you are watching a 2 minute interval upload of the actual work being projected at 1 Kingsway- some images when loaded may be in a state of transition (fade in/fade out)

all images © Fiona Bowie 2009 with the exception of pre 1920 archive images © City of Vancouver Archives for " ".

Flow is Vancouver's first photo/media-based permanent public art work. Commissioned by the City of Vancouver, the work is situated at street level at 1 Kingsway, a new civic centre housing a library, community center, residences and a games room (where the work is installed).



Over the course of the day and night, Flow shifts between live and constructed or theatrical tableaus. During daylight hours, Flow's dynamic glass projection surface creates viewing portals: framing details the activity inside and provides individuals inside with shifting views and details of the street (these views change according to their proximity to the street).

During the early morning and after dusk Flow transforms into a continuously changing tableau in which hundreds of photographic portraits and landscapes, shot by Fiona Bowie over the last few years, are blended and projected onto the changing surface. The scenes change every two to four minutes. The transitions from one scene to another are so slow that a face is sometimes barely discernable over a background - prompting several people to characterize this aspect of work as having a dream like or hallucinatory quality.

During this time, the special projection material causes portions of the imagery to disappear as the projection surface switches from translucent to clear, fragmenting the image and frustrating it's coherence.

A system custom-designed by Bowie and Sidney Fels allows figures shot at different times to appear as if they simultaneously present, with a core group of these figures or actors recurring in a manner that implicitly suggests they're part of a larger narrative. Images that are linked (or 'friended' to eachother) embrace unlikely combinations: disparate F-stops combine the blurred edges of portraits upon clear backgrounds and purposefully contrary lighting schemes.

The host of characters have been arranged into social groups: a core of main characters appear more often than most and more often with other main characters. Because of varying likely hood of appearance, some will become more familiar than others over the months and years to regular visitors to 1 Kingsway. The core group have more focused (willful) countenances than the general population: they were shot as if engaged in dialogue/interaction. The general population are often far more candid in nature.

In the daytime, when the projected image is off at the site and continues on the project's website, the glass at 1 Kingsway becomes the focus. The projection surface, made up of computer controlled glass, creates portals into and out of the building. When translucent the glass blocks the view, and when clear - provides a view. In the morning and after dusk the opposite occurs: the translucent surface holds the image, the clearing of it fragments the image and frustrates it's coherence.

The online component of Flow allows viewers to see the work unfold during the day when the site image projectors are off and the site glass is the active component. Visitors are encouraged to engage with the work by clicking on the "Put words in our mouths" link to play with dialogue and attribute phrases to characters pictured within the work. Over the course of the day, the work refreshes every two minutes, so if there is an image that captures the viewers imagination, they may capture it and choose from a number of phrases penned by Fiona Bowie and excerpts of lyrics by The Residents, The New Pornographers, Spores, SLickerslacker and Chopper. This collection of phrases is dynamic and will be added to over time.

Once an image is chosen by the viewer, they can then attribute dialogue to the characters* captured within the mis-en-scene. This dialogue will be available to them in the form of pull down menus. After choosing the phrase(s), it will be saved and be permanently attached to the uploaded image in the Flow archive.


example of pairing with intact blue screens