TELUS Garden Building
Fifth Floor, 510 West Georgia St.
Open Monday to Friday, 8am – 4pm
Commissioned by TELUS, Re-Visions is a new permanent, site-specific five-channel media installation developed by eight local emerging artists facilitated by the CAG and Cineworks. Mentored by Jem Noble, Brian Lye and Josh Hite, Re-Visions seeks to produce new representations of place through the group’s diverse responses to our city in motion. The installation engages with themes of temporal and spatial transformation, the landscape of Vancouver portrayed through constant, yet fluctuating changes in infrastructure, community and communications. Playing with the idea of a contemporary “city symphony” — an experimental documentary genre that mimics city rhythms in an attempt to create a portrait of everyday city life — the installation turns to repetition and abstraction, rather than literal representation.
Bo Ha, Chris Mills, Diego Romero, Elizabeth Ellis, Megan Low, Natalie Murao, Robert Psutka, Sophia Wolfe
Re-visions brought together eight emerging artists from diverse backgrounds in visual, performing and literary arts. Unique perspectives combined into a larger collaborative multi-screen piece, the shared objective being to highlight the dynamism inherent in the processes of rapid (re)building as Vancouver evolves, remembering a recent past while gesturing towards an imagined future.
Read on for a report by emerging artist and Re-visions participant Elizabeth Ellis:
“In November 2014, a group of artists met at the CAG to begin an intensive learning program to produce a new media installation for TELUS Garden with the guidance of mentors Josh Hite, Brian Lye, and Jem Noble.
We spent a couple of months researching through studio and gallery visits, workshops, and artist talks. After generating some ideas, we set out as a group and began experimenting with different documentation tactics throughout the city. We walked through urban spaces and improvised along the way. We tried same-space shooting, giving each other instructions, and exploring methods rooted in psychogeography. We continually revised our ideas but were overwhelmed with the amount that we had, as a group of eight. It felt like there were unlimited directions to pursue.
We also had lectures given by artists in the city and during a final talk at the CAG, artist Laiwan reminded us to deeply listen: to be in-tune with the phenomena that’s personally interesting, and to expand our visual and emotional vocabulary—linking metaphors and creating language. This advice motivated the group to share what we were each invested in. Artists with dance and performance backgrounds approached the project focusing on movement, through the choreography of the camera body and the collection of images. Others considered integrating city archives and found footage, while some explored concepts around urban space and telecommunications. The challenge then became how to weave seemingly disparate ideas together into a collective piece. How did we experience the city space as individuals and yet also as a collective?
As we looked through each contribution in the editing stage, patterns emerged and a new language started to collectively form. We realized that what we initially thought were disconnected ideas actually echoed our diverse experiences of the city. Our process and works entangled with one another, and for me, this was one of the most rewarding aspects about the collaboration.
Thanks to our mentors, Cineworks, and the Contemporary Art Gallery for your generosity of time, dialogue, and support throughout this valuable learning opportunity.”
The City in Motion
CAG/TELUS Garden Public Art Commission
November, 2014 – February, 2015
This fall the CAG embarked on a unique public art commission and intensive program for emerging artists ages 17 to 25 years old. Selected to develop a community-based permanent multimedia installation for the TELUS office located in the new TELUS Garden building on West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver, the CAG has organized The City in Motion, an intensive four month program for emerging artists interested in investigating the city through the frame of moving images. Supported by Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society and led by artist/mentors Josh Hite and Brian Lye, participants will consider how the city is documented and can be pictured through film, video and new media. The young artists will engage with the histories of documentary film and the city archive, interrogating contemporary forms of documentation from smart phones and social media to surveillance recordings. Youth will respond to the ideologies, perceptions and histories of the city, culminating in the production of a new commission for the TELUS Garden building.
This innovative program is an opportunity for youth to experiment with various media, offering training and mentorship on the concepts, documentation tactics and technical logistics for developing video/film/new media work. Through studio and gallery visits, workshops and screenings the group will be connected to Vancouver’s cultural community. Cineworks will host a screening of completed works in February 2015.MORE
Re-Visions: Improvisation & Collaboration
In November 2014, a group of artists met at the CAG to begin an intensive learning program to produce a new media installation for TELUS Garden with the guidance of mentors Josh Hite, Brian Lye, and Jem Noble.
Megan Low, one of the participating artists writes on the production process, transformation and endlessness….
I’ve been thinking a lot about endings, especially since this project is now complete. It feels bittersweet that after the many months spent meeting, discussing, and hovering over computer screens, the thing exists beyond the seed of an idea.
I’ve also been returning to what artist Laiwan Laiwanette said to us in a talk about extending the life of a project through different mediums, and about documenting the process as part of the work itself.
Now that I can reflect on it, I sense that the work exists in written ideas and individual interpretation as much as it does on screen. There are moments in it that linger and make you question the reality you think you know, and moments left on the cutting room floor that are as much a part of the piece as what remains. It almost seems fit that, for a project exploring spatial transformations in relation to time, the work has undergone prolonged visions and re-visions.
Although there is a self-congratulatory satisfaction in having laboured over something that has finally made its way out into the world and being able to actually see it, what has been more satisfying has been the process itself. Connecting as a group—learning, doing, failing, and succeeding together—has been an invaluable experience, as has being afforded expert mentorship and guidance. I’m almost certain that I speak for everyone involved in saying that this opportunity has been transformative beyond measure in terms of skills and personal growth gained.
I picture the steady stream of people walking by or stopping to watch our piece as it loops continuously throughout the workday, and I can’t help but be poetic as I think of the city just outside continuously changing. I still wonder about endings…
– Megan LowMORE