Public Art Registry
1 Kingsway
Mount Pleasant Civic Centre
Street level at 1 Kingsway
Site Work
In place
City of Vancouver
Description of work
Flow is Vancouver's first photo/media-based permanent public art work. Over the course of the day and night, Flow shifts between live and constructed or theatrical tableaus. During the early morning and after dusk Flow presents as a continuously changing tableau in which hundreds of photographic portraits and landscapes, shot by Fiona Bowie over the last few years, are blended and projected onto a special projection material (switch glass). As viewers come close to the image, this material causes portions of the imagery to disappear as panels of it's surface switch from translucent to clear. A system custom-designed by Bowie and Sidney Fels allows figures shot at different times to appear as if they simultaneously present, with a core group of these figures or actors recurring in a manner that implicitly suggests they're part of a larger narrative. The scenes in Flow change every two to four minutes. The transitions from one scene to another are so slow that the work has been described as having a dream like or hallucinatory quality. Because the project system constantly varies the scale of images (between life size and zoomed in), a particular shot of a particular character may vary from scene to scene, seemingly either fore-grounded or backgrounded. During daylight hours, Flow's dynamic glass projection surface ceates viewing portals, framing details the activity inside and outside. This provides individuals inside with shifting views and details of the street (these views change according to their proximity to the street) and passersby to view activity going on inside the building. The online component of Flow allows viewers to see the work unfold during the day when the site image projectors are off and the site glass is the active component. Visitors are encouraged to engage with the work by clicking on the "Put words in our mouths" link to play with dialogue and attribute phrases to characters pictured within the work. This collection of phrases is dynamic and will be added to over time. After choosing the phrase(s), the scene still can be saved and added to the Flow archive.
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