerpted from the New York Review of Books blog – a post by Jon Day.
‘In 1972, sixteen artists were each given £1000 to produce a site-specific sculpture, to be installed in one of eight cities across England and Wales. The City Sculpture Project, which is documented in an exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, England (on view through February 19), was intended to rejuvenate public sculpture in Britain. The project sought to move sculpture out of the garden and gallery and place it on the streets of living cities, to confront the people where they lived. The people weren’t immediately convinced….
‘…One of the few original works to survive the intervening years (most have been lost or destroyed—the exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute consists mainly of plans, photographs, and maquettes) is Nicholas Monro’s equally blatant King Kong, a huge fiberglass gorilla originally installed outside the Bull Ring, a Brutalist shopping center in Birmingham. It now stands—face grimacing, arms stretched in welcome—outside the Henry Moore Institute. Like Kimme, Monro thought obviousness was what the people wanted. “In this case they will like him won’t they?” he said at the time. “Because they can understand it and appreciate it. He’s a giant gorilla.”…
‘…The loss of most of the original City Sculpture commissions is a shame, as the exhibition doesn’t really convey what must have been their real point: their unsettling, provoking, or glorious real-world presence. Nor do we get much of a sense of how they interacted with their environments, what it might have been like to walk close to them, to touch them, or to climb them. Many of the sculptures were located in modern, redeveloped areas: Kenneth Martin’s Sheffield Construction, 1972, a rigid tower of nineteen blue boxes, stood alongside a concrete flyover in Sheffield; Robert Carruthers’s Timber Framed Complex, a series of wooden constructions which was part stylized pagoda, part children’s playground, peeped out from the middle of a traffic intersection in Colmore Circus in Birmingham. Many of these were works designed to sit alongside—indeed to draw attention to or contrast with—Britain’s equally contentious post-war architecture. ‘