Downtown Vancouver at sunrise

Platforms 2016: Coastal City

Outdoor art exhibition of temporary print and video works premiering each month from May to October 2016

Celebrating and investigating the Coastal City

Our Public Art Program marks its 25th anniversary with a series of 15 2-D artworks that celebrate and investigate the “Coastal City”:

  • The border between land and sea
  • The designation of boundaries and life in a region near the shore
  • The changing land and ocean-scape
  • The influx of people and goods
  • The unique ecosystems, challenge, and opportunities
  • The circumstances that make coastal cities such as Vancouver unique

Look for the artworks on the following 2-D platforms:

  • Videos on screens Downtown at Granville and Robson, CBC, TELUS Gardens, Terry Fox Plaza, VanCity Theature, and the Cinematheque
  • Posters at bus shelters
  • Walls at Vancouver City Centre Canada Line Station and Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza

View a map of artwork locations

Members of our vibrant creative community proposed the artworks in response to an open call. They offer unique perspectives on this place, ranging from digital and painterly abstraction to documentation of urban spaces; from highlighting lifestyle choices to social alienation; from specific histories to imaginative interventions.

Why Platforms?

  • To provide public art opportunities for artists who work in two-dimensional imagery 
  • To aspire to high calibre artworks in the context of international art practices
  • To contribute to a stimulating public realm and enrich the experience of the city

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Current works

Ben Bogart

As our gaze peers off into the distance, imagination takes over reality...

On display October 10 to summer 2017, at Queen Elizabeth Plaza

Untitled by Ben Bogart

Description

Artist Ben Bogart works with imagery that is generated by a computer. The work is a dense collage composition that emerges from thousands of photographs from the site of installation. The resulting image lies somewhere between photo-realism and abstraction. This is the nature of the coastal city, a rainy city where the edges sometimes disappear into the atmosphere.

The artwork also has this dual identity – from a distance it may appear as an abstract panorama. Upon closer inspection the fields of colour break into fine details of recognizable elements from the surrounding area.

Ben Bogart

Bio

Ben Bogart is a generative artist primarily working in installation and print whose practice is located at the intersection of art and science. Physical modelling, chaos, feedback systems, evolutionary algorithms, computer vision, machine learning, and brain science have been used to inform and engage in his creative process. Ben holds a PhD in interactive arts and technology from Simon Fraser University.

ekran.org External website

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Laiwan

Barnacle City

On display October 2016 to March 2017 at Vancouver City Centre Canada Line Station.

Barnacle City by Laiwan

Description

Barnacle City by Laiwan projects imaginative possibilities of a future city, or perhaps a city that once was, in which natural accretions are anchored among man-made structures.  Where is this science-fiction inspired city?  You will recognize Vancouver’s cityscape dramatically altered by this utopian (or dystopian?) vision, alive with ocean forms.

Laiwan

Photograph by Nina Skogster

Bio

Laiwan is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator with a wide-ranging practice based in poetics and philosophy.

Laiwan exhibits regularly and curates projects in Canada, USA, and Zimbabwe. She teaches in the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College in Washington State, USA.

She founded the OR Gallery (1983) in Vancouver and holds a MFA from Simon Fraser University for Contemporary Arts. 

laiwanette.net External website

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Past works

Paul de Guzman

Vancouver Coastal: a nomad’s guide to the floating world

On display May 16 to June 12 at transit shelters (view a map – locations subject to change)

Vancouver Coastal: a nomad’s guide to the floating world, by Paul de Guzman

Description

Vancouver Coastal pretends to be a travel guide book cover and a work of speculative storytelling. The image of jetsam washed up on the shore, supplemented by a visual quotation from a classical Japanese print, references contemporary nomadic life and the historic romanticism associated with it.

Recent global events involving industrial and natural disasters, upheaval and migration, extreme weather patterns elsewhere and on our own West Coast shores leave an archaeological array of accidental artefacts washing up on shorelines along the Pacific.

The shoreline is the point of transmission of cultures and objects and stories. Regardless of whether these stories are truth, fiction or somewhere in between, they nonetheless allow us to share our experiences.

Paul de Guzman

Bio

Dividing his time between Manila and Vancouver, Paul de Guzman’s autodidactic artistic practice can be defined as post-studio and nomadic, characterized by a concept-driven approach across a variety of media and an interest in the dynamics of social interactions, urbanism and post-colonial concerns.

He has participated in artistic residencies at Stichting Duende, Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and the Darling Foundry, Montréal (Canada). Recent exhibition venues include the Boghossian Foundation in Brussels (Belgium), l’Ecole du Magasin in Grenoble (France), and ArtSpace in New Haven, Connecticut (USA).

pauldeguzman.com External website

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Nicolas Sassoon

RIPPLES

On display May 16 to June 12 on video screens (view a map)

RIPPLES, by Nicolas Sassoon

Description

Nicolas Sassoon has created three digital abstractions using high contrast black and white animation. At first glance, these may seem like static on old TV sets.

The artist plays with this association with the wave-like electrical interference of the past and explores the line between digital and organic patterns. These allover screen patterns are meant to be immersive encounters with the digital realm – artificial visual effects that evoke atmospheric forces – in this case, like the play of light and dark on the water and the hypnotic visual effect of rain and wind along the coast.

Nicolas Sassoon

Bio

Nicolas Sassoon uses computer-based processes to render visions of architecture, landscape, and domestic environments. His work explores the contemplative dimensions of the digital, as well as how computer-generated space can be inscribed within the physical realm.

He has exhibited his work internationally in Canada, the US, Mexico, and accross Europe. Nicolas is a founding member of the collective WALLPAPERS, he holds a MFA from EESI in Angouleme, France.

nicolassassoon.com External website
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Deanne Achong

Pier D

On display May 16 to October 2 at Vancouver City Centre Canada Line Station

Pier D, by Deanne Achong

Description

On the afternoon of July 27, 1938, a four alarm fire broke out on CPR Pier D. This artwork is a visual contemplation of that historic moment in the context of the port as a vital feature of the city and central to the downtown commercial hub.

The mural is defined by three "portholes" that present two altered archival images focusing on the fire plus a central contemporary image shot by the artist looking at where the pier used to be.

A QR code and website are also part of the imagery. Scan the code on the artwork or visit pierd.ca External website to view dynamic content that changes daily and functions like a serialized diary of the era, with brief personal accounts and images from archival and fictional sources.

Bio

Vancouver artist Deanne Achong works largely in new media and draws from history, popular culture, and literature. In 2015, she exhibited The Obsolescence Project at the Vancouver Art Gallery for the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) and presented her app Lusca at Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) festival in Bergen, Norway.

deanneachong.com External website 
Twitter

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Elisa Yon & Amanda Arcuri

Alien Terrarium

On display May 16 to October 2 at Queen Elizabeth Plaza

Alien Terrarium, by Elisa Yon and Amanda Arcuri

Description

Alien Terrarium is a classical still-life composition made up of plants that have come from elsewhere. It transforms the glass exit structure on Queen Elizabeth Plaza. One of the effects of living in a coastal region is that many invasive plant species enter the ecology from other parts of the world. Alien Terrarium invites you to be immersed in an "alien" world and consider relevant themes of migration, integration, and survival.

Amanda Arcuri

Bio

Amanda Arcuri is a photography based artist from Toronto, Ontario, where she studied photography at Ryerson University and completed her master's of applied arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Arcuri creates altered and dramatized landscapes with light or materials within the greenery.

amandaarcuri.com External website

Elisa Yon

Bio

Elisa Yon lives and works in Vancouver. Her practice is rooted in architecture and design and combines notions of public space, community based art practices, and public art. She completed a master's of applied arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2012. 

elisayon.com External website

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Ryan Peter

Untitled

On display June 13 to July 10 at transit shelters (view a map – locations subject to change)

Untitled by Ryan Peter

Description

Ryan Peter’s images are created through a contact photo-printing process in which he uses acrylic paints, household chemicals, and industrial materials that would be considered waste, registering the traces on translucent plastic film. The resulting images have curious biomorphic associations, cryptically alluding to a distant past or dystopic future of life forms.

Working with traditional silver gelatin printing, the artist explores shifting relationships between physical and digital processes and evokes the tension between the natural world and human-centered activities in the urban environment.

For his Coastal City project, the images are toned in black, white and grey to create different “moods” related to life on the coast.

Ryan Peter

Photograph by Amy Nugent

Bio

Ryan Peter is an artist based in Vancouver, Canada. He holds a master's of fine arts from the University of British Columbia.

He was a semi-finalist in the 11th Annual RBC Painting Competition in 2009, and has since been featured in numerous exhibitions across Canada and the United States. Recent shows include Presentation House Gallery (Satellite Gallery), Vancouver; Susan Hobbs, Toronto; The Or Gallery, Vancouver; and solo exhibitions at Republic Gallery, Vancouver.

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Laiwan

Barnacle City

On display October 2016 to March 2017 at Vancouver City Centre Canada Line Station.

Barnacle City by Laiwan

Description

Barnacle City by Laiwan projects imaginative possibilities of a future city, or perhaps a city that once was, in which natural accretions are anchored among man-made structures.  Where is this science-fiction inspired city?  You will recognize Vancouver’s cityscape dramatically altered by this utopian (or dystopian?) vision, alive with ocean forms.

Laiwan

Photograph by Nina Skogster

Bio

Laiwan is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator with a wide-ranging practice based in poetics and philosophy.

Laiwan exhibits regularly and curates projects in Canada, USA, and Zimbabwe. She teaches in the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College in Washington State, USA.

She founded the OR Gallery (1983) in Vancouver and holds a MFA from Simon Fraser University for Contemporary Arts. 

laiwanette.net External website

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Jayce Salloum

locations/dis-locations

On display July 11 – August 7 at transit shelters (view a map)

locations/dislocations by Jayce Salloum

Description

Jayce Salloum’s transit shelter posters focus on multiple images that are part of an ongoing project called locations/dis-locations.

These photographs of quotidian spaces consider Vancouver as a coastal city in relationship to other coastal cities and Vancouver’s specific history in relation to a regional, national, and global context.

The images reflect on location, the image in relation to the site of placement. Through this contrast, they provoke, engage and express this time and place.

Jayce Salloum

Photograph by Khadim Ali

Bio

Jayce Salloum’s practice aligns itself with social, personal, and political struggles through an intimate subjectivity and discursive challenge.

A grandson of Syrian immigrants from the Beqaa Valley – later colonized as Lebanon – he was born and raised on Sylix (Okanagan) territory in Kelowna, BC. He has lived in San Francisco, Banff, Toronto, San Diego, Beirut, New York, and since 1997, Vancouver.

He works in installation, photography, drawing, performance, text and video, as well as curating exhibitions, conducting workshops, and coordinating projects.

Salloum has exhibited at the Musée du Louvre, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada; Royal Ontario Museum, and the Rotterdam International Film Festival, among others. He is a recipient of the 2014 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

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Jason Nielsen

The Place Between Us

On display July 11 to August 7 on video screens (view a map)

The Place Between Us by Jason Nielsen

Description

According to a recent study, Vancouverites suffer from a high level of social isolation, contributed to by the rainy weather as well as economic shifts, immigration, and other social factors.

Artist Jason Nielsen experienced this as a newcomer to the city. His two video compositions titled The Place Between Us are meditations on isolation and coming together, using slow motion and mirroring techniques. The dreamlike images play in contrast to the busy context of advertising on the video screens. 

Bio

Jason Nielsen is an award-winning filmmaker whose short films have screened at festivals around the world. His work couples heightened visual realism with emotional themes, resulting in meditative reflections on self and society.

Nielsen’s work is in the collection of the National Library and Archives of Canada and The Douglas Archer Library at the University of Regina. Nielsen studied film production at The University of Regina and photography at Langara College in Vancouver. 

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Krista Schoening & Coley Mixan

Untitled

On display August 8 to September 11 at transit shelters (view a map – locations subject to change)

Untitled by Krista Schoening and Coley Mixan

Description

Seattle-based artists Krista Schoening and Coley Mixan collaborated to create transit shelter posters that are based on hand-drawn wave patterns, transformed digitally.

The wave patterns reference the sea and the dynamism of the port city as a cosmopolitan destination for people and ideas.

In addition to salt water waves lapping their shores, port cities are often the first places to receive waves of immigrants, new thoughts, and new technologies. 

Bio

Krista Schoening is a painter, draftsman, and printmaker. She recently earned her MFA in painting and drawing at the University of Washington, and is now pursuing an MA in art history at the same institution. She received her BA from the University of Notre Dame in anthropology and Spanish. 

kristaschoening.com External website

Coley Mixan is an artist who works in video, sound, and digital media. She holds a MFA in photomedia from the University of Washington, Seattle. 

coleymixan.org External website

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Curtis Grahauer

Tidal Pool

On display August 8 to September 11 on video screens (view a map)

Tidal Pool by Curtis Grahauer

Description

The film Tidal Pool by Curtis Grahauer represents New Brighton Park in Vancouver as a point of articulation between global industry and natural adaptation. The former salt marsh next to the Ironworker’s Memorial Bridge early on had a swimming pool that was filled by the tide.

When the waters became polluted by industry, a new pool was built. Waterfowl adapted and settled in the pool through the winter months. Now there is an initiative to turn the edge back into a salt marsh.

The film contemplates the site as a pivotal place of contestation between the natural and industrial forces of the coastal city.

Curtis Grahauer

Bio

Curtis Grahauer holds a master's of fine arts degree from Simon Fraser University. His practice is based in film, photography, and installation, and his work has been recently included in The Lind Prize exhibition at Dynamo Arts Association and a solo exhibition at the Arts Council of New Westminster.

Past collaborative work has included karaoke videos and a public access television program. He has exhibited and screened his work in Canada and USA, and has participated in residencies at KIAC (Dawson City, CA), SIM (Reykjavik, IS), and the Sointula Art Shed (CA). 

curtisgrahauer.com External website

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Kyla Mallett

Untitled

On display September 12 to October 9 at transit shelters (view a map – locations subject to change)

Untitled by Kyla Mallett

Description

Kyla Mallett’s transit shelter posters for the Coastal City project take the form of quasi-inspirational posters created from altered new-age book covers referring to a certain "West Coast New-Age" culture.

Bio

Kyla Mallet completed her MFA at UBC in 2004. She works in installation, photograpy, and video, and pursues an interest in the transgressive possibilities of language and communication.

Her work has been exhibited at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Presentation House Gallery, Artspeak, ThreeWalls in Chicago, and the Mount St. Vincent University Gallery in Halifax, among others.

Mallett is an associate professor in visual art and graduate studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. 

kylamallett.com External website

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Lisa g Nielsen

Harbeck Homage

On display September 12 to October 9 on video screens (view a map)

Untitled by Emily Crewe

Description

Lisa g Nielsen was inspired by William Harbeck’s 1907 film that records the streetcar view in downtown Vancouver. Like Harbeck, she is interested in documenting an unremarkable activity that represents the city at this time. Her film combines two of the things that define Vancouver, the seawall and the focus on cycling.

The time-lapse super 8 film documents the urban coastline from Crab Park on the city’s Downtown Eastside to Kits Beach. Using a bicycle specially adapted to hold a vintage super 8 camera, she makes her way along the seawall and then edits the film segments into a high speed tour of the perimeter of the city.

Bio

Lisa g Nielsen is a community artist and filmmaker. She is interested in work that has historical reference, social relevance, and, where possible, comedic sensibilities.

Nielsen has been working with film and digital technology since 1999 and leading film-making workshops since 2007.

She is a member of the Iris Film Collective, which promotes the creation and sharing of analog film.

lisagertrud.com External website

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Castle Grünenfelder Ingram

Nearly Lost: Re-introducing images of Vancouver’s native fruit trees

On display October 10 to November 6 at transit shelters (view a map)

Description

The collective Castle Grünenfelder Ingram’s transit shelter posters display a visual reintroduction of and homage to indigenous perennial tree crops through photos and language. Only a few of these early varieties still exist. The posters will celebrate two of these: the crab apple and choke cherry.

The images will be pixilated and impressionistic, a montage of different viewpoints to represent the “thicket” structure in which these varieties tend to grow. The posters will provide the common name of the plants in several languages.

Bio

Alex Grünenfelder attended Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and has a BA in philosophy from McGill University. He has produced interactive media and sound pieces, performances, and projects independently and for 221A Artist Run Centre, Access Gallery, and the Audain Gallery in Vancouver, as well as other places. 

Gorden Brent Brochu-Ingram has a diverse practice including urban design, and graphic books and projects for public spaces. He has a PhD in environmental planning from the department of landscape architecture, University of California, Berkeley. 

gordonbrentingram.ca External website

Julian Castle works in video and photography, media installations, and site art. He has studied environmental design and computer science.

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Emilie Crewe

(A Sense of Place)

On display October 10 to November 6 on video screens (view a map)

Untitled by Emilie Crewe

Description

Emilie Crewe’s video seeks to characterize the “personality” of Vancouver by bringing to light the contrasting natural and manmade elements of our city.

In response to use of the city as a stand in for other cities in films and to Gertrude Stein’s idea that “There is no there there,” Crewe’s video attempts to locate Vancouver in the ebb and flow of micro and macro images of this place.

Emilie Crewe

Bio

Emilie Crewe works in installation, sound, sculpture and single-channel video. In 2014, she received a City of Vancouver public art commission for a video as part of the award-winning Reconciliation series.

She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University and a master's of fine arts from the Art Institute of Chicago in Film, Video, and New Media.

emilycrewe.com External website
Twitter 

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Ben Bogart

As our gaze peers off into the distance, imagination takes over reality...

On display October 10 to summer 2017, at Queen Elizabeth Plaza

Untitled by Ben Bogart

Description

Artist Ben Bogart works with imagery that is generated by a computer. The work is a dense collage composition that emerges from thousands of photographs from the site of installation. The resulting image lies somewhere between photo-realism and abstraction. This is the nature of the coastal city, a rainy city where the edges sometimes disappear into the atmosphere.

The artwork also has this dual identity – from a distance it may appear as an abstract panorama. Upon closer inspection the fields of colour break into fine details of recognizable elements from the surrounding area.

Ben Bogart

Bio

Ben Bogart is a generative artist primarily working in installation and print whose practice is located at the intersection of art and science. Physical modelling, chaos, feedback systems, evolutionary algorithms, computer vision, machine learning, and brain science have been used to inform and engage in his creative process. Ben holds a PhD in interactive arts and technology from Simon Fraser University.

ekran.org External website

 Close

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In-depth

View the goals, eligibility, selection criteria, budget, and key dates for Platforms 2016: Coastal City.

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