Monday, January 21, 2019

Winter Stations Ice Breakers 2019

Harbourfront's Waterfront BIA has brought back the winter time art installations along Queens Quay West in Toronto, presented by PortsToronto. Five new creations were selected from over 100 Canadian and international proposals and placed between Lower Simcoe Street and Lower Spadina Avenue. This year's theme of "Signal Transmission" inspired these Ice Breakers which are on display starting January 19th and and running until February 25th. Sadly, a replacement for the big, red teddy bear from 2017 did not materialize. You can also see last years outdoor art installations on my post here; Ice Breakers 2018.

The five pieces are placed from east to west are The Connector, Tripix, Stellar Spectra, Chroma Key Protest and Tweeta-Gate. The four winning exhibitions were chosen by jury; two from international teams (Tweeta-Gate and Connector) and two from local groups (Chroma Key Protest and Stellar Spectra) while Tripix is a student contribution from Ryerson University.
The Stellar Spectra tubular exhibit built into the bridge's sight-seeing overhangs. 
Looking through the entrance portal of Stellar Spectra towards Chroma Key Protest

Stellar Spectra by Rob Shostak and Dionisios Vriniotis (Toronto, Canada) looks like a matched set of icy sentry posts guarding the cold waters of Lake Ontario. Made of white plastic pipe built into a circle and if you go inside the structure and look up, you can see the bright colours of the filters hopefully lit up by sunshine (see photo at top). 

The Queens Quay temporary art installations overlap with the other Winter Stations competition that takes place in The Beaches starting on Family Day, February 18th - here is my post of the 2017 Beaches installations. The stated goal of the works are to bring visitors back to the waterfront during the cold, winter months. From the Waterfront BIA website; “As a sponsor of Ice Breakers, PortsToronto is supporting an initiative that brings colour, warmth, and activity to the water’s edge, inviting people out of their buildings to take a winter walk along the Waterfront and appreciate Toronto’s unique landscape at this time of year,” said Deborah Wilson, Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs, PortsToronto. “We are thrilled to once again support this art exhibition and look forward to seeing the 2019 winning installations further brighten the city’s lively winter waterfront.”
Chroma Key Protest
Chroma Key Protest by Andrew Edmundson of Solve Architects Inc. (Toronto, Canada) is made of 25 chromakey green placards held in place by steel buoys and arms. The are supposed to resemble a group of protesters holding signs.
Tripix by Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada) looks like a rather large, three-legged spider. It features kaleidoscopic effects within the interior of the sculpture. You are supposed to take pictures through the funnel-like openings, something I of course missed.

“Signal Transmission may be approached as an exploration of data, digital and analog communication, including the various modes and codes involved; it may also veer into the realm of biology, ecology and sociology. Simply, Signal Transmission is about how humans and other species speak – to each other and to our self, internally,” says Justin Ridgeway, another Winter Station co-founder who is also responsible for the competition brief each year.
Tweeta-Gate by Eleni Papadimitriou and Stefanos Ziras of Space Oddity Studios SOS (Athens, Greece) consists of walkway framed by yellow gates of various shapes depicting different architectural styles. Occasionally you can find tiny bells mounted to the sides of the gates so it sounds like little notifications.
The Connector by Alexandra Griess and Jorel Heid (Hamburg, Germany) is a disc covered with a spaghetti-type arrangement of flexible, black corrugated pipe. They pipes are supposed to be colourful and are shown as orange on the website, however they are very much just plain black. The tubes are hollow and can conduct sound so if someone talks into one tube, someone else can travel around the base until they hear that voice - a soupcan-string type of early communication installation. It could also represent the cut off snake-haired head of Medusa.

See more photos of the installations after the jump.

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