November 3, 2017
Electrical Box
November 3, 2017
Location: 39°05'37.7"N 94°34'54.7"W

Task: Secure Loose Bollard

During the summer of 2017, in an undercover sting, the Kansas City Police Department caught a serial arsonist who had been targeting buildings in the downtown core, specifically those that were in the process of being renovated. A local man, Donald Werhausen Jr., was charged and subsequently confessed to starting these fires because he was angry at the gentrification of his neighborhood: Mr. Werhausen had found himself unable to afford the rent in the building he had inhabited for the last 25 years after his landlord sold it to a developer, and was currently living in his estranged wife's new boyfriend's garage under further threat of eviction. The situation had recently escalated to bizarre heights of awkwardness, so the ex-wife had indicated to Mr. Werhausen via text message that the entry code to the garage would be changed in a week. This message evidently pushed Mr. Werhausen to desperation, and he began striking back at the developers he insisted had ruined his life. Mr. Werhausen is no longer active; however, cognizant of the continued and unrelenting rise in property values in the area, the KCFD has installed combination fire detector and suppression systems in various high-risk locations within the most attractive and potentially profitable under-served blocks of downtown KCMO.


This is a piece from a collection of work entitled FISSURE, shown at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City, from November 3, 2017 - January 26, 2018.

Twenty years ago, a girl moved to a new city. She spent the first few weeks walking and investigating, then built a hidden residence inside a billboard sign from which she could watch the city move and react beneath her, unaware of her presence. As time passed, she tricked the city into revealing all its secrets; however, it soon became clear that she must insert her own into the voids left by her intrusion, in order to maintain equilibrium. As an architect, the girl is predisposed to notice conditions that are unstable or unresolved, so she decides to reciprocate the city's unintentional generosity by stabilizing these issues. The fix is only temporary: these devices are not designed as permanent solutions, rather to act as urban prosthetics that may become an intrinsic part of the whole or be absorbed back into the city when no longer needed.

There are eight “secrets” inserted in various places around both Kansas City and Wichita. They can be found at the following locations:

37°41'21.1"N 97°20'09.2"W
37°41'00.7"N 97°20'51.9"W
37°41'02.4"N 97°20'37.2"W
37°40'49.4"N 97°19'51.8"W
39°06'12.6"N 94°34'51.3"W
39°05'37.7"N 94°34'54.7"W
39°05'14.1"N 94°34'55.8"W
39°06'17.8"N 94°35'32.7"W