Life Under the Marquee

2019

LED modules, webcam and monitor, LED controllers, Raspberry Pi computer

Life Under the Marquee is a matrix of LEDs creating a very low-resolution video display integrated into the dramatic ceiling canopy at the south-east corner of the Tate Downtown tower. The abstracted video feed, from a webcam incorporated into a public control panel at street level, reflects the street activity, animating the patio area.

The animated display has a second function: triggered by a button on the control panel, the video feed becomes the starting-point for a computer animation of abstract figures which move, evolve and travel across the display. Many will recognize this particular procedurally-generated animation as the computer program known as Game Of Life, which unfolds frame-by-frame through a simple set of rules that determines whether each pixel lights up, stays lit, turns off, or stays off based on the number of its neighbours which are lit. The animation is intriguing because it creates patterns that appear intentional, and seem to relate to human activity.

Collection(s): Commissioned by Howe Street Developments LP as part of the City of Vancouver Public Art Program