Burrard Inlet Big Camera

Burrard Inlet Big Camera is a site-specific camera obscura in collaboration with Sean Arden located temporarily within a freight container on the northern shore of the Burrard Inlet at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver during the months of April and May 2016. Using a single aperture, multiple angled mirrors, and a camera bellows, Burrard Inlet Big Camera disrupts the concept of a single, fixed position of viewing the landscape.  The projection is a slowly evolving scene; a trompe d’oeil investigating the transitory nature of the north shore’s social and industrial histories. Lens adjustments attenuate the view gradually, and mimic the slowness with which the eye adjusts to the light of the projection.  This slowness in reading the light and image calls attention the corporeal and perceptive experience of seeing.  Correspondingly mutable, Burrard Inlet Big Camera considers temporary and transient processes of ports, as well as the specific history of North Vancouver’s shoreline. Contingent upon the built environment and surrounding landscape of the coast, the work functions in contrast to the temporary, commercial flow of the shipping industry. The utilization of shipping containers for the Burrard Inlet Big Camera and adjacent gallery space evokes a fraught relationship between the Inlet and its history of large ships: arrival of settlers, manufacture of warships, transport of goods, materials and refugees. Siddall and Arden’s project explores inconsistencies and vagaries in the nature of seeing itself in relation to the apparatuses of the camera and lens.  The complexity of vision, technology and framing in Burrard Inlet Big Camera is echoed by Ryan McKenna's video work Vision in 1792 in an adjoining container-as-gallery space.  Burrard Inlet Big Camera as half of the two container project Viewpoint is commissioned by Capture Photography Festival and curatey by Kate Rimmer. 

09BIBC