Permanent and temporary commissions and projects

A-APE: Visible Virals

Taking place across the city’s public transport, parks and urban spaces, Visible Virals engaged thousands of people as the project spread throughout Liverpool during 2008.

Transient in nature, and light touch, the artworks infiltrated public spaces and infrastructures in the city, building in magnitude and inviting participation. Two commissions addressed two different aspects of city life: Stockholm artists collective A-APE made interventions on walls and in spaces in the city centre, and British artist Nils Norman produced a media campaign that encouraged exploration of its parks.

Visible Virals were at the forefront of the public realm programme, commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company as part of European Capital of Culture 2008 and managed by Liverpool Biennial, and were part of a broad and inclusive programme of work that reflects Liverpool’s cultural life and its varied communities including the city centre’s surrounding neighbourhoods.

Urban Spaces

For their project titled One Year in Liverpool, Stockholm artists collective A-APE investigated the concept of ‘the average Liverpudlian’ through their life, behaviour and consumer habits. The project took its basis from statistics, gradually feeding unusual facts into the public realm throughout 2008 and inviting people in the city to provide information about themselves. The project then manifested itself in a series of installations that spread through unexpected locations in the city centre to reveal the bigger picture. A-APE are Akay, Kidpele, Made and Eric Ericson.

Transport and Parks

Artist Nils Norman has spent the first half of 2008 working closely with Liverpool’s Parks & Environment Service and parks experts – exploring and photographing Liverpool’s major green spaces including Greenbank, Everton, Princes and Sefton Parks and Wavertree Botanic Gardens and Birkenhead Park on the Wirral. The result was a light-hearted advertising campaign, launched on 3 June, which drew attention to Liverpool’s unique and often little-known parks. Complementing the campaign, he linked the parks through the city’s public transport system by creating online maps so that everyone can explore the secrets of the city’s parks.

Exploring and recording these diverse and historic public spaces on foot and by public transport, Nils developed an interesting spin on the conventional advertising campaign and revealed the hidden places and activities of each park. This playful campaign repackaged the parks as if they were a product or holiday location, sometimes alluding to phrases and buzzwords of classic popular adverts. The posters were rolled over the summer on buses, bus shelters, in stations, and billboards citywide.

In parallel to this poster campaign, a unique interactive website was developed so that the public can explore the parks online using Google maps and highlighting the parks’ histories, curiosities and interesting details as well as special walks between and inside the parks. Visitors to the site are encouraged to email their own parks images and favourite places about to be added to the site – creating a very special online archive of material for each park.