The A-Bee-C’s of conceptual art on the North Shore
Nothing less than ‘global information landscapes’ will be the topic at hand for a special speakers’ series that aims to transform the library space from one of books about ideas to one of ideas speaking for themselves.
It’s a tall order. But three young artists have accepted the challenge and will present their work at “Young Multimedia Artists Today” at the North Vancouver City Library.
The series is part of Further Connections, a three-month multi-site, interdisciplinary program focusing on the work of Canadian conceptual artist Iain Baxter& (pronounced Baxterand).
None of these speaker-artist’s works were directly inspired by Baxter&’s art per se, and knowledge of his concepts is not prerequisite to understanding and enjoying these talks. But all the artists do trace parallel themes with the senior Baxter&, and they are concepts are as universal as the ways we communicate, the things we look at and how we think about the world.
Argyle Secondary grad and current University of British Columbia visual arts technician, Kevin Murphy, will be one of three presenters at the event.
The former North Vancouverite will talk about New Xanadu, a shiny metal futurist sculpture powered by solar panels and packed with bees.
“It’s a sculptural installation which also functioned as a working observation hive,” Murphy says in a phone interview with The Outlook.
It took him years to build before it was put into action last summer at the university’s botanical garden.
It has since been taken down for the fall and winter. But the concept remains a potent and timely one.
“Bees are really interesting to look at as a symbol,” Murphy says, “because they’ve been used as an example of an ideal utopia just because they have such a complicated social system.”
However, that utopia and the whole idea of utopia is cast into doubt, he adds, by the persistent and large-scale collapse of whole colonies of North American bees, for reasons not wholly understood.
“So it’s looking at what the future might look like for bees and then, by extension, for ourselves.”
Murphy will be joined by fellow UBC-associated artists Damla Tamer and Kevin Day, each of whom will present their own approximately 20-minute talk before taking questions from attendees. The event is free and begins at 7 p.m. on Nov. 27 in the Dr. G. Paul Singh Room at the North Vancouver City Library.