Gastown Steam Clock could be replaced by reflective cloud chamber

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Don’t panic. The Gastown Steam Clock isn’t gone forever, it’s just getting some much-needed TLC in the form of repairs. But while the quirky landmark is getting a tune-up, a proposed temporary art installation could replace the clock with what one supporter has described as a “reflective tube of awesomeness.”

A Kickstarter campaign to fund the art project is drawing to a close, and is just shy of meeting its fundraising goal of $19,500. Called “Make it Rain,” the concept is to mount “a 27’-tall, tapering, and reflective soft cylinder” on the steam clock’s existing base. “Make it Rain” creators Dream The Combine elaborate:

Our tower will reactivate the corner of Water and Cambie Streets. Its mirrored surface will take on aspects of its surroundings – audience reflections will appear slippery and warped while the inflated structure will gently sway due to inflections of its context. We are intrigued by using steam as a material – it is hot, amorphous, and can form a low-density mass. Make It Rain is a cloud chamber, inviting touch and inspiring delight.

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The plan, if funded, is to immediately activate the fabricators and material suppliers who are ready to go. Dream The Combine says they’ve got approval from the steam utility company, the support of the City of Vancouver (who will expedite the approval process), as well as the support of the Gastown Business Improvement Society and local businesses.

The goal is to launch the installation on November 23, and to leave it in place until the Steam Clock returns mid-December. After that, the creators hope to get their cloud chamber set up in another steam-powered location.

“The site feels bare – instead of being a focal point in the city and a destination for tourists, it is a performance space without its main protagonist. Until the clock returns, there is something missing,” explains Dream The Combine.

Images via “Make it Rain” on Kickstarter

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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