“WE ARE OCEAN, Vancouver”

Artists: T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss and Olivier Salvas.

Commissioned by the Vancouver Biennale, ARTPORT_making waves invited the Canadian artists T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss and Olivier Salvas to work with Vancouver school students from October 2020 until summer 2021. The project is an artistic contribution to the Preparatory Phase of the UN Decade Of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

Visit the We are Ocean Vancouver APP

WE ARE OCEAN Vancouver is an interactive journey created by ARTPORT_making waves commissioned by Vancouver Biennale delivered by the Vancouver artists T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss and Olivier Salvas where students of British-Columbia will reflect on the effects of climate change on the ocean and how this is affecting the ecosystems and the indigenous culture of the land of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh & Musqueam First Nations through activities based on the First People Principles of learning and on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) principles. Students will go through four modules of learning available on an application adapted for remote learning and in-class instruction. Through the modules of instruction, students will learn about the relationship of our local indigenous people with the ocean, the Pacific Northwest diversity of life and the ecosystems, climate change and ocean health and shorelines. Artists T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss and Olivier Salvas since fall 2020 are hosting a podcast (available on the WE ARE OCEAN app, online and on all streaming platforms) where they are addressing topics such as the lost lagoon, the local history of the ocean and its people, decolonization in each module and  virtually connecting with the participating students and classrooms. Students and teachers are encouraged to submit work samples that are constantly added to the app and discussed in the podcast as a way to create a virtual community of learners amongst all participants. In Spring-Summer of 2021 (May/June), all participants, their parents and teachers are invited to take part in a year-end participatory activity on the theme of giving back to the ocean inspired by local indigenous practices: “Vancouver Biennale’s BIKEnnale/WALKennale. It’s the quintessential COVID-safe way to combine our love of outdoor recreation with our love of great art. Our self-guided walking and cycling tours are super fun and fully annotated with fascinating information on public art and points of cultural, historical and architectural interest throughout Metro Vancouver.”

Olivier Salvas and T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss are proposing a special WE ARE OCEAN Vancouver BIKEennale tour where all participants are invited to create and send in their contributions.

WE ARE OCEAN Vancouver is part of the international program WE ARE OCEAN which aims at reflecting upon several questions regarding the cause and effects of the man-made alteration of the ocean. It will illustrate how we all, citizens of every country, both cause and are impacted by the state of the ocean but are also potential contributors to positive change. WE ARE OCEAN acts in an inclusive way by actively integrating visitors and participants in the discussions to search for bottom-up initiatives towards political change. WE ARE OCEAN Vancouver is contributing to Vancouver Biennale’s decade long BIG IDEAS education programme that has reached over 18,000 students in schools and homes throughout the province of British Columbia and Western Canada.

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