Written by: Diego Rodriquez and Sophie Bégin

There was a time within history when art and life were not so separate.  A time when the idea of ‘public art’ was not yet relevant. Since the age of modernity, a big percentage of the art world manifested itself within galleries or museums, giving itself up to the institution and its visitors.

While public art is also often governed by an institution, it has the ability to stretch out its capacity for a larger audience. The audience being any and every member of a community.  Art and life are not so separate when it comes to public art. Their proximity becomes even more blurred when we begin to consider interactive art.

To be fully purposeful, interactive art requires the participation of spectators.  Without interaction, the artwork remains the object that it is.  However, spectators have the ability to bring certain artworks to life! The relationship that is created here, can often be echoed within its immediate environment.  Through the spectacle that it is, the sights and sounds emanating from the work draw people in.  There is something profound about this relationship to me.  As though it represents conversation, or history even.

Here are some examples of interactive art in Vancouver:

COOPERS MEWS: Alan Storey (2002)

Here people are invited to make sound by stepping on the wooden boardwalk which connects to the wooden barrels over top.  The steel track wanders through Pacific Boulevard and the False Creek sea wall, referencing the railway and cooperage that once was.

WALK IN/ HERE YOU ARE: Christian Kliegel and Cate Rimmer (2010)

This piece invites people to use the installation to their own comfort.  To view other  local works on the large screen while taking a break to socialize and relax.

Here are links to both pieces on the city’s registry:



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