Douglas Coupland unveils new public artwork in Vancouver

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      Renowned Vancouver artist Douglas Coupland has unveiled a new public artwork that uses a mundane object as the basis for an eye-catching monument.

      The 18-metre-tall sculpture, titled “Infinite Tire”, is a tower made from 18 whitewall tires stacked on top of each other. The tires—created from a fibreglass product specifically for the installation—become progressively smaller in diameter as the tower rises, from 163 centimetres at the bottom to 36 cm at the top.

      When looking up at the sculpture from near its base, the decreasing size of the tires makes the stack appear to be stretching off toward a distant vanishing point in the sky.

      The sculpture is located outside a new Canadian Tire shopping complex at SW Marine Drive and Ontario Street that is preparing for its grand opening. Coupland officially unveiled the sculpture, commissioned by Canadian Tire, during a ceremony at the site today (October 4).

      “Over the last 12 years I’ve been doing a lot of work taking things that can be stacked—like hex nuts or cans or dice or anything that comes in various sizes—and then what happens, if you take them and you just build them up like that vertically, they stop becoming what they used to be and they become something else altogether,” he told the Straight.

      Coupland, a graduate of Vancouver’s Emily Carr art school, is also the author of fiction and nonfiction works, including the bestselling novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture.

      His last major public art installation in Vancouver was the Terry Fox memorial unveiled at B.C. Place in September 2011.

      Speaking with the Straight, Coupland said he is now working on some book and art projects.

      “There’s always about eight things on the go,” he said. “It keeps life busy. I’m not very good with free time.”

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      Oct 4, 2012 at 6:40pm

      Maybe Coupland can get a gig with Burger King, stacking some BK Stackers into a stack that becomes something else. Infinite degradation of integrity.


      Oct 4, 2012 at 9:37pm

      Congratulations, Canadian Tire and Douglas Coupland


      Oct 5, 2012 at 2:16pm

      corporate nationalism with a hint of allan kaprow, almost as bad as rodney graham's aerodynamic forms in space


      Oct 5, 2012 at 3:30pm

      I suppose technically it qualifies as art, in the same vein as the world's largest ball of string/hockey stick/frying pan.

      And so the list of "Once Mighty, Now Fallen" continues to grow... those who have run out of ideas shall raise wasting people's time to an art form...


      Oct 5, 2012 at 6:21pm

      Sorry - it's not art, it's not even bad art - it's just corporate propaganda


      Oct 5, 2012 at 8:49pm

      Wow, its so easy to be a critic.

      I think the sculpture is pretty cool actually and I applaud Canadian Tire for supporting artists in Canada. We need far more public art and I think if we can get corporations to pay for some of it and provide a decent income for artists in the process it's a win-win.

      D J

      Mar 14, 2013 at 6:13am

      The artist here did not build the tower. It was built by a corporation who did not do justice to the purchaser.