Burrard Street billboard to host public art work of Twitter messages

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.

To submit a message to be considered for broadcast on the billboard, send a tweet to @diginativ or through the Digital Natives website.




Apr 1, 2011 at 3:58am

If they are artists, wouldn't it be better to see their art? Twitter is mainly for posting links.

Phillip D

Apr 1, 2011 at 10:35am

Hi, as one of the artists, the point is to try and have some thought provoking words on Twitter that are art in themselves. Hopefully you will see it that way when it launches.