One of the projects to receive civic funding for Changing Times (Vancouver’s 125th anniversary public art program) is Lorna Brown and Clint Burnham’s Digital Natives, where 140-character messages will be presented at 10-second intervals, in both English and Salish, on electronic billboards at the south end of the Burrard Street Bridge.
The term “digital native” refers to those who came of age at the dawn of our digital moment. Also at play is a reference to those who lease space to those selling time on those billboards.
As a participant in this project I thought long and hard about what I might contribute. Would I remind people where they are, or would I take them someplace else? Would I tell them what they already know, or what they do not? Would I be wise, witty, nostalgic, mean?
Rather than go down these roads I chose something opaque, something that tests the limits of translation. And if untranslatable, something that unites as opposed to divides. Not sure what my entry might look like in English, but here it is in Salish: