Abandoned buildings have become such a common sight that they often slip quietly into the backdrop of our cities like an accepted part of our landscape. Looking for Love Again is a participatory public installation that renews attention to an abandoned high-rise to celebrate its past and future. Chang draped a four-story sign on the Polaris Building in downtown Fairbanks, AK to transform it into an emotional beacon pleading for love. Chalkboards at the street level, as well as an accompanying website, invited people to share their memories of the building and their hopes for its future. Commissioned by the Alaska Design Forum, feedback from the project was used by the developer and the downtown development association to inform next steps. By drawing emotional attention to the neglected building and providing residents with a platform to share, the project explores the impact that buildings have on our lives and how they can become meaningful again.
2011, Fairbanks, AK. Acrylic on industrial fabric, chalkboards, wood, spray paint, chalk, abandoned high-rise. 68’ x 36′ sign, 30’ x 10’ chalkboards. Project coordination by David Hayden. Project assistance by Mike Hondel. Installation assistance by Bernie Baecker, Carol Hayden, Sean Hering, Kate Incarnato, Galen Lott, Dustin Miller, Jessica Nelson, Amy Nordrum, Ian Oleson, Sheri Oleson, Pat Rivera, Jack Schmid, Trent Schoenemann, Sue Sprinkle, Dave van den Berg, and Jared van deer Weele.
Within this space, themes already emerged. For memories:
Memories of the Tiki Bar on the top floor
Ghost story of room 303
Themes for hopes:
Desire for a grocery store
Desire for an Indian restaurant
Desire for modern apartments downtown
Photos of the process: