Tad Hirsch

Intangible Effects (No. 1) is the first in a series of experiments investigating ephemeral and sensual aspects of the built environment. The project centers on Yesler Terrace, a public housing development in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood. Built between 1941 and 1943, it was Washington State’s first public housing development, and the first racially integrated public housing development in the United States. It is, by all accounts, a vibrant community and one of Seattle’s most diverse neighborhoods. Earlier this year, Seattle City Council approved a plan to demolish Yesler Terrace to make way for new, mixed-income development—a controversial plan necessitating the displacement of Yesler Terrace’s approximately 1200 residents.

Working with Seattle youth, we are collecting field recordings, audio interviews, and performances by residents that reflect the youth participants’ experience of the neighborhood and concerns about its uncertain future. These recordings form the basis of an interactive installation in the Mw [Moment Magnitude] exhibition at the Frye Art Museum, enabling visitors to explore the Yesler Terrace soundscape and create their own ephemeral compositions.  An online archive will also be created to allow access to the full set of recordings.

Our intention in undertaking this project is to encourage creative, critical exploration of the urban environment. Focusing on sound serves to shift emphasis from the relatively static vernacular of architectural form that has dominated public discussion of the Yesler Terrace redevelopment effort. We orient attention instead towards the neighborhood as lived experience, approaching urban space as literally and figuratively vibrating with human activity. In so doing, we conceptualize the neighborhood’s character not as a collection of buildings, but as arising through the activities and experiences of its inhabitants. Our aims are to encourage critical reflection on the meaning and character of neighborhood life, and hopefully, to offer our young participants a means to understand and articulate value for themselves and for the city at large.

Intangible Effects (No. 1) is organized by the Frye Art Museum, with concept and production by Tad Hirsch and project coordination by Laura O’Quin. It is funded by the Frye Foundation with the generous support of Frye Art Museum members and donors. Sponsored by Frank Stagen, Nitze-Stagen and Riddell Williams, it is supported by a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission, with funding – in part – by The Wallace Foundation, 4Culture, the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and by Rec Tech. Media sponsorship of Mw [Moment Magnitude] is by KUOW 94.9FM and The Stranger. Seasonal support of the Frye Art Museum is provided by Canonicus Fund and ArtsFund.

  • 1.12
  • Saturday
    Community Day Celebration for Intangible Effects (No. 1) Artists:
 
  • 1.12
  • 11:30 am–1:30 pm
    RadioActive Workshop
    FREE Open to youth ages 15-18
    Spaces for participation limited. Register: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 206 432 8200. Please include the number of participants, names, and contact information.
 
  • 1.12
  • 2–4 pm
    Printmaking Open Studio
    FREE Family drop-in art making activity

 

Mw [Moment Magnitude] is organized by the Frye Art Museum and curated by Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, Joshua Kohl, Ryan Mitchell, Doug Nufer, and Yoko Ott. The exhibition is funded by the Frye Foundation with the generous support of Frye Art Museum members and donors. Sponsored by Frank Stagen, Nitze-Stagen, and Riddell Williams, it is supported by the Washington State Arts Commission, with funding—in part—by The Wallace Foundation, and by 4Culture and the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. Seasonal support of the Frye Art Museum is provided by Canonicus Fund and ArtsFund.

Media sponsorship of Mw [Moment Magnitude] is by KUOW 94.9FM and The Stranger. Opening event sponsorship is by The Boeing Company.