Title: SODO
Photo Credit: Spike Mafford Photography
Lead Artist(s):

Contributing Artist(s):
Franka Diehnelt


“SODO” is a vast, visual narrative that catalogues over 200 years of SoDo’s (South of Downtown) history from tidal flats to the industrial area to a center of warehousing, packaging and distribution of goods. “SODO” consists of stenciled and barcode designs painted onto 250 concrete columns that hold up the existing and new portions of the Spokane Street Viaduct between Sixth Avenue South and East Marginal Way South. Nine different color and image schemes create separate zones that recollect the natural and cultural history of the area, the industries that flourished there, and wildlife that inhabited the site. In total, 589 column faces were painted stretching 1/2 mile through the corridor. As a way to distinguish and identify each of the nine themes within the artwork, the artists created their own unique barcodes encrypted with the name of each field. The striped barcodes on the columns visually play with the corridor's perspective beneath the viaduct and line up to create a whole barcode pattern when viewed from specific points along the roadway. The nine themes include: “Another Man's Treasure,” “Forest of Stilts,” “Duck-Duck-Goose,” “Heavy Metal”, “Moved Mountain,” “Slóóweehl,” “Cuts and Hides,” “Liquid Land” and “Library. The barcodes point to SoDo's present reality, while the encoded information refers to a deeper identity hidden beneath the surface of the neighborhood; rather than just naming a product, the thematic titles evoke stories and history related to the site. Graphically, the barcodes serve as the medium to weave together the several layers of the site's identity into one narrative. In addition to the barcodes, each of the stories is represented in an image or product, condensed into a simple icon. These icons are used to create patterns that visually interact with the barcodes.


Spokane Street Viaduct between Sixth Avenue South and East Marginal Way S
3421 1st S Avenue
Seattle, WA 98134
United States

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Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs
Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs

Concrete/Masonry, Painting
Stenciled paint on concrete