Where Else Would You Rather Be?

Neon Art, North Vancouver, Public Art, Justin Langlois
Neon Art, North Vancouver Artwork, Justin Langlois
Digital / Light, Integrated

Where Else Would You Rather Be? explores the role of a question in public as both a marker of time and a site of common and collective inquiry.  Over the lifetime of the work, the presentation of a question in a public space allows an idea to be continually tested against time and by our actions and inactions. The project concept aims to distill the idea of a question into a singular phrase that can capture the rich complexities of a changing neighbourhood and a community that will continue to evolve over time. The question, posed at the entrance to a new rental building, will meet undoubtedly growing pedestrian foot traffic at the corner of Eastern Ave and 16th Street. 

The artwork has a custom-programmed controller to allow the underline to continually shift from word to word over the course of the day. This creates the effect of different emphases (and arguably, different questions) for passersby. 

The project also entangles itself with the process of development and the role of art in inviting new ways to see and imagine a sense of place. In its installed location, the text can act as a greeting welcoming residents home, or as a kind of personal check-in for passersby, or as an ambitious provocation for any member of the public, encouraging consideration of place, longing, and a sense of belonging.


Reverse channel letters of the neon text, flush mounted on the wall.  Six underlines turn on and off in a randomly programmed order.

About the Artist:
Justin Langlois is an artist, writer, and educator. His practice explores public art, social engagement, and creative pedagogy through text-based works, long-term participatory projects, and public installations. He exhibits nationally and internationally and is a Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Faculty of Culture & Community.

Artist's Website