Vancouver artist Germaine Koh asks public to help invent new sports
Germaine Koh wants to bring fun and games to a small park in Vancouver.
The local artist is behind the new “League” project, a free drop-in program that gives people a forum to play games and sports they have invented together.
The gatherings will be held weekly at the field house in Elm Park in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale neighbourhood.
“It’s a project that I’ve wanted to do for a while. I sort of proposed it in gallery situations when I’ve had exhibitions and we’ve never been able to pull it off,” Koh told the Straight by phone today (October 12).
“I’m quite interested in creating situations that bring people together in kind of open-ended, experimental ways,” she said.
Participants are invited to share unique game ideas that can be talked about, tried out, and possibly refined.
Koh is organizing League as part of the Vancouver park board’s field house studio residency program, which runs until January 2015.
Through the park board program, artists have been given studio space in seven city park buildings in exchange for planning activities for community members.
Koh described League as experiment to get people thinking creatively. She said its success will rely on public participation.
“It’s a kind of proposition about that we could be more playful in our everyday lives and that we could look at a lot of different situations in a playful way,” she said.
The world of sport is familiar territory for Koh, who describes herself as “a lifelong jock”. She has played competitive badminton and volleyball and is part of the Terminal City Rollergirls roller derby league in Vancouver.
Besides organizing the League project, Koh also plans to use the field house in Elm Park as a studio space for her artistic work.
Koh, the recipient of a 2010 VIVA Award, is known for creating interactive art installations that often incorporate electronic elements. One example is a row of stanchions connected by velvet ropes that rise or lower based on sensor readings from the levels in a nearby body of water
Koh said the park board residency program may help the public unravel the mystery that can surround how artists work.
“I think when I’m working on my other work that’s not this League project, I’ll more or less have an open door,” she said.
For the League project, smaller gatherings will be held Tuesday afternoons and larger events will be held on the last Sunday of each month.
The first big event is scheduled for noon on Sunday, October 28.