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Vancouver’s Coolest Public Art: Douglas Coupland's Digital Orca

Where: Downtown, Vancouver, Canada
August 12, 2010 at 2:16 PM | by | Comment (1)


Photo: Ted Topping

Vancouver is still basking in the afterglow of the 2010 Winter Olympics and one of the best remnants of the Games is the public art that now decorates the city’s parks and buildings. For the next few weeks, Jaunted's Vancouver Embed Tuija Seipell of The Cool Hunter will be reporting on the best of the bunch.

If you showed up in Vancouver right now and only had the time to see one piece of public art, I’d recommend you head to see Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca. It is located outside the new Vancouver Convention Centre that acted as the Broadcast Media Center for the Olympics (the ”old” Convention Centre right next to it was home of the print media).

The Orca is also immediately next to the outdoor Olympic cauldron, originally lit by Wayne Gretzky during the opening ceremonies. In a handy three-for-one, you’ll get to see the Orca, the cauldron and the new Convention Centre, plus you’ll enjoy a fantastic view of the North Shore Mountains, too.


Digital Orca behind the Olympic Cauldron Photo: Ted Topping

Most people call the Digital Orca either "Lego Orca" or "Pixel Whale," a sure sign that, once again, a Douglas Coupland creation is drawing attention and sparking a reaction. There’s a clear “do not climb” plaque at the foot of the inviting square “steps” that form the whale’s tail, yet invariably people climb it to pose for pictures. It’s just too much like a fun, gigantic toy!

The Digital Orca is part of the Vancouver Convention Centre Art Project, which has brought 11 major works and several smaller ones inside and outside the new Convention Centre.


Photo: Ted Topping

About the artist: Douglas Coupland is an annoyingly multi-talented artist who has lived most of his 48 years in Vancouver. He is a successful novelist, writer, screenwriter, actor, sculptor and industrial designer. He has published ten novels and several non-fiction books in 36 languages. His best known novels are Generation X (1991), Microserfs (1995), Girlfriend in a coma (1997) and JPod (2006). This summer, Coupland added fashion designer to his list of creative talents, launching his first collection of cool clothing for the Canadian brand Roots.

Have you spotted any other cool outdoor art in Vancouver or other cities that you think deserves to be featured? Let us know in the comments!

Comment (1)

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coolest view!

Sort of a lego whale. It a great tourist attraction! Many kids, also those in older age, will surely love the place. Amazing art from the creator!Tim from worldbiznews

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