Fountain: the source or origin of anything is a public art project by interdisciplinary artist Laiwan that explores the metaphor of fluidity within the city’s built environment, visible and invisible. Inspired by a residency in the CBC’s analogue media archives, Laiwan has created a project that inhabits public and virtual public spaces.
The first element of Fountain is the large-scale, photographic mural at The Wall, CBC Plaza, on display at 700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver from March 2014 to March 2015.
The second element, this interactive web project, extends the exploration of fluidity throughout the city, bringing together oral and natural histories of nearby communities and reflecting on the changing nature of memory – and archives – in our digital age. It is an exploratory virtual space open to contributions, designed to create a communal flow of ideas over time.
We invite you to participate in the building of this crowdsourced archive, inspired by the themes of fluidity on this site. Visit the sources of conversation to view videos and leave comments. Upload your own photos to the Image Basin’s Instagram feed by adding #fountainlaiwan to your posts. Visit the Georgia Viaduct Archive to view photographs, past and present, sourced from public and personal archives. Flip through the Water Index Cards from the CBC archives. Have fun exploring!
Thank you for joining these conversations, and please check back for new additions throughout the year.
LAIWAN is an artist, writer and educator recognized for her interdisciplinary practice based in poetics and philosophy. Born in Zimbabwe of Chinese parents, she immigrated to Canada in 1977 to leave the war in Rhodesia. Her practice investigates embodiment through performativity, audio, music, improvisation, and varieties of media, along with bodily and emotional intelligence, so as to unravel and engage presence. She teaches in the MFA Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College (Washington State, USA) and was the 2010-2014 Chair of the Board of Directors at grunt gallery (Vancouver).
JONI LOW is an independent curator and writer interested in art that exists beyond conventional exhibition spaces, generating alternative understandings of the contemporary experience. Her writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues and publications including Canadian Art, C Magazine, and Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. A member of the Doryphore Independent Curators Society, Joni has held positions at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Long March Space Beijing, and Centre A, where she developed a specialized public library focused on contemporary Asian art.
The WALL, located at the CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre Plaza at 700 Hamilton Street, is a Vancouver Heritage Foundation public art initiative made possible through a partnership between VHF, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters and CBC Radio-Canada, and this year’s participating arts organization, Centre A. We are so grateful to have these organizations come together to help realize this project.