CODE Live 1 at Great Northern Way Campus

Great Northern Way Campus sits at a virtual Vancouver crossroads and tells the tale of the city’s changing history. Beside the Trans-Canada Railway yards, the site was once home to the Finning Tractor Company factory. Now, the Centre for Digital Media teaches new media and interactive art and design on the site. The large factory spaces originally built for machinery are an ideal setting for the expansive and interactive works of CODE Live 1.  Each weekend the space is transformed for the CODE Night Life Performances.

Where: 577 Great Northern Way, Vancouver

This CODE Live venue is now closed.

Please visit CODE Live 3 at The Vancouver Public Library – Central Branch until February 28, 2010.

You can also experience CODE Live projects around Metro Vancouver including Vectorial Elevation .




787 Cliparts: Oliver Laric (Austria)

This installation, by net.artist Oliver Laric, uses the free software program Clipart to capture 787 incongruous images per minute from the internet and display them in a fast-paced juxtapostion. The cultural images range from sports to news and from ads to objects of devotion, from objects of consumption to yoga poses and historical sites, all appearing like bodies in motion. Laric’s method weaves a truly global mosaic through images that have no property or intellectual property rights attached. The projected video effect is like that of flickering 16 mm film. One wall is composed of all the images simultaneously, like global wallpaper for the interconnected online world.







Artificial Moon: Wang Yuyang, curated by Li Zhenhua (China)

As a symbol, the moon has had multiple meanings in cultures throughout history. Its famous phases from new to full have been captured in song, pictures and metaphors for millennia and many common words — from Monday to loony — refer to the moon.

In China, the full moon is traditionally a symbol for reunion, captured in the word tuanyuan, and many generations of astronomers studied lunar and solar movements and made predictions based on them. What artist Wang Yuyang seems to propose in Artificial Moon is a reversal of much of that history and its considerable connections. By creating a full-blown, exaggerated, bright sphere from over 4,000 industrial lights, Artificial Moon becomes the source of light, not a reflection. Instead of a metaphor for the earth’s only natural satellite it outlines a new phase: the generator of pulsing light; a kind of sun/moon; a surreal distortion of our lunar expectations through electrical means.

The moon’s unchanging face is turned to the Earth as it orbits our planet. In Artificial Moon however, both the near side and the so-called “dark side” are available for viewing. Yet, the lights produce a kind of strange illusion of the rough landscape of lights and dark of the natural moon; its seas and mountains, depressions and volcanoes. In fact, one crater, called a peak of eternal light, on the moon’s north pole is illuminated 24 hours a day and is an example of where art at its most imaginative and inventive meets hard scientific explanation.






Cambridge Bay: A Time and a Place: Souns featuring Tanya Tagaq (Canada)

A Time and Placeis a meditative sound journey of music and soundscapes created exclusively from audio recorded in and around Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Invited by musical collaborator Tanya Tagaq, an acclaimed Inuit throat singer, Michael Red (Souns) carefully gathered sounds including wind, dogs, birds, rushing water, still water, ice melting and crackling, feet moving through slush, a qillauti (drum) played and tightened, objects being tossed around and banged together at the community dump, the 10 o’clock siren, truck doors slamming, kids laughing and playing and more. Red also recorded Tanya singing and experimenting with other sounds from her mouth, running her fingers through furs and feathers, swishing ulus (knives) together, pulling at the ground, clacking rocks together and slurping freshly melted ice. Over three years, in Vancouver, Red categorized the sounds into a kind of subjective library of sounds, edited them into songs and sound pieces, and completed a continuous cycling mix of the songs and pieces. The mix heard in this installation is intended as a cyclical story that can be picked up anywhere, moving between the quieter moments of ambient field recordings and more dramatic areas like beat-driven songs. This is a sound expression of an experience — a compilation of ideas inspired from, and rooted in, land above the treeline.





Condemned Bulbes: Artificiel (Canada)

In a world of wires, radio waves, satellites, radar, sensors and cellular fields to name just a few, a field of invisible electricity pulses through our environments and our bodies. As a result, unsolicited noises are created when unexpected juxtapositions occur, like a cell phone buzzing unexpectedly near a radio or a person receiving a radio transmission in a tooth filling.  In Condemned Bulbes, this hidden energy field is deliberately brought to life. A grid of overhead bulbs tune into these changing wavelengths and charges, responding in sudden bursts of light and sound. Sometimes subtle and sometimes loud and overbearing, this installation demonstrates and speaks of the inconsistent, expanding and contracting nature of electromagnetic energy on Earth.  The bulbs are sequenced through their own algorithmic event generator, and then tuned specifically for each presentation.  By making this unpredictable power visible and auditory, Condemned Bulbesmakes sense of prevailing forces outside our normal realms of perception, and makes us particularly aware of the intermittent scarcity and abundance of these wild fluctuations of influence.




Dune 4.0: Studio Roosegaarde (Netherlands)

Dune 4.0 creates an interactive landscape where elements such as light and sound built into a space are further energized by the motions and sound of the visitors on its path. An abandoned shipping container creates a threshold experience welcoming visitors into a place where machines and humans are recognized as equal and responsive. Despite its highly sophisticated technology, Dune 4.0 offers a gentle and subtle experience. The LED lights sway like reeds in a wind reacting to the pedestrian’s movements, becoming more intense when more people move through or darken when there is little movement. Like one part of nature answering another, Dune 4.0 is dependent upon both its human users to become a significant aesthetic experience and on a computer program that allows for the interchange. The landscape of Dune 4.0 is always sensitive in relation to the visitor, behaving playfully and “learning” from the visitors’ presence.





Foreign Voices, Common Stories (Ghettoblaster): James Phillips, presented by Analogue Nostalgia (Canada)

Walls of 1980s analog boom boxes, commonly known as ghetto blasters,  create an immediate nostalgia as the viewer enters the installation space. Each tape deck is equipped with motion detectors  to react to the presence of visitors.  A myriad of stories from around the world revealing why ghetto blasters are significant cultural icons erupt from the boom boxes, using MP3 players as the source, the boom boxes as the amplification and speaker system for the messages. The ubiquitous use of such decks, which were marketed globally, although different in design, produced a sameness in cultures often called globalization, but as one listens to the radios, differences in the stories and experiences begin to register. The recordings are in several different languages as well as English, but there is also a set of recordings in foreign versions of English as a commentary on the fact that Pidgen English will soon be one of the most spoken languages in the world. Being able to tape one’s own music and share it easily and portably was an authentic way to share tastes and cultural differences in a democratic distribution. Cultural loss, cultural gain and the cultural mosaic are the subjects of this installation.





Instant Places: Canada CODE: Ian Birse, Laura Kavanaugh (Canada)

Instant Places: Canada CODEis an audio/video environment in which images, sounds, and texts are collected from a literal and figurative journey across Canada, and transformed in real time. Kavanaugh and Birse began the project in September 2009 in Makkovik Newfoundland and Labrador, gathering audiovisual material and creating the computer programming as they travelled by ferries, buses and trains across Canada to Vancouver. A computer program sorts and categorizes the rich multimedia material and categorizes it by colour, shape, theme and location. The visual field is large and immersive, suggesting the breadth of Canada. It is large enough that the viewer is not able to take in the whole screen, and must choose an area of interest to watch. Multiple audio speakers recreate real acoustic spaces recorded in four-channel surround sound, sonically taking the audience into communities across the country. With the constant shifts in both image and sound, Instant Places: Canada CODEattempts to communicate the diversity of Canada to an extraordinarily and distinctly varied audience.




Paparazzi Bots: Ken Rinaldo (USA)

In this humorous, yet critical, work by Ken Rinaldo, three very accessible robots individually choose a person who comes into their range. Each robot seeks humans to take photos of him or her, just like the frenzied paparazzi the robots are named after and reinvented from. The difference, of course, is obvious. Here, artificial intelligence is at work. These electronic media hunters are integrated systems of advanced technologies that only mimic the authentic photo hounds that create fame and fatality. Nevertheless, the robots take the image of person they choose to stalk and later those images are published to the web, making formerly anonymous people media celebrities for their short 15 megabytes of fame.





PLAY: The Hertzian Collective: Geoffrey Shea (Canada)

PLAY: The Hertzian Collectiveis a musical sound sculpture created with projected video images and played collectively by viewers on their mobile phones.  Visual rhythms and spoken text explore schoolyard games: the structured and unstructured play invented by children during the loss of innocence that accompanies growing up. Arranged in three groups of overlapping, circular, video-projected images, rhythm sequences are controlled by viewers dialing a toll-free phone number and selecting beats by pressing buttons on their keypads. Inviting and participatory, the work encourages viewers to play. Structured something like a primitive musical instrument or an elaborate clockwork toy, visitors with mobile phones take control of some part of the action or another. Exploration quickly gives way to jamming and collaboration as each player realizes that they are sharing control of this interactive artwork with other viewers standing nearby. (Created at the Mobile Experience Lab at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Produced with the assistance of Rob King, John Kuisma, Jenny Parsons, Steven Morel and Michael Tweed).




Reactable: Sergi Jordà, Martin Kaltenbrunner, Günter Geiger and Marcos Alonso (Austria, Spain)

Reactable is an electronic musical instrument with luminous tabletop surfaces that can be played simultaneously by several people. Participants move and rotate physical objects, which, in turn, activate programs of complex and dynamic sounds. Designed by digital luthiers (someone who makes or repairs stringed instruments), Reactableis available for anyone visiting the exhibition to play. Circumventing the complex processes associated with musical collaboration, this instrument is a sonic device that allows for immediate learning and performance. The idea of creating a physical and virtual space simultaneously suggests how technologies of communication can produce systems of collaboration, the implications of which are beyond aesthetics and art.





Breaking the Ice: Society for Arts and Technology (Canada)
at Great Northern Way Campus and the Bibliotèque de Montréal

Breaking the Ice is an installation developed by the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] that connects in real-time the audience at CODE Live 1 with participants at the other end of the country. As audience members in Vancouver approach the installation’s screen, they encounter an icy window displaying their counterparts thousands of kilometers away in Montreal. Through real-time telepresence, participants can connect, interact and proceed to play using a human size touchscreen.  After virtually melting the digital frost between the users, a live video transmission from the other city is revealed. Users can play in this frosty atmosphere, hand-drawing in the ice, using snowflakes to re-freeze the scene. The ice might also break completely, requiring participants to piece together the shattered fragments. Through one of the fastest internet lines in the world, and with live audio/video streaming, this game will allow audience members in Montreal and Vancouver to literally “break the ice.”




Vested: Don Ritter (Canada)

There has never been a time in the history of civilization where daily global travel is so ubiquitous. Every day, tens of thousands of people cross time zones, continents and oceans. The constantly migrating tourist is one of the predominant figures of the 21st century as well as the electronic nomad. Here, the two figures are constantly in touch, literally or metaphorically, with the exotic monuments of other cultures: prestigious art museums, government buildings, ancient architecture, towers, or well-known churches and temples. Designed as a wearable technological vest, Vestedimmediately transforms the visitor to this cross-cultural world of images, journeying from Vishnu’s temple at Angkor Wat to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. Displayed on a three-screen array, and responding to sensors and cameras set up in the space, participants see themselves in these vast and varying cultural spaces. They can affect the panorama by pushing a red button which dramatically alters the images to produce new panoramic views. Questions of history, life, death, perception and identity are raised through this experience. What is civilization? What is worth preserving? What are our choices?





We Are Stardust: George Legrady (Canada)

We Are Stardust is a two-screen projection installation that uses infrared sensors to connect the real-time location of the audience with the total vastness of space, and observations of the sky from 2003 to the present. Using a Spitzer Space Telescope, the data is collected from a sensing device that orbits the sun in the trail of the earth’s orbit. Over 36,000 observations are created and projected in a five-hour cycle. Simultaneously, the FLIR infared camera, (a special model made specifically for the US military) repositions its gaze on the audience based on the positions of the Spitzer’s observations. As one screen represents this galaxy as it evolves, the other screen, using a similar sensing device, represents the changing space within the installation itself. The universe is projected and visualized, and the exhibition space records the spectator’s thermal presence and actions, creating a work of art that is truly universal and local at the same time.We are Stardustreminds us of how small we really are, yet how interconnected we can be beyond what we can normally see with the human eye.





Where Are You? : Luc Courschene (Canada)

Like a navigator and pilot in real space, in Where are You?Montreal artist Luc
Courchesne provides a simple joystick to travel in a virtual space of massive and indefinite information. Standing in an inverted sphere, the visitor has a 360-degree pantoscopic view of images, sounds, texts and objects. The operator is able to change the scale of the image, while the surroundings are activated at different speeds. As in a dream: clouds, mountains, valleys and audio interventions such as human chants are all encountered in the adventure where clusters help unfold a story. But, as in a dream, this is an endless story with meanings that are yours and yours alone.  Moving up again in scale bring visitors closer to the physical reality, an inverted dome located in the exhibition space at the Great Northern Way Campus, from where they are able to look at a sunset on a virtual beach. The title is evocative of the experience. Where are you?Indeed, who are you and when are you? Courchesne is referring back to the 18th century’s sublime panoramas of landscape scenes but he has updated them for the 21st-century viewer whose vision seems limitless. These questions are invoked by the infinite spaces and infinite choices in a new technological panorama of intensity.

CODE Lounge

The CODE Lounge will be a place for both day and night time interaction. With screens, wireless, and coffee or other beverages by night, audience members will have a chance to relax, reflect and learn more about the entire suite of CODE projects. Includes work by Organelle and Shea Allan-McCachen.

CODE Live Night Life

Eight nights, eight opportunities to see and hear the freshest sights and sounds in electronic entertainment. All performances take place at the Great Northern Way Campus. Tickets: $20 to $25. 800-TICKETS or


Art that deals with nature through new technologies may seem to be contradictory. But questions of ecology and issues of the world’s natural depletion of resources have found public visibility through these new persuasive technologies used both as educational and as poetic tools.




ECO ART: Akousmaflore: Scenoscome, co-presentation with the Canadian Film Centre (France)

Akousmaflore is a small garden full of living sonic plants, which react to human gestures and gentle contact. Each plant reacts differently to contact or warmth by producing a specific sound. The plants’ language or song occurs through the touch and the close proximity of the visitor. Each visitor’s invisible, but real, electrical force encourages the plant to react. The plants sing when they are touched or stroked lightly.

Natural plants that, in turn, are connected to discharges of sound, sense the invisible electrical and heat forces produced by human bodies to produce these ongoing floral concerts. Through Akousmaflore’ssubtle use of technologies, the plants’ existence is made known by a scream, a melody or an acoustical vibration.



ECO ART: Greenhouse: Brendan Wypich, co-presentation with the Canadian Film Centre (Canada)

In another deep relationship between technology and nature, this installation documents the ongoing journey of an orchid living in its natural habitat thousands of miles away from Vancouver. The conditions and factors that affect its size, growth, colour, stability, beauty and health are precisely streamed to our eyes through weather data from the source region, changing in real time. In an ironic reversal, the plant seems to become artificial or the viewer can see how it too is a machine designed for survival. The orchid develops the data of its environment through evolutionary choices in the same way artificial intelligence does. The relationship between nature and technology appears less a contradiction and more a mimicry.



ECO ART: Mondo Spider: Zero Emissions: eatART (Canada)

Humans and technologies are being joined in ways that a short time ago seemed like only science fiction fantasies. Mondo Spider is inspired by a combination of the kinetic structures found in popular cultural forms as well as the surreal mechanical imaginations found at the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock, Nevada. Using two hydraulic levers, this giant machine needs hundreds of different and specifically engineered pieces to work in perfect precision to operate each step.  In this iteration Mondo Spider has been specially converted to leave no carbon emissions. Electro-luminescent wire lights it up at night, and this body with its spider-like movements lives somewhere between the natural and the artificial, between spiders and technology, in a zone where science and fiction have merged.



ECO ART: mov_ing: Raquel Kogan, curated by Claudio Rivera-Seguel (Brazil)

mov_ing is an installation that begins with a projected moving video of an old transport truck carrying a load through a great urban environment containing a stove, a mattress and furniture, including a mirror. As the visitors find themselves in a reflective area, they automatically stimulate a sensor that fills the visitor’s space with light. Concurrently, the mirror’s image becomes dominant and the screen is now filled with a newly composed rear view, that of a city slum through which he now travels. The mirror displaces the first journey to align the viewers with their image, positioned in the overcrowded conditions of a poor section of this city.  Through a transformative journey, mov_ing speaks to the current reality facing over one billion people on our planet today.




ECO ART: Seed: Napoleon Brousseau and Gabe Sahwney (Canada)

Seed is a large screen upon which a digital forest can be created through the intersection between wireless technology and the mobile phones of audience members. Visitors have the opportunity to choose the type of tree they want to plant, grow their seeds in public and change the texture and colour of each. A call produces a text that sprouts a tree on the screen. But, in an interesting intersection between the real and virtual, for every tree on screen, a real tree will be planted. This is a collaborative work of art that evolves in real time, both on the web and on the ground. The issue of reforestation is visualized through the new culture of information architecture allowing visitors to feel and understand responsibility for trees in a simple and accessible way. Only through our actions can the planet’s environment be improved, and Seed creates a forum for a technological artistic movement with a solution.



ECO ART: World Without Water: Tahir Mahmood, Kalli Paakspuu and Suzette Araujo, co-presentation with the Canadian Film Centre (Canada)

World Without Water is a participatory artwork that begins with the familiar experience of hand washing. The mirror above the sink acts as a screen filling with images that are generated by the individual’s consumption of water from the tap. Deserts, glaciers, lakes and waterfalls as well as the urgent issue of water management are displayed, evoking the expected global water crisis of this century. The visible interaction between use and scarcity are intensified by the tactile experience of the hands in water in relation to the virtual world evoked on the screen. World Without Wateris an intimate rendering of our complicity with the urgent and widespread dilemma of water shortages everywhere.