Art installation laneway
Artist's impression of Ackery's Alley with FIELD installed. The installation will clad the walls with red velvet and gold panels and introduce interactive sound and light effects. Credit: More Awesome Now

Hot on the heels of the colourful makeover of an alley south of Hastings Street (also known as Alley-Oop), the Downtown Vancouver BIA is turning its sights to another laneway just off Granville for an even more exciting transformation.

The DVBIA has started a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of funding a new sound and light art installation for Ackery’s Alley in Vancouver’s Entertainment District. The alley runs east of Granville Street, between Smithe and Robson, and adjacent to the Orpheum Theatre.

Renowned international artist Alex Beim will create an interactive art installation in the laneway. There will be sensors to detect the presence of a person, which will change colours and emit sounds in reaction to their movements. 

The installation, named “FIELD”, will be a large musical and light instrument that creates a unique composition every time someone passes by. 

Ackery's Alley rendering
Graphic representation of Ackery’s Alley, with FIELD installed. Credit: More Awesome Now
Light and dance rendering
Graphic representation of the public art installation “FIELD”, showing people dancing in the laneway. Credit: More Awesome Now

The laneway will be transformed with red velvet paint, artful signage, gold paneling, reflective metals, vertical projection walls, and what’s described as a “10-foot diameter white inflatable beacon orb.”

The group behind the project, More Awesome Now, includes the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), and HCMA Architecture + Design, in partnership with Vancouver Civic Theatres and the City of Vancouver’s VIVA Vancouver program.

The artist, Alex Beim of Tangible Interaction, has collaborated with the likes of Blue Man Group, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Chemical Brothers, and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. His work fuses graphic, industrial, and audio design as well as programming and electronics engineering. 

To view the Kickstarter campaign, click here.

  • Muji

    I’m a proponent of public art displays, but this seems like a waste of money and effort.

    > We are seeking backers to help fund FIELD, an interactive public art installation by
    > renowned international artist, Alex Beim, of Tangible Interaction. Beim’s light + sound
    > field will have a field of sensors that detect the presence of a person, changing colours
    > and emitting sounds in reaction to movement. FIELD will work like a large musical and
    > light instrument that creates a unique composition every time someone moves through it.

    > FIELD will be the focal point when Ackery’s Alley launches, but we’re also creating a
    > space where public performances, activations, and other art installations can happen.
    > We’ll be dressing up the alley with red velvet paint, artful signage, gold paneling, reflective
    > metals, vertical projection walls, and a 10-foot diameter white inflatable beacon orb. Once
    > complete, the alley will be a public space for experimentation and social connection.

    Meh.

    FIELD sounds kind of neat, but it’s not going to magically coerce people to start dancing in a dark and dirty alley, never mind convincing people to even walk through the alley. And it’s not like you’d want people to be crowding and dancing in an alley either. Alleys are gross, but mostly because of functional reasons. It’s where utilities are routed, trash bins are located, and parking is located. Sorry but there’s only so much you can do to beautify an alley.