"Non-Sign " erected at US-Canada border

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    Oct 27, 2010 6:32 PM GMT
    BorderArt.jpg

    That's a digital rendering of the new Lead Pencil Studio artwork Non-Sign II, which is just what it says: A non-sign. The sign part is empty air; the rest is a web of metal pieces.

    I talked to the artists recently about this piece, which they were commissioned to do by the federal government as it renovated the border-crossing station. Placing an artwork on a border is a great opportunity, but a weird one, too, since something like 90 percent of people will be driving by and not able to stop for an extended look. (The piece is situated on the American side of the border, just after you cross back in, along your route back onto the highway from the checkpoints.)

    They noticed the way the area is packed with signs—advertising billboards, and then, closer to the border, a proliferation of government signs. Their hope is that their sign, flying by enigmatically ("What was that?"), will add a little bit of awareness to the whole signage landscape in the border zone. Just open up a free space, really. How very American. The empty rectangle frames only a view of sky as you drive by, nothing else.*

    The artists are giving a talk about Non-Sign II at 4 pm on Thursday, October 28, in the Old Main Theater at Western Washington University in Bellingham. The lecture's free.

    *Trivia: The Peace Arch at the border was designed by Sam Hill, the creator of the Maryhill Museum of Art, which Lead Pencil Studio created Maryhill Double in homage to back in 2006. They can't seem to get away from Sam Hill.

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    Oct 27, 2010 9:29 PM GMT
    That looks awesome, they should put one here on the sea wall in Vancouver. It's like a frame for a sunset, I like it.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Oct 27, 2010 11:41 PM GMT
    Given that the US-Canadian border is a big place, I poked around to find out where this actually is. The best detail I can get is from a piece in The Stranger:

    "When you drive across the border into the United States from Vancouver, B.C., at Blaine (the main passageway), this is what you'll see."
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    Oct 28, 2010 3:51 AM GMT
    Genius, love it...
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    Oct 28, 2010 4:17 AM GMT
    oh cool, its at the crossing i use if i ever go icon_biggrin.gif
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    Oct 28, 2010 4:39 AM GMT
    A couple of years ago, they also paid for some idiot to erect a huge rectangle of ugly scaffolding on top of a cliff near me. It couldn't be seen from anywhere. I'm all for spending loose change on quixotic shit, but this... was just fricken stoopid.
    maryhill_double_1.jpg


    There are also some iron mustangs up on a cliff above I-90, out in the middle of nowhere. One in a million people driving through probably actually look up and see them. But I think that's worth it.

    WAVANstallions_margaret.jpg
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    Oct 28, 2010 5:05 AM GMT
    Its gorgeous