The Voice of the River is a multi disciplinary project about the mighty Fraser River, one of whose geological and biological offspring is the place we call Richmond. In this most public component of the project, the artists are collecting 15 second long film fragments from the general public (up to 5 per person), which are being edited into a community montage.
Proposed and curated by Richmond-based artists Glen Andersen and Marina Szijarto, this project has inspired us to take WATER as the coherent theme threading our multimedia projects in 2016. We hope these artistically innovative and socially relevant media art works could stimulate creative expression, expand perspectives and enrich the collective discourse about the world we are living today.
Your Kontinent Digital Carnival at the World Festival is one of the stops on a multi-year virtual tour up and down the Fraser River, in which we hope to capture the complex multi-faceted nature of this amazing 850 mile-long living entity. The tour-guides on this journey are the collective of participants visiting and/or living along its length.
The Fraser River is the lifeblood of BC, connecting the ocean to the heart of the province.
The river, especially in its alluvial Lower Mainland reaches, is under threat from industrialization, whose pace has increased as the reach of “progress” expands. Insensitive dyking, over dredging, coal ports, pollution and unnecessary infrastructure such as megabridges that serve only human needs are making things worse. The results of all this are, as one might logically presume, threats and damage to rich agricultural land and decreased habitat for all manner of river-dwelling and riparian (riverside) plants and animals, including infant salmon – for whom healthy estuaries are a nursery. Often these salmon were hatched 800 miles upstream towards the Rocky Mountains and before moving on to the open ocean they rely on quiet secluded backwaters. This is just one way in which the Fraser can be understood as the lifeblood of British Columbia.
“The river certainly has a voice of its own, but since we have lost the ability to hear it, we are encouraging people who care about the river and all its tributaries (many significant rivers in their own right) to provide their own voices. It is not too late to become involved. We will continue to collect people’s impressions, short films etc.”
Glen is a Richmond artist working in many media, from public sculpture, to photography and video, to tile and pebble mosaic -pixels large and small, virtual or geological.
Living in Richmond on the Fraser River, Marina is a professional visual, celebration and installation artist with a diverse and interdisciplinary arts practice. She works with community engaged rites and celebrations, theatre, dance, performance, public and visual art. Much of her work is site specific, being created for, and with, a particular landscape, community or season.