Learning From Vancouver
But he was also a theorist of the transformation of society, which of course was what the students were looking to grasp as well.
Perhaps these two images can represent the dialectic of closure and possibility in the public sphere in Vancouver as well as materially marking events that speak to our present moment of mega-event exception.
The futuristic aspect of the installation is the opening sentence of a work of speculative fiction, Heads of the Town Down to the Streets, set in an imagined Vancouver after the 2010 Olympic Games: “When the International Olympic Committee troops did not pull out of Vancouver after the games, the city should have erupted into civic war…”.
Painted on the far wall is an emblem of an urban imaginary, or of the future imagination of a city. This colourful abstract emblem comes from a 1970s kinetic graphic from Venezuela that Urban Subjects discovered while doing field research in Caracas. Drawn from the cover of a book of a radical publisher, the emblem captures the optimism and openness of radical urbanist thinking and is a graphic counter-point to the tightening up of the public sphere and public imagination in Vancouver today.