The Grow Project and the Bulkhead Urban Agriculture Lab began germinating long before the first seeds were sown and ended long after the harvesting of carrots, mustards greens, pumpkins, and other crops. A concatenation of performance art, sculpture, social practice and still unnamed forms of emergent creativity, Grow was a year-long event that took up sustainability and knowledge exchange as a fluid process of gardening, workshops, walks and other public events…
Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser’s The Games are Open presently takes the form of an oversized bulldozer that sits on the west side of Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek’s Olympic Village. A gargantuan mock-up of the very machine that was recently used to raze the surface upon which it sits, the object appears to be permanent, dominating and perhaps even obtuse. Appearances, in this case, can be misleading. Rather than a static example of ‘plop art’, this colossal model performs a dialectical dance between notions of legacy and the forces of entropy, operating in turn as both monument and anti-monument.
It is a sad picture, and one that carries a surprising anxiety. The small house is surrounded by chain link fencing, topped with barbed wire, a ‘beware of dog’ sign bars the door, and nearby another hand-scrawled posting advises that the house and lot are not for sale. It is a tiny fortress, buttressed against a panic driven transformation of the urban landscape – last chance to buy, last chance to save the house, last chance to escape – it is hard to tell which is more important – but it is definitely the last chance.
In summer of 2007 a banner was proudly unfurled from one of the upper stories of a newly erected condominium tower on the north footing of Vancouver’s Cambie Street Bridge. Printed on it was a picturesque image of False Creek complete with knock-off geodesic dome and striated, pinky-orange sky. The vista approximated the view from the apartments on the opposite side of the building; as the building itself prevented the viewers of the ad, mainly commuters driving, biking or walking southward on the bridge, from seeing the actual vista, the image, in effect, stood in for the view. Below the picture was the phrase, “Who needs art?”