The City of Vancouver Public Art Program announces a new art project for transit shelters around the city. Adorno and Nose, a series of ten songs composed and illustrated by Barry Doupé and James Douglas Whitman, will be installed from August 15 to October 2, 2011 at 10 locations (listed below) and is one of 13 new public art projects commissioned by the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program for Vancouver 125. Each poster consists of a song, notated as standard sheet music, the verse, and a drawn graphic. The songs are loosely structured and poetic and meant to engage those waiting for the bus.
“The songs are invitations to play and divertissement, whether private, humming or singing to oneself, or performance, singing out loud to friends or strangers. …While it’s likely that a public art project in advertising space would bemuse by its purposelessness, its lack of ‘trying to sell you stuff’, the rhetorical unfamiliarity of the song posters should stand out. …People will be surprised, will wonder what they’re for.
Music, as it is listened to in general, is bound up with the economies and culture of recording and media distribution, defined by genres and their associated cultural values and lifestyle images. …Since the greater part of music in public space is being used to sell things, whether through store ambiance or radio ads, what participation we are allowed is as passive consumers. As artists, we are interested in the kinds of specific attention that happens when music is lifted out of these economies. …A small liminal space is created, a space of heightened awareness and the possibility of cultural invention, of new forms of being together.
The songs are simple melodies in the key of C. The basic musical training required to sight read the songs belongs to anyone who has gone through the high school band program, junior piano classes or been an avid reader of Guitar World magazine. The songs should be accessible to a large, if not very often addressed, audience. In a way these songs harken back to an earlier mode of music distribution, that of 19th century parlour music, sheet music meant to be sung at home with a piano.”
There will be a performance of the songs on Saturday, September 3, 8pm at the Western Front, 303 East 8th Avenue.
Barry Doupé and James Douglas Whitman have been writing songs since 2009 and collaborating for the past eight years, mostly as part of the drawing group The Lions (Tasha Brotherton, Matthew Brown, Barry Doupé, Collin Johanson, James Whitman). Barry writes the words and James writes the melodies. Barry studied animation at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, graduating in 2004. His writing practice developed out of writing for his feature length computer animated films such as PONYTAIL (2008). James Whitman studied at the University of Victoria and is currently an MFA candidate at Concordia University in Montreal. His drawings and book works have been exhibited throughout Europe and Canada.
Poster locations are:
Water Street: 75 meters east of Cambie Street, north side
West Pender Street: 20 meters east of Hamilton Street, south side
Dundas Street: 20 meters east of Lakewood Drive, south side
East Broadway: 20 meters west of Slocan Street, north side
East Hastings Street: 20 meters west of Victoria Street, north side
Main Street: 20 meters north of East 57th Avenue, east side
McGill Street: 20 meters west of Penticton Street, north side
Nanaimo: 20 meters north of Charles Street, east side
West 10th Avenue: 30 meters east of Trimble Street, south side
West 41st Avenue: 28 meters west of Carnarvon Street, north side
The 2011 Public Art Program focuses on opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy unique images, objects and perspectives on Vancouver and British Columbia for the City’s 125th anniversary year. Details about Vancouver’s Public Art Program can be found at vancouver.ca/publicart. The program has facilitated over a hundred projects in the past ten years, spanning large-scale permanent installations, design-team collaborations and artist-initiated artworks.