Intangible Effects No. 1, 2013
Tad Hirsch
Laura O’Quin
Photos by Kevin Scott/Röllerhaus
Partnership between Frye Art Museum + Yesler Community Center + Multimedia Resources and Training Institute

Intangible Effects (No. 1) is an interactive installation in the Mw [Moment Magnitude] exhibition at the Frye Art Museum. 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 was, 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, Intangible Effects (No. 1) includes 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 this interactive installation, 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.