Pop Rocks Pop Up In Vancouver

Vancouver’s latest public art installation – Pop Rocks – debuted on the 800-block of Robson Street this week. Designed by AFJD Studio (Amber Frid-Jiminez & Joe Dahmen) and Matthew Soules Architecture and sponsored by VIVA Vancouver, this project sees 15 soft sculptures deployed along a downtown street. Each piece is made by reusing old sail fabric from Canada Place, recycled polystyrene pellets and stitched together by a local sail-maker. 100% post-industrial material, recreated. I shot the artists during production a short time ago – see my earlier blog post for more – and popped down for the opening on Wednesday to check out the final product.

From the get-go, it seems the public took to these forms immediately, like they were always meant to be there. I took some time to observe and photograph the different ways people interacted – children jumping off them and sliding down them, adults taking a rest on the pillows, teens texting and sketching, tourists snapping pics. All the while a DJ spins (and led off with a track from Demdike Stare – kudos!) and the formerly exclusive-to-motorists pavement became an outdoor lounge for a spell. Here’s to more of these public art projects that engage, inspire and enhance our city streets. Pop Rocks is on until September 3, so find some time to relax on a giant beanbag downtown.

Vancouver, 2012.

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