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Courtesy of Operative Agency (Bryan Lemos Beça and Steve DiPasquale).

The Space of Difference

Past and present biological and geological imagery combine on UrbanScreen.

Operative Agency (Bryan Lemos Beça and Steve DiPasquale) classify the biological as the flow of organic mass and energy, and the geological as encrustations of matter. In this way, the biological includes the rustling cornfield as well as the movement of passengers on the SkyTrain, and the geological extends from the landscaped lawn to the rapid transit track.

These two spheres of imagery make up the video matrix for the artwork. Drawing from this matrix of material, which is coded to respond to the movement of the SkyTrain, pairings of images cut in vertical strips are produced. Much like a digital version of rollage art or rotating billboards in the process of changing from one advertisement to another, two images are seen at once. This chance combination of images—an allele—represents for the artists an imaginative possibility where viewers create their own meanings, speculations, and interpretations of place.

The Space of Difference was developed by Operative Agency with Shelley Long, Ryan Nelson, and Ritchie Argue. Videos were shot at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre Youth Park and its surrounding area, as well as other locations in Metro Vancouver.

Operative Agency would like to thank as documentary subjects: Barry Luger, Xwalacktun (Rick Harry), Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre Youth Park participants; for equipment and production: France Carriere, Brandon Flores, Bob McQuay, Rafael Santa Ana, Greg Zemrau; for locations: David Horn, David Jacobsen, Michelle Nelson; and for research and support: Matt Elton, Thomas Heffernan, Moberley Luger, Kenneth Newby, Chris Rudden, Surrey Archives staff, Nathan Whitford, Joyce Wood, Laura Wood

About Operative Agency (Bryan Lemos Beça and Steve DiPasquale)

Operative Agency (OA) is a spatial-political research think-tank based in Vancouver and Toronto. With a critical disposition towards art and design, OA seeks to enhance public engagement with the built environment, excavating and teasing out new opportunities for interaction, play, and civic awareness. Central to this goal for OA is an understanding that the politics of the public realm are an embodied, lived experience, with critical design freeing the latent potential of the urban commons.

Curator: Alison Rajah
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery

Image credit: Operative Agency (Bryan Lemos Beça and Steve DiPasquale), The Space of Difference, 2014. Photo by Edward Westerhuis.