SURVEY WEST COLLABORATIVE: This House Has a Bright Future


Survey West Collaborative engaged architecture and site symbolically as they collapsed past, present and future in their large-scale outdoor installation, This House has a Bright Future. Engaging the metaphoric potential of Side Street Projects’ current headquarters in Pasadena, SWC built a monumental, temporary, site-specific piece.

SWC’s installation sat atop one of the on-site foundational ruins that include a neighborhood barbershop, an apartment building, and Maritza’s taquería. The site also boasts the Decker House, one of the oldest Victorian houses in Pasadena, now boarded-up, weathered and ghostly, yet protected for its historical significance. Each of these buildings, except for the Victorian relic, was torn down to make way for the Heritage Square Development; a project intended to revitalize the area. Neighborhood concerns threatened the development and the project came to a halt as the economic crisis made breaking the impasse impossible. An eyesore of a vacant lot remained and Side Street Projects, a completely mobile, artist-run nonprofit organization, moved in and transformed the space through education outreach and artist services.The duo represent the future through six sets of brightly painted scaffolding that form a new floor plan for the viewer to enter. This representation of the future physically embraced its own past as Victorian embellishments, barbershop stripes, Maritza’s horseshoes, and local children’s portraits and ghost stories filled the structure’s grid-system. Here, shifting perspectives on need, success and desire came into one dynamic vision as distinct moments in time become veils, screens and windows to another.

Public Events:

Exhibition Opening: May 20, 2011

Participating Artists:

Bari Ziperstein, Jill Newman

This project was made possible through a grant from The Pasadena Department of Cultural Affairs Arts


Survey West Collaborative is an on-going project between artist Jill Newman and Bari Ziperstein. Both educated in West Coast art and conceptualism at CalArts, they examine the intersections of progress, ingenuity and architecture through art production, curation and education outreach.