Berlin-based artist Philipp Geist will be developing his video and light art installation Time Drifts for Birthday Live at Jack Poole Plaza on April 6. In this installation, Geist interprets the themes of space and time. He avoids the use of canvas by projecting images directly onto parts of the building surrounding the plaza, on the ground, on windows, and onto fog streaming onto the plaza.

[Philipp Geist at Italy’s Palazzo delle Esposizioni; photo by Tommaso Sardelli]

Additionally, words are projected onto the ground, which are then too reflected back into the fog. Geist believes that fog is similar to time, and always in a flux. One cannot hold or keep it. The artist aims to develop a dialogue with the location, his artistic works, and the people who enter and leave the plaza. The visitor becomes part of the imagery.

Philipp Geist Time Drifts 2

30 new words will be added to the 100 already contained in the piece. The new words will be in English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Spanish, and in the traditional languages of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Philipp Geist Time Drifts

The words have been selected by Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Brad Cran as well as the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. The words already in the piece are in French, English, and German. Look for the magic to begin at 8:20 pm and last until the event’s 10 pm closing time.

Philipp Geist Time Fades

From curator Malcolm Levy:

“Time Drifts is a piece that speaks both to history and culture. In terms of looking at the plaza at the convention centre, and the facade of this building, I felt the piece was perfect. In terms of local connections, by having over 30 new words created through the city of Vancouver, the three First Nations of this land, and the community, Time Drifts in Vancouver is distinctly about this city. It speaks to our creativity, diversity, and conversations with regard to history.”

I had the opportunity to ask Philipp a few questions via email:

Q. I’d be interested in knowing how you got started in video installations. Was it a natural progression from still image work?

A. I started taking photos at the age of 13. Later I went on with abstract paintings and also with moving images and video projects. After my early cooperations with musicians I began to do audio visual concerts. The next step was to develop artistic installations with my images and video works. I was interested in the idea and possibility to develop walk-in installations and also in using 2D/3D images on 3-dimensional buildings to develop dialogue between the place, area, and buildings. Over the past years, I’ve made countless installations, exhibitions, and AV performances around the world.

Q. Have you collaborated with other video/sound installation artists? I was in Budapest in Winter 2006 and saw an incredible light and sound installation there.

A. I’ve cooperated with many different musicians and music styles ranging from abstract avant-garde music to classical orchestra music, jazz, and electronic music. It has always been fascinating to me to create a kind of nonverbal talk between the medias of music and images. Music is very inspiring for my work.

Q. Where do you look for inspiration in the beginning stages of a new piece?

A. I travel to different places and see all kind of cultures around the world. Nature, water, immaterial things like lights and shadows, and patterns and structures inspire me as well.

Philipp Geist works internationally as a light and multimedia artist using video, performance, photography and painting. I’m excited to see how this particular installation will marry with Vancouver’s architecture.

Curator Malcolm Levy works with the New Forms Festival and curated CODE Live during the 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

Except where noted, all photos courtesy of Philipp Geist.


  • Comment by PiXiE (India) — April 4, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    WoW . . . .!! you have converted that place into HEAVEN . . . . !!

    Can you share Videos . . . ??

  • Comment by arianec — April 4, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    Here’s an example of what Berlin looked like during Time Fades, another Philipp Geist installation:

    I will try to get a few videos during the upcoming Vancouver event to post!

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