Public Art Registry
A Bright Future
Artwork has been removed.
A Bright Future
Various locations on Main Street
The artwork has been removed from this location.
Site-integrated work
No longer in place
City of Vancouver
88 BLOCKS Art on Main
Text-based work
Description of work
1. Light Shelter Bus Shelter: City bus shelter #50244 (west side of Main Street at 20th Avenue) adapted to become a light therapy bus shelter. Light fixtures are triggered by sensor when approaching shelter. (Temporary Project) 2. Blanket Bus: Full bus wrap on city bus driving East and West on Main Street displaying four images of afghan blankets. (Temporary Project) 3. Interior Cards: King Panel bus driving East and West on Main Street. Artists invited to create designs on the ambiguous theme of Instant Coffee. Twenty artists’ designs were printed on cards, replacing the interior bus ads. Exterior King Panel: Through text messaging, the public voted on a ‘winner’ of the interior ad cards, who received a prize and had their design featured on the King Panel for the remainder of the project. (Temporary Project) 4. Sandwich Boards: Metal sandwich boards painted bright colours with Instant Coffee slogans painted on the front and back. (Permanent Sculptures)
Artist statement
As part of Instant Coffee's self-proclaimed “Year of Bright Days,” the exhibit, A Bright Future was a four part public commission for "88 BLOCKS Art on Main". Instant Coffee has a reclaimed aesthetic and a social intention that played out over the four components: Blanket Bus; Instant Coffee 500; Say Nothing in Bright Colours; and Instant Coffee Light Bar Bus Shelter. All the components functioned as short moments of reprieve as visual fields that are most typically reserved for advertising. Even though Instant Coffee often formally plays with the style of advertising it does so without a clear focused point of sale. For Blanket Bus, Instant Coffee re-positioned and re-scaled the typical hand crafted afghan blanket, wrapping five sides of an articulated bus with large realistic photo images of the blankets. With its erratic and saturated palette and its repetitive grid line and block form, this vernacular aesthetic of the afghan was synthetically ripe, easily appropriated from its modest domestic crafting place and resituated at a larger scale into a public space, one of advertising. Since the artist collective's inception in 2000, Instant Coffee has used language as part of their practice, designing slogans like "it doesn't have to be good to be meaningful and "get social or get lost." It is through succinct catchphrases, which at times drip with the sincerity of self-help jargon, ring with the urgings of advertising slogans or resound with a dissonant irony, that Instant Coffee applies to Say Nothing in Bright Colours, a series of seven individually hand painted sandwich boards that will be permanently installed in various locations along Main St in Vancouver. Instant Coffee often invites other artists to participate in their projects and they continued this tradition for Instant Coffee 500, where they asked 14 artists to design 16 interior car ad cards to be displayed in one bus. Instant Coffee then asked bus patrons to vote on which artist ad card they like best. For two weeks, transit riders voted on their favorite design via text messaging and online. The winning artist received a $500.00 prize and their design was featured on the outside of another number three Main Street bus for the remainder of the project. For the Light Bar Bus Shelter, Instant Coffee adapted the Main and West 20th bus shelter into a full spectrum light therapy bar. In a place, such as Vancouver, Canada, with much darkness and rain, the negative effects from this lack of sunlight has on individual psyches and the larger social milieu seems at times seems paramount. Instant Coffee offered a moment of solace; only fifteen minutes at the bus shelter was needed for a daily dose of vitamin D and a brighter future.
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