Starting May 1, a series of ultra-short video works by OCAD University students will begin appearing on Pattison Outdoor’s largest media beacon, located at the corner of Yonge and Edward Streets, just north of Dundas Square, an area that experiences more than 100,000 pedestrians on a daily basis. The works are the winning entries from the inaugural OCAD U Student Billboard Competition.
The co-presentation by Pattison and OCAD U plays for four months, ending August 31. Ten artworks will be featured in rotation throughout the day, with one of the videos screening every minute across the 60 foot wide video display, offering millions of passers-by a chance to see their urban surrounding through the eyes of these emerging artists.
OCAD U students were challenged to create short time-based works — only eight seconds long — that would take into account the physical details of the media beacon, as well as address its urban context. The 10 winning videos from the competition cover a broad range of styles from beautiful painterly abstraction, to fun stop-motion animation, to haunting photography, to appropriated video collage, to conceptual live action and text based works, and are as unique as the young artists who submitted them: Andrew Barley, Christopher Brewster, Byron Chan, Lucas Gordon, Lillian Hong, Jonathan Leblanc, Michael Miltenburg, Ashley Lo Russo, Navdeep Sehmbi and Max Abate-Simmons.
“The public domain is no longer only comprised of physical structures; it now encompasses the complex interaction of physical and electronic spaces. I am very pleased to present these imaginative artworks on Pattison’s downtown video-board. They add to the important conversation surrounding the negotiation of commercial, public and cultural interests,” said Sharon Switzer, Arts Programmer and Curator, Pattison Onestop.
“We challenged students to confront expectations of what is usually seen on a billboard, and experiment with medium and materials in a way that reflects OCAD U’s ongoing focus on excellence in studio arts,” said Philippe Blanchard, Assistant Professor, OCAD University. “Thank you very much to Pattison and Sharon Switzer for giving our students this opportunity to expand their horizons and create work for such an exciting, public venue.”
The competition was open to all OCAD U students, and the final selections were determined by a jury that included OCAD U faculty members Philippe Blanchard and Wrik Mead, and Pattison Onestop’s Sharon Switzer.
About OCAD University (OCAD U): OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s “university of imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.