Alex Beim / Uruguay

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION

Born in Uruguay, artist Alex Beim has lived and worked in Vancouver for more than 20 years. Always an entrepreneur, he started his first business at the age of 18 as a graphic designer in Montevideo. When he made the move to Canada years later, he didn’t know a word of English, but with some tenacity and resourcefulness, he found work almost immediately in advertising. Starting out as a designer, Beim eventually became an Associate Creative for a major Canadian advertising company. With no formal higher education, he is essentially a self-made man.

At 35, Beim took a giant leap and started his own business,Tangible Interaction, following his true passion in life. Since 2006, he has translated his love for coming up with whimsical ideas and figuring out how to make them a reality into the creation of dozens of interactive artworks. Thanks to Tangible, he has traveled the world, creating magical moments for millions of people.

HISTORY, CHALLENGES AND MILESTONE

When Alex Beim first started creating interactive art, he had no experience in the medium. He wasn’t familiar with the necessary technology or industrial design or how to manufacture overseas. That didn’t deter him from making it happen though. Like all his previous endeavours, his lack of experience and knowledge was compensated for by his willingness to learn and do. He prefers to see the positive side of a project (and life in general) and so he focuses his energy on finding a way to make things happen.

To get things moving initially, he traveled to China to meet manufacturers, he enlisted help from university professors and he researched the latest equipment through online forums. In just under a year, he signed some serious deals with international companies like Blue Man Group, deals that still stand 10 years later.

In essence, Tangible started from a simple idea — to build interactive, playful artworks that would evoke people’s curiosity. From that, Beim was able to create a successful business. From there, he has taken on one project after another, creating work that draws people’s attention away from their screens and brings them back into the here and now.

He feels incredibly fortunate to go into his studio in East Van each day, taking concepts from sketches on napkins to prototypes to full-scale pieces. More than that, he’s an artist that doesn’t just live off his work, but he also provides full-time jobs for the group of people that make up the Tangible team.

He is committed to making Vancouver a better place, to making the city friendlier and more interesting, and also to making art accessible to everyone.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Since he started Tangible, Alex Beim has done a great deal of public work in Vancouver, making it a priority to create projects that get out in front of everyone. He promotes initiatives that put art on the street, giving people a reason to come together and connect with their community. He has worked with most of the major culture institutions in Vancouver including Science World, the Vancouver Aquarium, the Vancouver Public Library, Push Festival, the City of Vancouver, the Downtown BIA, Yaletown BIA, West End BIA and Vancouver Civic Theatres. Beim has also given talks internationally in more than10 countries as well as locally at UBC, SFU, VFS, Pecha Kucha and Creative Mornings.

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