2017, A yearlong collaboration with Seattle Demo Project

One soon-to-be-demolished house.
One Year.
9 Artists.

In late January, fireworks sprung in the middle of the streets. The perpetrators ran into a dark house, hidden behind a tall fence and great bush. The neighborhood began complaining to the homeowner, whose contact is listed on the MUP sign outside the home. This single-family home is currently in Design Review, being developed into a 4 story apartment complex. Having past difficulties with squatters, the owner rushed to avoid similar problems that had been happening in similar homes in Capitol Hill. With the rush of developments in the area, many homes have become vacated, only to bring in illegal activity and neighborhood concern to the area. Similar developments within a 2 block radius had attracted squatters, arseny, hard drug-use, and lots of undecipherable graffiti. This particular owner had another home catch on fire due to squatters.

According to the owner, there was initially a pregnant couple squatting in the home. With all the recent commotion and complaints, there seemed to be an indeterminable amount of people flowing in and around the house. Previous Seattle Demo Projects had shown this to be an cataclysmic effect on the community and house. The home is not treated well and the becomes an unwanted blemish to the neighborhood. The Seattle Demo Project was initially brought in to come up with ideas of how to avoid permanently boarding up the house.

Boarded up homes provide two main issues all parties wanted to avoid – negative attention and lacking creative potential. If the home attracted attention, we wanted it to be positive. And if the space is available, we wanted to foster creativity abundant in Capitol Hill. Previous work done, by ourselves, Love City Love, Facing Homelessness, and various artists have proven that these opportunities provide unimaginable positivity in the community.

Over the past year, The Seattle Demo Project has transformed this house into a vibrant creative space. It has served as transitional housing, site specific art installation, artist studio, film set, performance space, and public hall to communicate with the architects. It has also sparked the curiosity of passerbyers by visually engaging the streetside. By inviting arts and cultural communities into the space, the ambition of this project is
to peel away the Murk through Urban Interaction, allowing neighbors the opportunity to build positive memories with our changing city.


“In shadows”

2015, A collaboration with Rex Hohlbein, Facing Homelessness

Working with Rex Hohlbein, Executive Director of Facing Homelessness, we started a conversation with the couple – trying to find alternatives to boarding up the house and to understand their circumstances. We worked with the family to prevent the chaos seen in similar developments in the area.


“When Lightning Strikes”

2015, A collaboration with RS-VR

“When Lightning Strikes” is a Light installation, exposing the insides of a formerly squatted house. Previously obscured by shadows, this installation provides the whole corner with a constant yellow glow. The gestural ‘strike’ cuts through every room, marking out new territory in the space, while keeping the puzzling markings and remnants of the previous tenants. This is the first of several art installations and events planned to revitalize this corner house on 12th and Thomas. Boldly visible from the street, the ‘lightning strike’ invites passerbyers to watch the evolution of the home, from today to its eventual demolition.

photos courtesy of Tony Archie Kim


“Clouds roll in”

2015, A collaboration with Seattle Design Nerds

“Clouds Roll in” is a time-based Inflatable Art installation, expanding and contracting inside the space. Sitting on the porch, we were noticing how much the weather plays in the passing of time – Clouds roll in, stretching out towards the mountains. We wanted to simulate that experience for people walking along 12th and Thomas. The Seattle Design Nerds have built and experimented with several inflatable structures and installations all around Seattle, activating public and vacant spaces with their temporary structures.

Throughout the day, the installation inflates and deflates on an automatic timer giving passerbyers the sense of clouds rolling in and out of the space. Combined with the previous installation, “When Lightning Strikes”, the Clouds roll in providing a hazy glow. When the installation deflates, The lightning shines bright – much like an average spring day in Seattle.

photos courtesy of Trevor Dykstra & Tony Archie Kim


Christin Call

2015, A month-long artist residency

As with previous Demo Projects, we invited other artists to do long term installations in these otherwise vacant spaces. In this house, we invited artist, Christin Call to bring her background of Performance art, visual art, and poetry to this already rich space. Over the few months she’s been in resident she’s invited several collaborators. There has been a great energy in the space – from performing impromptu movement jams, photographing art shoots, to filling the space with poetry – she’s become a dynamic element in the space.
Her project, “What is Home an Obscure Kingdom and Opera Buffa It’s You Always You” has left physical remnants in the space, but is largely ephemeral – referencing the perceptible rumbles of thunder. She also produced a short film, “After Dinner” with Film maker, Cainan Martens.

Look for her films here. Below is a trailer for ‘What is Home’.


“Public Comment”

2015, A collaboration with Hybrid Space

In the development process with the city, neighbors are asked to submit comments and concerns to the city about projects currently being designed in their neighborhood. It’s the neighborhood’s opportunity to be involved in the design and planning process. Most projects in urban areas receive several comments – often as flattering as the obscured Land Use Signs planted outside. The commenting process feels like a series of one way comments – in that it’s difficult to know if you’ve has been heard.

As a part of the Hybrid Space monthly art events, this commentary process is being brought back to the public. This is an open invitation to be part of this dialogue about design, urbanism, and changing developments in the city. The architects/developer of the future project will be available as well as an exhibition of the house’s history, the public comments received by the architects, and a bulletin board to post your own comments. The comments left by the participants will be documented and left on the building until its eventual demolition. By instigating an open dialogue and sharing the building’s history, the hope is to make the design process just a little more transparent. And as with all comments left, the owners and architects will listen to them all.

Learn more about the Event. photos courtesy of Trevor Dykstra & Tony Archie Kim


Tony Archie Kim

2015, An artist residency

“I’m too busy writing love letters.”
“I just want to see this whole space blotted out.”
“I love these, They’re like Carcasses.”
“I want to break everything – the sounds are just so … mmmm!”



2015, An art performance by Danse Theatre Surreality

‘Sans’ is created by Lauren Hlubny (experimental theatre director, NYC/Paris), Christin Call (Coriolis Dance a Seattle contemporary ballet company co-founder), Daniel Christensen (Seattle actor involved in Fringe around town, including LiveGirls, Annex, and 14/48), and Joshua Dent (Nashville cellist and music improvisation instructor).
An actor, dancer, and cellist are propelled to their most powerful and exposed existence, in the nude. Enter a surreal world where the stigmas of classical gender are challenged, and witness the beauty and savagery that ensues. What does it feel like to be without limits? Performance Indiegogo

Learn more about the ‘Sans’ performance. photo courtesy of DTS


‘There is no here here’

2015, A collaboration with Squeak Meisel

“How we ‘treat our dying’ is an integral part of dying well.”

“Chöd” means “to cut,” “to release,” or “to go beyond” in Tibetan. Partly based in ritual & partly based in memory, Chöd ceremonies help us find new ways to remember. Interpreting a contemporary expression of the
This is the last installation and event in the storied house on 12th and Thomas, aptly named “Murkish”.