A public art project curated by Vancouver artist Lorna Brown and Simon Fraser University English lit associate professor Clint Burnham is elevating Twitter to an art form.
From April 4 to 30, Twitter messages will begin appearing on an electronic billboard adjacent to the Burrard Street Bridge, interspersed with regular advertising. Titled Digital Natives, the project will reflect the billboard’s location on Squamish Nation land. It will initially feature 60 “tweets” from North American artists and writers, many of them First Nations, as well as Aboriginal youth.
The messages will be shown in a variety of languages, including Kwak’wala, Squamish, Tahtlan, Thompson, French and Chinook, in addition to English.
Mid-way through the month of April, 60 new messages will be added, including tweets from the general public. “What we would like to do is spark a conversation—about public space (the billboard and bridge), about relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, and about the roles of language and media with respect to these issues,” explained Burnham in a news release.