Slash Forward by Michael Turner launches May 16 and runs to May 31 on the Canada Line video screens. One of 13 new public art projects commissioned by the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program for Vancouver 125, Slash Forward was designed to be placed amidst commercial ads/public service announcements/breaking news.
Slash Forward is the second commissioned work of 10 Seconds, a yearlong series by Vancouver artists presented on the Canada Line from April 2011 to March 2012. A new work is featured each month on the commuter digital network — over 100,000 commuters come/go, arrive/depart and stand/walk past these info screens daily. Slash Forward is repeated every 2 minutes, 24/7.
Derived from the forward-slash, Slash Forward is the third stage in what began as a concretist device on Turner’s blog and was later adapted to 140 slashes in the Twitter-driven Digital Natives LED billboard presentation on the Burrard Street Bridge.
Is Slash Forward a message, a warning? 140 bright white slashes appear graphically on deep red field, presenting the illusion of forward/backward motion.
The internet has changed not only the way we experience the world but the way its script is written. The forward-slash is part of that script, and a means of navigation. For Turner, a writer who values means over ends, the doorway these forward-slashes stand in for has become a recurring motif in his work, one that reminds us to always “mind the gap.”
Michael Turner is an award-winning writer of fiction, criticism and song. His books include Hard Core Logo, The Pornographer’s Poem and 8×10. He is also the co-author of Fred Herzog: Vancouver Photographs.
10 Seconds is curated by Paul Wong and presented by On Main in partnership with InTransitBC. Commissioned by the City of Vancouver Public Art Program with the support of Vancouver 125 and the participation of the Government of Canada.