EVENT: Through a Window: Art + City + School: A Series of Ways to Observe and Read the City as Rhythms

Denise Ryner | July 9, 2015

The afternoon began in front of the large window of the Teck Gallery. A clear view of the North Shore mountains and Burrard Inlet was the backdrop for an intimate presentation of soundwork by Brady Marks, Barbara Adler, Paul Paroczai and Alexandra Spence. Here, sonic windows were opened up onto soundscapes that included Brady Mark’s invitation to listen to the passing desires of a file-sharing community by using online searches to generate a rhythm of glitches and fragments of popular culture.

After departing as a group from Harbour Center, the city was reframed by the serial windows on a moving school bus. As we navigated the FIFA fan zone to circle Larwill Park, Dr. Catherine Murray (Center for Studies on Culture and Communities, SFU) discussed the potential for a civic visioning process as part of the proposed re-location of the Vancouver Art Gallery. She suggested that the project could return public visibility to the site, which had been frequented by soldiers, workers and sports enthusiasts until 1946.  

At SFU Gallery Keith Higgins addressed his work 2,000 Vancouver Specials (2010), which paralleled Dr. Murray’s reflections on the shifts in the way Vancouver has accommodated and represented itself over a period of 50 years, in particular addressing the over administration of the cultural and physical environment as is exemplified in the legacy of the Vancouver Special architecture.

The last leg of the tour returned our group to the downtown core by connecting a succession of the city’s performative sites and sites of performance–as speaker Dr. Peter Dickinson (Institute for Performance Studies, SFU) called them.

A deer was spotted as we came to a brief stop at the site of the Kinder Morgan protests on Burnaby Mountain where Peter Dickinson recited a poem by protester and SFU faculty member Stephen Collis. We then followed Hastings Street west, as we explored how the iconic sites along this corridor performed multiple Vancouvers. The tour concluded in front of Stan Douglas’ public work, Abbott & Cordova, 7 August 1971, in the Woodwards atrium, a window onto a rupture in the rhythms of the Downtown Eastside that is integrated into the narrative of visual art and SFU’s presence on West Hastings Street.

For more information on Through a Window: Visual Art and SFU 1965–2015 click here.

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