The Vancouver Transit Adspace Re-appropriation Project or V-TARP is an art-in-transit installation that “intends to reclaim the highly sought after mindspace used by corporations to communicate with the public, by collecting artworks from across the globe and installing them in the transit adspace.”
You’ll notice overhead pieces on buses and SkyTrains already by two Vancouver artists, Jerm IX and Vegas however not one has been officially sanctioned. The duo place their work in vacant transit ad spaces, often providing thought-provoking or clever messaging.
In some cases they encounter resistance such as in one experience that Jerm IX posted about on the V-TARP blog. A disgruntled SkyTrain rider was opposed to him installing the “I’m not lovin’ it” piece next to an actual McDonald’s ad on the SkyTrain. “As an after thought, this was a positive experience,” wrote Jerm IX. “After all the point of V-TARP is to create or continue the dialogue around the use of public space. That angry man was passionate and aggressive, which made everyone on the train take notice of both of our actions. Almost everyone else was smiling and clearly had no problem with my sign install.”
Vegas told me in an email, “Placing art on the SkyTrain is an idea I’ve been playing with for a couple of years (London has poetry on the tube), making the move back over here in January gave me time and opportunity, & in Jerm IX I have the perfect partner.” In another blog post there is a quote from Jordan Seiler, “While the actions of one person might be seen as that of a vigilante, the actions of many become a protest. Because of this I think large scale projects like V-TARP encourage a conversation around the issue of commercial/public use of our shared environment.”
Vegas said that they have received wide-spread support for the art pieces, some of which have remained in place for weeks. If you would like to submit your work to V-TARP you can find out how on their blog.
Should you have any photos of the pieces, please feel free to add them to the Miss604 Flickr Pool.