It may not have been the nadir of my dimness, but it was certainly the most twitlike thing I did last weekend. Believing the end time was the start time, I arrived at the Grow project’s mason-bee workshop three hours late, just after the participants had left. Still, the enthusiasm of artist Holly Schmidt and landscape architecture student Chloe Bennett shone on undiminished. Standing in the middle of what’s been dubbed the “Bulkhead Urban Agriculture Lab”, a public-art project on the south shore of False Creek, just west of the Olympic Village, they generously shared their knowledge and insights.
A cold wind blows off the grey waters of Vancouver’s False Creek. On a grassy promontory, just west of the Olympic Village and north of the former city works yard, a garden is being dismantled. Large planters, fashioned out of repurposed shipping bags and perched on second-hand wooden pallets, have yielded up their summer bounty of herbs, berries, grains, vegetables and edible flowers. Workshops have been given, walks have been conducted and seeds have been exchanged. More importantly, the garden has sown a large crop of community interest and environmental involvement.
Kathleen Ritter, October 5, 2011 Francisco Camacho, October 11, 2011 Samuel Roy-Bois: Interlocutor, November 8, 2011 Claire Doherty in conversation with Lorna Brown (Podcast) Over the last four decades, artists have re-imagined their relationship to public space. Moving from civic squares and lofty edifices, public art has expanded beyond a relationship to physical structures to […]
Group Search considers our use of the library in many ways. Library visitors are looking for something; we enter a system in order to find it, and welcome surprising discoveries within our often-solitary search. We are active, inquisitive viewers in a visually complex environment that includes the architecture, the systems of categorization, the stacks and the furniture, the machines and signage, the escalators and glass, and the movement of people within.
Kathy Slade undertook a 52-week performance, beginning in September 2006, resulting in a unique bookwork. Once a week, on an appointed day and time, she visited the Vancouver Public Library to choose and borrow a book. Each transaction receipt, which clearly states the date, time and book title, was digitally scanned and saved. Because the receipts are printed on thermal paper, they will slowly fade. At the end of the year, these documents from the performance were assembled into an artists’ book that was donated to the Vancouver Public Library Special Collections.
A library is one of the last refuges for the democratic potential of a shared cultural consciousness, a true public commons. Reading takes many forms here – at times it is a very directed, instrumental pursuit of particular forms of knowledge, at other times it is more intuitive, a mental wandering, where one book leads to the next, through footnotes and bibliographies, and through browsing in the stacks.
Displays, created by library staff and community groups, can be found throughout the many areas of the library, drawing attention to national days of remembrance, seasonal holidays, and topics of interest to library users, and highlighting different books and resources. Often found on the escalator landings, framed by the Copier room wall, these displays use familiar materials and presentation techniques to animate the space of the library.