Vancouver Biennale opens a bridge into the digital world

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Vancouver commuters headed South on the Cambie Street Bridge next week will find themselves driving into an immersive art world, billed as the biggest blockchain-based augmented reality experience of its kind. Part of the Vancouver Biennale, Voxel Bridge, by Colombian artist Jessica Angel, will transform the underside of the venerable city artery—whose first piled timber trestle incarnation opened in 1891—into an 18,000sq.ft transformative installation.

Exploring how “how public space can be constructed and utilised in both digital and physical realities”, the work will be both a physical work of art and a digital one. A vinyl overlay installed directly on the underside of the bridge deck, extending around the columns and down to the ground, will make the structure look like a slightly skewed circuit board. A kind of optical illusion, viewers may feel as if they are floating off the sidewalk or are literally part of the city grid. The work’s title is based on the name for a single point in three-dimensional computer graphics, similar to how a two-dimensional point is called a pixel.

The augmented reality part of the work will be accessed via the Vancouver Biennale app available for free on Mac and Android devices. Angel developed the online element in collaboration with Spheroid Universe supported by blockchain technology on the multichain network Kusama, aimed at developers building decentralised applications.