Safe Facade

Safe facade served as the forefront image of VIVO2010;Safe Assembly, critiquing aboriginal and civil rights violations and standing as an example of  freedom of expression . It consisted of three window vinyl cuttings and two projections that were visible from the outside of the centre.


One window displayed a text base piece by Cathy Busby remembering Elder Harriet Nahanee, who stood as a symbol or resistance against the abuses perpetrated to the land. Winter game,  depicts an Orca in the traditional Pacific Northwest Coast Salish Native style by Edgar Heap of Birds. The Orca awaits with its mouth open while a skier descends from above. In the third window Tania Willard utilizes the design and color palette of Olympic marketing to resemble their advertisements  and posters, but the iconography she she uses is one of protest, and civil liberties. Creating a poster of resistance, portraying native activism, and the strong police and military presence that took place during the mega-event. The projection, "kNotLOGO", is an interactive randomized mathematical algorithm by local artist Jammie Griffiths and mathematician Ph.D Rob Scharein. Never the same twice therefore not a `Logo', this collaboration represents without words, the ideals of unity through creativity, freedom of expression and non-competitive sharing. It was first conceived as a response to restrictive corporate logos and branding during the Olympics. On the entrance of the centre, a piece by Emma Hendrix projected on the  top of the doors counts the billions of dollars spend for the Olympics  adding up every second to the total amount spent by the end of two weeks.  

Since 1973, VIVO Media Arts Centre (aka Satellite Video Exchange Society, aka Video In), has provided a space for diverse dialogues, artistic experimentation and the freedom to respond. In keeping with our history, VIVO chose not to seek support through the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Instead it became a hub for analysis, skill sharing, production, and collaboration, which  invited artists to consider their production in relation to the events and systems around them, with the intention  to facilitate cultural expressions that arise from the community in a lineage of solidarity. Safe Facade stood as the exhibition that presented the ideals of VIVO2010;Safe Assembly outside of the walls of the center, providing a different perspective of the cultural and social politics during a moment where the eyes of the world were directed towards Vancouver. It responded to the excess of Olympic imagery by presenting an alternative that documented social histories, portrayed the resistance of activism and acknowledged first nations territories. 

Cathy Busby, 2010
Front View of VIVO Media Arts Centre.


Cathy Busby, text piece honoring Harriet Nahanee and Edgar Heap of Birds piece Winter Game

Tania Willard, 2010.

KnotLogo by jammie griffiths and Ph.D Rob Scharein