I first heard about Voxel Bridge in Summer 2020, when I walked under the south end of Cambie Street Bridge, past signage that promised a historic moment for Vancouver’s iconic Cambie Street Bridge.
The Cambie Bridge of today is in its third iteration. The first Cambie Bridge opened in 1891. It was a simple piled-timber trestle with a trussed timber swing span near the middle. The second Cambie Bridge, opened in 1911, was a four-lane, medium level steel bridge, with a length of 1,247 metres, that included streetcar tracks, long gone from the bridge that now stands in its place. The cost of each bridge is an indicator of how currency has transitioned over the past 100 years. First bridge $12,000, second bridge $740,000, and the last one built between 1983-85, $52.7 million. But I digress…
Cambie Bridge now awaits a new era, one that will transform the south underside of the bridge into the largest digital art display of its kind. It is happening now!
I wanted to share the evolving creativity that is occurring. Today’s video will introduce a before from last year, to the beginning that is occurring this past week. Stay tuned for more in the weeks ahead.
Description: Title: Voxel Bridge
Artist: Jessica Angel (b. 1980, Colombia)
Medium: Vinyl, Augmented Reality
Exhibition Period: Summer 2021 – 2023
Location: Underneath Cambie Street Bridge South in Vancouver
“Voxel Bridge is an 18,000-square-foot immersive installation by New York-based, Colombian artist Jessica Angel. The artwork explores how public space can be constructed and utilized in both digital and physical realities. Using adhesive vinyl and Augmented Reality technology, Angel will transform the Cambie Street Bridge in Vancouver and draw visual parallels between blockchain technology and the structural integrity of the underpass in front of the Southeast False Creek Neighborhood Energy Utility (NEU). This installation will become a point of contact and dialogue around different forms of knowledge.” Vancouver Biennale
I understand that the artwork will have a vinyl overly as its first layer. The next step is much more interesting, serving as a reminder that we are entering into a time when interaction with technology has moved from possibility to reality. When I download a Vancouver Biennale app, I will see digital objects that appear to float around and interact. Voxel Bridge will deliver an animated and interactive experience, analogous to standing in the middle of a circuit board.
Imagine how much has happened since 1891, when Cambie Bridge was a simple piled-timber trestle. Can we imagine what it will be like 100 years from now?
Perhaps it is best just to enjoy this moment. This is your invitation to join me under the Cambie Street Bridge, before and beginnings.