City of Vancouver’s teeter totter ‘art’ lifts us up where we belong

Kudos and Kvetches

Throw your shawls in the air like you just don’t care. The City of Vancouver has unveiled the latest addition to its public art program — a multi-seat teeter totter!

Actually, it’s called a SeeSawSeat, created by the city’s artist-in-residence Germaine Koh and located at Main Street and East 51st Avenue, near Sunset Community Centre.

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Here’s what city’s poetic press bumph had to say: “Part bus bench, part teeter-totter, SeeSawSeat encourages people not just to talk, but to engage and work together. Waiting for the bus is transformed from a passive pause into a modest social activity.”

Man, do we love modest social activity.

Why the piece of functional art wasn’t called a “SeatSaw” will continue to haunt us. But we do dig how seemingly commonplace items can be turned into art just by adding handles or just the right lilt of art speak.

The only problem is these things tend to cost a whack of dough. The SeatSaw, sorry, Seesaw Seat cost $30,000 to build and install.

Which is why we’d like to contribute to the city’s public art program, and transform a number of amenities into artistic expressions, just by giving them cooler descriptions, free of charge.


garbage can

Part garbage can, part parkour equipment, CanYouDiGiT? playfully explores themes of consumption and materialism while also asking users what it means to be part of a global village. Bonus: On weekends and holidays, CanYouDiGiT? transforms into an overflowing display of Starbucks cups and Gatorade bottles, further expressing the art’s intended themes. 

Some Kind of Blue Box

blue box

Riffing on Miles Davis’s landmark album, Some Kind of Blue Box is also like jazz… it’s messy, scattered and allows users to feel pretentious and better than everyone else because they “get it.”

Slides Wide Open


What is gravity? Let Slides Wide Open show you. Stairs lead skyward, while a glimmering silver serpent travels back to earth. Breath-taking. 


stop sign

Crimson and white octagons communicate a pause in motion before users continue on their way. Or do they? It’s up to you and how long you can tolerate getting honked at by vehicles behind you, further contributing to the improvisational symphony of noise composed by the city’s inhabitants, second by second.  

Holed Up

man hole

The untrained eye might see a “personhole” cover, but below the surface is a world of wonder, where dreams drift like a river of sewage flowing through the city’s underground arteries. Pulsating. Pulsating. Pulse… ating. 

Illuminate the Street

street light

Part provider of light, part preventer of darkness, Illuminate the Street invites users to bask in its yellow glow and engage in their surrounding environment without walking into things because they’d otherwise not see them. Think of it as a social contract with the laws of physics. Or don’t. The world is a vampire. 

“The Cracking”

pot hole

Oh these ruddy bones, cracked and old

A cement cloak, revealing a ghost skin

Gravel, stone, broken tarmac

Do not fill

Boulevard of void, gape in our wound

A hole in the road  

Do not fill.









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