Vancouver, BC (2011) – If passersby thought they saw something unusual on the electronic billboards at the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver in April 2011, they were right. DIGITAL NATIVES used an electronic billboard near the bridge to flash brief, artist-written messages in between the static advertisements that normally rotate on the billboards every 10 seconds. The messages related to the location and history of the are near the billboard, and the nature of digital language and translation. The installation coincided with the 125th anniversary of the city of Vancouver.
The messages were meant to be an exploration of language in a public space, and a forum for exchange between Native and non-Native communities (the Burrard Street bridge is located in Squamish Nation territory). Artists and writers from across North America contributed messages, sent in the form of tweets, to appear on the billboard; First Nations youth were encouraged to tweet messages for possible publication. Sixty messages were chosen in all.
The project was organized by the Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, a collective of Vancouver-based individuals with expertise in curation, project management, presentation, deliver, and promotion of temporary art projects in public spaces.