What does it mean to make your mark on a city?

With a place as incredibly diverse as Toronto, retaining individuality can seem like an impossible goal. BXLS explores the challenges of retaining personal identity within a marbled mix of influences. The exposition of identity within a metropolis is an audacious but necessary pursuit. “Make Your Mark,” with the accessibility of the simplest materials: craft glue, clear tape, and the human hand, expresses this dream of inclusiveness amidst nationhood and humanity.

With the gentle and widely playful gesture of drying glue on your finger and peeling it off, each person can experience the imprint of their unique pattern revealed in front of them. This process, when repeated tens of thousands of times, will collectively compose a representation of the essence of Toronto. “Make Your Mark” is the embodiment of individual identity in our great city and country. It is a pavilion that can occupy any place, where people will be surrounded by the absolute uniqueness of each citizen. Like the strokes of a brush in a masterful painting, each translucent fingerprint, initialled by the person who made it, will contribute to the creation of an inclusive space filled with light, movement, personal stories, and inspiration.

“Make Your Mark” is a simple pavilion, yet adds a profound space for contemplation of our city and nation. A square structure, four meters in each direction, will be filled with tens of thousands of unique fingerprints suspended in a self-lit lightweight construction pulsing with soft, strong light and the steadfast beat of the city. An auditory collage of personal stories will play as a sound piece while spectators and participants encage with the beauty of Toronto’s diversity around them. With an entrance on one side and exit on the other, guests will flow through, observing the unique identities of citizens while listening to their personal stories.

People of any age or background can produce their individual imprint in five minutes. “Make Your Mark” is truly a crowd sourced project that, while connected to the city of Toronto, invites and gestures to a limitless international audience. While the glue is drying, contributors will have time to share their story. “Who are you?” is asked first, and in the time it takes to contribute an imprint to the installation, each participant can talk about where they were born, their personal sense of identity, or whatever they in that moment see as their own experience of personal and cultural self.

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