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October 22, 2009
WATERTABLE - the City's first permanent multimedia art commission transforms part of the Gardiner Expressway into an exhibition space
The City of Toronto's first permanent multimedia art commission creates the look of shimmering water on the underbelly of the Gardiner Expressway, and continually responds to prevailing wind conditions with a massive LED light installation more than 500 square meters in size.

WATERTABLE is the first multimedia work by internationally respected Toronto art duo Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak, who envisioned and created this multimedia sculpture to conceptually and physically interact with the Gardiner Expressway, Fort York and the lakeshore.

Consisting of long sculptural strings of LED lights with speakers and audio and lighting controls, WATERTABLE looks like undulating waves appearing to float under the Gardiner Expressway. The softly glowing lights begin their crest from the southern edge and move towards the north side, directing the public's gaze towards Fort York. The sound of recorded waves subtly echo throughout the area, triggering the public to remember that this location was once the water's edge.

WATERTABLE also physically interacts with an anemometer (which measures wind velocity) and responds to changing wind conditions - resulting in layers of sensory experience for its audience.

Toronto's first multimedia art commission was chosen unanimously by a jury in 2008. This is the first multimedia work by acclaimed art duo Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak. The two have worked in collaboration since 1983 producing video art, performance and photo/text works. Their video work, THE BLOOD RECORDS: written and annotated, had its world premiere at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1996 and then toured throughout North America. In 2005, they received a Governor General’s Award for lifetime achievement in Visual & Media Arts.

Not only are Steele and Tomczak artistically influential, they are the cofounders of V tape, Canada's largest distributor of independent and artist video tapes and mediaworks. Both have taught at the University of Toronto for more than 10 years in the Department of Fine Art, Visual Studies. Their collaborative and solo works are exhibited and collected widely throughout North America and Europe. For more artist information, visit

WATERTABLE is located on the underside of the Gardiner Expressway on the north side of Fort York Boulevard, west of Bathurst Street and adjacent to the new pedestrian entrance at Fort York.

The WATERTABLE artwork competition and commission are managed by the City of Toronto Cultural Services’ Public Art Office. More information is available at

WATERTABLE is a beacon not only for the new entrance to Fort York, but also for the revitalization now underway for the entire 17-hectare (43-acre) Fort York site leading up to the War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations. Fort York, the birthplace of Toronto, is being restored and redeveloped to reflect its enormous importance as a national historic site and to provide much needed parkland for the communities rapidly emerging around it.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Shane Gerard, Senior Promotions & Communications Coordinator,
Cluster A Communications Unit, 416-397-5711,



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