Thursday, October 23, 2014

New public art series encourages connection to Calgary's watershed

Varying Proximities, a new temporary two-part public art series, encourages us to think about how we experience our rivers. The series was created by Broken City Lab, one of five artist groups working through The City of Calgary’s WATERSHED+ Artist Residency program.

Part one, titled Subtext: River Signs, asks a series of questions, in place until mid-January, affixed to 100 stormwater outfall signs throughout the downtown area along both sides of the Bow and Elbow.

Broken City Lab’s project invites us to consider the importance of our relationship to our rivers through a new lens, asking questions we might of a person or a relationship,” said Sans fa├žon, lead artist for the WATERSHED+ public art program.

Immersed in Water Services

The artists were immersed directly with The City of Calgary's Water Services staff and learned the specifics about Calgary’s water systems, resources and processes. The artists say that level of accessibility and engagement with City staff was truly essential in the development of the project, which is specific to Calgary's watershed.

Part two of the series, Connecting to the Bow, invites you to call the Bow River from anywhere in the world by dialing 1-844-OUR-BOW-RIVER. For the next 12 months, you can dial the toll-free hotline and be transported to the river’s edge.

Appeal to the senses

“Hearing the Bow River flowing really made that connection for me. It’s kind of our lifeblood in the sense of the water giving us life and allowing us to be nourished. For me, it was the beginning of having more respect and responsibility and more knowledge about our place in it all,” said Calgarian Carol Clausen.

Over the span of a year, Broken City Lab worked alongside The City of Calgary through the WATERSHED+ public art program, a cornerstone of The Utilities and Environmental Protection (UEP) department’s public art plan.

More information on the Varying Proximities series or any of our other public art projects. 

Submitted by Jennifer Storm, Arts and Culture, Recreation

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