2018.10.20 – Work in progress
Vancouver Biennale, Vancouver
For the Vancouver Biennale, Michel de Broin explores the power of a hazard to defy the inherent rationality of urban planing. The work consists in a series of three improbable cycle paths that intertwine prolonging the existing lanes. Accessible to the public, the works will be installed in different neighbourhoods of Vancouver.
The artwork is made of raw material belonging to the urban environment: bitumen, yellow paint and street signs. The installation activates the potential of a random physical gesture. A rope was dropped several times on top of an aerial photograph of the city, creating as many unpredictable squiggles. The artist selected one resulting pattern and enlarged it 100 times at the scale of the landscape to create an asphalted path. At the entrance of the installation, a road sign signals the random pattern. The yellow diamond shape of the road sign recalls traffic symbols warning about hazardous locations. The tern hazard comes from the Arabic word for chance (azzahr) meaning “game of dice”. The design of this path is an expression of chance challenging the predictable logics of urban landscaping. This installation confronts the regularity and functionality of modern cities usually developed to suppress hazards—the dangerous side of chance. It deploys chance as an unpredictable experience, opening up new avenues for imagination and mobility.