SURFACE                                    a  public  artwork  by  Fiona  Bowie

"Surface is a reflection of our collective activity: what is manifest on the screen is wholly dependent on us."
(Fiona Bowie, 2010)

UPDATE March 13th 2012: See Surface exhibited at the CHarles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, Canada from March 13 to April 22nd. Opening is March 13th at 7:30 pm. Hope to see you there!
We are currently awaiting the completion of renovations to the dockside of Ocean Concrete so that we can reinstall Surface featuring a new rig and placement for the camera, allowing individuals to see a particular location evolve over time.
For this interim period of time Surface will be offline.

For now, you may browse the archives archival .

If the feed doesn't upload, the Aquabus may be temporarily out of range (east most dock) and will be back within range shortly.

You are watching a live feed from an underwater camera mounted on an Aquabus water taxi on False Creek in Vancouver, BC. The Aquabus will either be docked at its terminal or on its route, as the ferry makes its way from stop to stop in False Creek. The view will vary depending on the day and time. If you do not see streaming in the window below, this means that the feed is temporarily down and you may view the archival movies to get a glimpse of Surface. Resolution and playability of the feed and movies is dependent on your cpu and connectivity speed. The Live feed is also available at LiveCast.

If the feed doesn't upload, the Aquabus may be temporarily out of range (east most dock) and will be back within range shortly.
(After allowing the link to load press play. If the loading does not comence -or it does quickly and you see the blue screen refresh your browser.The If you have been on this site for a while, you may need to refresh your browser in order to keep the live stream in the window.      

About the project

Commissioned by the City of Vancouver, Surface makes the hidden world of False Creek visually tangible. Bowie brings the viewer beneath the surface to observe what is normally out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Surface is an ongoing live (and thus unedited) documentary of the underwater life of False Creek - one of the most taken for granted waterways in British Columbia.

As the Aquabus makes its way from stop to stop (or alternatively when parked at its dock), live underwater images are transmitted from a camera mounted under the boat to this website and also to an large LED screen mounted on the side of a structure at Ocean Construction on Granville Island. There is also a small onboard screen on the designated Aquabus and an additional screen at False Creek Community Centre in Vancouver.

This body of water, once teaming with aquatic life, was heavily industrialized after colonization and until very recently was essentially barren. Aquatic birds and sealife are starting to make a comeback though still in relatively low numbers. This is reflected in the live stream that often functions as an abstract mix of colours and impressions, until crustaceans or fish swim by. Once teaming with aquatic life, this body of water is showing recovery with an influx of species, but at a time when our oceans are vulnerable to changes in temperature and oxygen levels. The future of the underwater environment and what is manifest on the screen is wholly dependent on us: our collective historic and present activities.

A Montreal company called Moment Factory, who designed the software and controlled the interactive systems for Nine Inch Nails among others, produced the software system for Bowie's project.


Globe and Mail
Georgia Straight
Georgia Straight, Fiona Bowie public art

Surface is commissioned by the City of Vancouver, under the project section Marking and Mapping, through its Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program for 2010, where artists were invited to propose projects based on sites of their own choosing.

Many thanks for the generous support of Surface Project Partners:

Aquabus    LiveCast    Moment Factory   and here ;     City of Vancouver    Ocean Concrete    Emily Carr University IT    Monk McQueens False Creek Yacht Club's Welcome Center


Concept, art work, project manager:
Fiona Bowie
Software and system integration:
Moment Factory. Special thanks Dominic Audet, Hugo Desmeules, Vincent Pasquier, Pierre-Luc Brunet

Surface is installed on:
Special thanks to Jody Collins and Jeff Pratt who helped make this project possible.

Video Streaming:
Special thanks to Trevor Whike and Tony Randall who helped make this project possible.

Internet service provider: Emily Carr University
Special thanks to Chris Brougham and Ron Burnett

LED Screen location :
Ocean Concrete
Special thanks to Dave Faber

Camera Hardware Installation(special thanks):
Hymach Industries

Radio mesh: Metro Mobile Radio
Steve Shelley
Electrics: Trevor Gibbons
City of Vancouver Project Manager:
Karen Henry (thank you)

© 2010 Fiona Bowie

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