1996, Capp Street Project
San Francisco, California

Haha spent one month in San Francisco accompanying Bay Area workers on their jobs and audiotaping the ambient sounds of their eight-hour workdays. Most of the workers pursued unusual, entrepreneurial, or service-oriented professions, including a helicopter radio traffic reporter, a hard-hat diver in the bay, a bike messenger who worked for a lesbian-identified courier service, a toll collector on the Bay Bridge, a wine taster, an interior decorator, and a private eye, among others.

At Capp Street, Haha provided access to these audio encounters in the context of an architectural intervention. Visitors entering the front door found themselves not in the usual large space of the gallery, but in a tiny room with only a piano keyboard protruding through the wall and a bench to sit on. Visitors could play the piano keys but not hear what they were playing. Visitors entering through the service entrance around the back had access to the gallery space, and could hear the music if someone was playing, but not see the player/worker. This initial encounter provided a conceptual frame for the primary component of the installation, which was a set of audio-tours. Visitors were invited to take a tape player, headphones, and a selection of cassettes up to the roof of Capp Street Project to listen to the varied sounds of workdays while looking out into the city in which the work was being done.


Ted and Steve, Professional Divers
Susan, interior designer
Miguel, Housing Advocate
Dan, Electrical Contractor/Lighting Designer
Anonymous, Baker/Filmmaker
Terry, Dry Dock Purchasing Agent
Mike, sheet metal worker/poet
Ray, muralist/director art center
Rolf, Metering Lights Operator/
      Bay Bridge Toll Plaza

Kim and Lyn, Lickety Split,
      Lesbian Bike Messenger Service

Michaelyn, Traffic Reporter
Anne, Private Detective
John, helicopter pilot
Chuck, wine buyer
Jack, wine seller
Colin, Chef
Drew, Hair Stylist