Print Edition: January 16, 2013
There’s a television set up by the parking meter in C-building.
It appeared sometime last week and it’s always on, playing home video footage of a girl singing.
I have no idea who she is—I’m assuming an art student—and I can’t even really hear the music over the hustle and bustle of the hallway. But at the same time, I feel like we have a bond.
Every time I pass the giant old projection TV, she’s smiling and singing. I know it’s all pre-recorded, and we’ll probably never meet in person, but she’s always looking me in the eye. It should be creepy, but instead, for that single moment when I pass directly in front of the image, I feel like we’re the only two people in the world. It’s weird. I can’t explain it.
I’ve never met her and I never will, but I am bursting-heart proud of her. How brave does a person have to be to record who-knows-how-many hours of themselves singing and then put that on display for everyone to see and judge? She’s bared her soul, and that’s got me thinking about what a soul is – what bravery means. Which is probably, to some extent, the point.
I walk the halls of C-building with alarming frequency – this semester all of my classes are in C, and it’s also where The Cascade offices are. I don’t really have a reason to travel to any other buildings, to tell you the truth, except for the occasional trek to the cafeteria in search of curly fries.
My point is that I’m always coming face to face with art projects and installations, since C is also where UFV art classes are centred. This week, it was an anonymous singing figure that stopped me in the hall. Last spring it was the sudden and oddly thorough yarn-bombing of several campus trees. Last semester I followed a pair of (I can only assume) art students down the hall as they plastered walls and floor with vinyl dots. I picked up a square of cardstock depicting a cat, and followed the instructions on the back – photographing our adventures together and sending them to (I can only assume) the art student running the project. Last year, a sculpture graced the hall between our offices and CIVL, which we lovingly referred to as “the melting man nipples.”
When people think of UFV, I’m sure the art program isn’t one that comes to mind. Criminology, sure – or theatre, or agriculture. But we have a blooming art community here as well, popping up all around us in the form of some art student’s project.
The best part of art at UFV is the fact that you don’t have to go to a gallery to find it. It sneaks up on you. It pushes itself at you. Sometimes it sings to you. It says, “Hey, hey. Here I am. Look at this. How do I make you feel?”
Next time you walk to class, take a moment and stare back at the art that’s staring at you. Discover the bond between you and an art student somewhere, who you will never meet.
Maybe even applaud her when she finishes the song.