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Sites Unseen is a public art initiative in downtown San Francisco that programs alleyways with installations and participatory events.
Sites Unseen is a public art initiative in downtown San Francisco that programs alleyways with installations and participatory events.
Sites Unseen is a public art initiative in downtown San Francisco that programs alleyways with installations and participatory events.
241 backers pledged $28,094 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Sites Unseen | Public Art in San Francisco's Alleys

$28,094

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Sites Unseen is programming eight alleyways in downtown San Francisco with public art that celebrates the city's cultural landscape and transforms underused public spaces into destinations for sustained collaborative discourse, innovation, and discovery. The alleys provide a platform for local and national artists at all career stages to showcase their work through permanent installations and temporary events. Most recently, we installed a large-scale mural by renowned San Francisco artist Barry McGee on a public parking garage adjacent to two alleys. 

We invite YOU to join us in presenting our next group of exciting projects in the alleyways! 

Barry McGee installation at the Moscone Center Garage on Clementina Street in downtown San Francisco (photo by Stash Maleski/ICU Art)
Barry McGee installation at the Moscone Center Garage on Clementina Street in downtown San Francisco (photo by Stash Maleski/ICU Art)

About the Public Art Commissions

• LA-based collective Fallen Fruit encourages their audiences to collectively re-imagine the function of public participation and urban space. They will bring Rainbow Jam, Public Fruit Jam and Fruit Meditation to the alleys in the coming months in partnership with United Playaz, a local youth organization. 

Ramekon O’Arwisters' social-art practice is steeped in the African-American tradition of weaving in a calm and non-judgmental environment, without rules or limitations. Crochet Jam invites members of the public to create collaborative artworks that will be turned into a permanent mosaic installation by Clare Rojas in one of the alleys. 

Leah Rosenberg's work explores how color, form, flavor and arrangements affect human emotion through interactive installations and participatory food-based activations. She will create a colorful and lighted public seating area in one of the alleys along with a series of site-specific culinary events. 

• Jenny Odell's work explores the ecology of images created by networks. She will present a research-based installation of bronze plaques that highlight the hyper-local histories of the alleys, with an interactive online tour component.

Fallen Fruit's Lemonade Stand (Photo © Renée Jones)
Fallen Fruit's Lemonade Stand (Photo © Renée Jones)
 

Why is this project important?

San Francisco is a city in a state of rapid change. The current development boom means less open space, and the increasing cost of living means that many artists and other cultural producers are no longer able to remain here. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to activating underused urban spaces through art and to providing a platform for artists at all career stages to show a variety of work in the public realm, Sites Unseen aims to support our local arts ecosystem in diverse ways. We commission site-specific work in order to transform public spaces and help support artists at a time when they need it most. We also recognize that there are often financial, physical, and psychological barriers to engaging with art and culture in the city and believe that groundbreaking artistic projects should be present in the public realm, thereby enabling various modes of access to diverse communities.

United Playaz team during our tree-planting and barrel-painting workshop with Fallen Fruit
United Playaz team during our tree-planting and barrel-painting workshop with Fallen Fruit

Why Kickstarter?

Community. We believe that exposure to art enriches everyone’s lives. Through a series of roundtable events, we’ve heard from local residents, business owners, and visitors alike that they want more art in the public spaces of Yerba Buena. With your support, we can transform the alleys into places where people will have the opportunity to engage with artwork that is of high aesthetic quality, is accessible both physically and conceptually, establishes place or familiarity, and leverages identity and civic pride. Most importantly, Sites Unseen’s temporary programming will enable members of the public to engage with each other in new and surprising ways.

Barry McGee at Moscone Center Garage (Photo © Stash Maleski/ICU Art)
Barry McGee at Moscone Center Garage (Photo © Stash Maleski/ICU Art)

About Sites Unseen

Sites Unseen is working with both local and international artists to bring regular programming to eight alleyways in downtown San Francisco in the form of large-scale permanent installations and participatory activations that invite members of the public to interact with their neighborhood, with artists, and with each other. Sites Unseen brings art outside the walls of institutions and commercial galleries and into the public realm, providing more expansive cultural access and fostering social interaction.

Rewards

Clare Rojas Sites Unseen poster - $25
Clare Rojas Sites Unseen poster - $25

 

Fallen Fruit notebooks (Street Lemon) - $25
Fallen Fruit notebooks (Street Lemon) - $25

 

Fallen Fruit notebooks (Share Your Fruit) - $25
Fallen Fruit notebooks (Share Your Fruit) - $25

 

Fallen Fruit notebooks (Virgins and Mangoes) - $25
Fallen Fruit notebooks (Virgins and Mangoes) - $25

 

Barry McGee Sites Unseen tote bag - $40
Barry McGee Sites Unseen tote bag - $40

 

Leah Rosenberg Everyday Confetti 2017 calendar - $50
Leah Rosenberg Everyday Confetti 2017 calendar - $50

 

Leah Rosenberg plate set - 2 for $75
Leah Rosenberg plate set - 2 for $75

 

Jenny Odell Bureau of Suspended Objects book - $85
Jenny Odell Bureau of Suspended Objects book - $85

 

Jenny Odell Satellite Landscapes book - $120
Jenny Odell Satellite Landscapes book - $120

 

Jenny Odell Satellite Landscape print (Nuclear Cooling Towers) - $200
Jenny Odell Satellite Landscape print (Nuclear Cooling Towers) - $200

 

Jenny Odell Satellite print (Circular Farms) - $200
Jenny Odell Satellite print (Circular Farms) - $200

  

Jenny Odell Satellite print (Swimming Pools) - $200
Jenny Odell Satellite print (Swimming Pools) - $200

 

Jenny Odell Satellite print (Grain Silos) - $200
Jenny Odell Satellite print (Grain Silos) - $200

 

Fallen Fruit scarf - $250
Fallen Fruit scarf - $250

 

Walkthrough of SF Public Art with Dorka and Jess - $800/1200
Walkthrough of SF Public Art with Dorka and Jess - $800/1200

What will your contribution support?

Primarily artist fees and production expenses for Phase One participatory projects, including Leah Rosenberg's installation and ongoing activations; eight more Crochet Jams; Fallen Fruit's final two activations; and Jenny Odell's alternative history plaques. Sites Unseen is a privately-funded endeavor, and we rely on foundation grants and the generosity of individual donors to create our programming. We are committed to supporting our local artists by providing them with both platforms to showcase their work and a living wage that will hopefully enable them to remain working in the Bay Area. 

About the Neighborhood

The Yerba Buena neighborhood is a central and important part of San Francisco. For many visitors, the area shapes their first impression of the city, as hundreds of thousands of people come to attend conventions at Moscone Center and stay in hotels in the area. Yerba Buena is one of the main cultural hubs of San Francisco, home to institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and more. The area is also home to a diverse mix of residents, including a large and active Filipino-American population.

Risks and challenges

Temporary activations are an essential part of Sites Unseen’s mission, but are often very difficult to fundraise around because of their ephemeral nature. We need your support in order to create dynamic sustained programming that will keep these alleys vibrant and will bring the public together on a regular basis to create a sense of place and community pride.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Sites Unseen Artist-Designed Button

    Wear your support of public art on your sleeve (or lapel)! Get your small pin-on Sites Unseen button, designed by Phase One commissioned artists Leah Rosenberg or Fallen Fruit! Choose which design you prefer upon ordering. Can't decide? Get them both to add to your collection.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Clare Rojas Limited Edition Poster

    Renowned San Francisco artist Clare Rojas, who will be collaborating with Ramekon O'Arwisters on a future installation in the alleys, has created a stunning limited-edition 11x18" poster for Sites Unseen.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Fallen Fruit Notebook (Share Your Fruit)

    Need a colorful place to jot down your innermost thoughts, dreams, and to-do lists? Fallen Fruit has a selection of notebooks designed with their signature imagery. If you can't choose just one, stock up for the year or gift to friends!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Fallen Fruit Notebook (Street Lemon)

    Need a colorful place to jot down your innermost thoughts, dreams, and to-do lists? Fallen Fruit has a selection of notebooks designed with their signature imagery. If you can't choose just one, stock up for the year or gift to friends!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Fallen Fruit Notebook (Virgins, Mangoes)

    Need a colorful place to jot down your innermost thoughts, dreams, and to-do lists? Fallen Fruit has a selection of notebooks designed with their signature imagery. If you can't choose just one, stock up for the year or gift to friends!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Barry McGee Sites Unseen Tote Bag

    You've seen them around town, you've been dying to sling one on your shoulder... and now is your chance to get one for yourself! Barry McGee, who created a massive installation for Phase One, designed fabulous tote bags with his iteration of the Sites Unseen logo. We know you already have a ton of tote bags, but this one is definitely worth adding to your collection.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Everyday Confetti 2017 Calendar

    Who knows what this year will bring? At least you'll have Leah Rosenberg's colorful 2017 artist calendar to help brighten your days. Punch each day out, and and at the end you'll have a pile of confetti to toss... in celebration or frustration. Either way, Everyday Confetti eases encourages us to find the light even in days of shadow.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Leah Rosenberg Plate Set

    Set of two colorful ceramic plates, handmade by Leah Rosenberg and inspired by the colors, sights, and sounds of the Yerba Buena alleys.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    Limited Edition Signed Jenny Odell Book

    The Bureau of Suspended Objects is a one-person organization and archive that investigates discarded and unwanted objects. These objects are “suspended” in several senses: The B.S.O. has suspended them from their trajectory to the dump or landfill, but additionally, they are items whose meaning and value are also in flux after the act of discarding.Simply put, this book repeatedly asks the question: what accounts for the existence of this object?Research at the B.S.O. stems from the assumption that we are estranged even from those objects closest to us, or that their inner workings and past lives are too often experienced as opaque and inaccessible. As such, the B.S.O. endeavors to learn how to read and understand an object on its own terms – to understand why and how it came into being.

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    Limited Edition Signed Jenny Odell Book

    Doubling as a catalogue for the 2014 exhibition INFRASTRUCTURE at Intersection for the Arts, the book Satellite Landscapes contains visual elements from the artist’s Satellite Landscapes series, including projects like Power Trip and Pipe Dream, ongoing personal explorations, hand-written text and diagrams, and more. The book explores unresolved questions about the individual's relationship to infrastructural systems, defining a “satellite landscape” as “a place whose existence feels peripheral to immediate experience––geographically, psychologically, or both.”

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Jenny Odell "206 Circular Farms"

    Jenny Odell's "Satellite Prints" are an extension of her research-based practice and feature collections of images of things that the artist has found from Google Satellite View. The view from a satellite is not a human one, and the alienation provided by the satellite perspective reveals the everyday objects we take for granted to be strange, even absurd. The "206 Circular Farms" print is 18x18".

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Jenny Odell "97 Nuclear Cooling Towers"

    Jenny Odell's "Satellite Prints" are an extension of her research-based practice and feature collections of images of things that the artist has found from Google Satellite View. The view from a satellite is not a human one, and the alienation provided by the satellite perspective reveals the everyday objects we take for granted to be strange, even absurd. The "97 Nuclear Cooling Towers" print is 18x18".

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Jenny Odell "125 Swimming Pools"

    Jenny Odell's "Satellite Prints" are an extension of her research-based practice and feature collections of images of things that the artist has found from Google Satellite View. The view from a satellite is not a human one, and the alienation provided by the satellite perspective reveals the everyday objects we take for granted to be strange, even absurd. The "125 Swimming Pools" print is 18x18".

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    Jenny Odell "1,378 Grain Silos.."

    Jenny Odell's "Satellite Prints" are an extension of her research-based practice and feature collections of images of things that the artist has found from Google Satellite View. The view from a satellite is not a human one, and the alienation provided by the satellite perspective reveals the everyday objects we take for granted to be strange, even absurd. The "1,378 Grain Silos, Water Towers, and Other Cylindrical-Industrial Buildings" print is 18x18".

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Fallen Fruit Wrap Scarf

    Wrap yourself in luscious silken fruit designs based on indigenous flora from California! The wrap scarf is made from a loose weave cotton that is soft, breathable and extra comfortable. This style is finished with a double turn hem. 28" x 80”, 100% Cotton Gauze. (Note: We are not responsible if someone tries to take a bite out of you).

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Full Set of 4 Jenny Odell prints

    Can't choose? Get them all for your collection (they look fabulous as a group). Four signed prints at 18x18", including "206 Circular Farms," "680 Observatory Domes," "125 Swimming Pools," and "1,378 Grain Silos, Water Towers, and Other Cylindrical-Industrial Buildings."

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Private Tour w/ Culinary Activation (5)

    Enjoy a private group tour (limited to 5 people) of public art in San Francisco with Sites Unseen Co-founder and SF Arts Commissioner Dorka Keehn and Project Director Jessica Shaefer, with a special culinary activation by Leah Rosenberg.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Private Tour w/ Culinary Activation (10)

    Enjoy a private group tour (limited to 10 people) of public art in San Francisco with Sites Unseen Co-founder and SF Arts Commissioner Dorka Keehn and Project Director Jessica Shaefer, with a special culinary activation by Leah Rosenberg.

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Funding period

- (30 days)