November 3, 2017
Pizza Oven
November 3, 2017
Location: 39°06'12.6"N 94°34'51.3"W

Task: Rebuild Missing Baluster

The building to which this broken handrail belongs appears to have been, up until relatively recently, pretty much abandoned; but, like many beautiful buildings in downtown Kansas City, it's being renovated and used as an event space in the meantime, according to the posters in the windows that are advertising the ballroom for wedding receptions. The building owners are having trouble drawing customers though, perhaps due to the perceived degraded nature of the neighborhood, so a luthier friend of theirs offered to help. The walk up 9th St. to the entrance of the building can be particularly daunting to those unused to city living and thus hesitant to enter environments outside of their comfort zone, so the luthier proposed a two-part solution: the ambience would undoubtedly be improved by fixing up the adjacent handrail, but what if potential wedding reception clients could also be subliminally primed to notice the content of the posters, and perhaps even call the number? A motion detector will trigger a recording of Mendelssohn's wedding march as people walk by, ostensibly performed by the electrified violin serving as a temporary replacement baluster.


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