Henry Art Gallery

University of Washington


15th Ave NE & 41st St
Seattle, WA 98195


11-4: Wed
11-9: Thu, Fri
11-4: Sat, Sun
Closed: Mon, Tue




Image 1 / 2: James Coupe and Juan Pampin. Sanctum.

Image 2 / 2: James Coupe and Juan Pampin. Sanctum.

An interactive art installation, Sanctum employs surveillance systems to generate cinematic narratives with social media content that matches the demographic profile of passers-by.

“In an era of status updates, tweets, and check-ins, the geography of public, shared spaces needs to be reconsidered, along with our expectations of privacy in them, " say artists James Coupe and Juan Pampin.

Sanctum seeks to investigate the narrative potential of social media while raising important and provocative questions about the conflicting imperatives emerging in our culture as we promote and embrace ever-more-intrusive electronic media, while still cherishing traditional notions of privacy.

From those who choose to participate in the project, Sanctum will actively gather information via sophisticated surveillance and profiling technology and match it with data drawn from social media sites to shape original plausible and implausible fictional narratives.

To learn more about the project and to contribute with narrative content, please enter here. You can also opt in by scanning the QR codes that will be posted on signage outside the museum.

You can also learn more about the project by watching videos about Sanctum on the Henry’s YouTube channel. James Coupe and Juan Pampin: Sanctum explores the ideas and innovative technology behind the work, the timely questions it raises, and how you can participate. The Collaboration Behind Sanctum highlights the artists’ past work and their collaborative process for this project. These videos were created as a collaborative project between the artists, the Henry, and Solstream Media.

Coupe and Pampin, both associate professors in UW’s DXARTS program, an interdisciplinary degree-granting center designed to support the emergence of a new generation of hybrid artists, were chosen in 2010 from 91 applications who answered an open international call, soliciting proposals for a site-specific project to transform the façade of the museum’s main entrance and to engage the UW population and the many visitors who pass by the Henry every day.

Sanctum is a commission by the Henry Art Gallery, generously supported by the Barton Family Foundation and Linden Rhoads. This project is also made possible with the support of the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS), University of Washington.
Image 1: James Coupe and Juan Pampin. Sanctum. Installation view. Photo credit: R.J. Sánchez
Image 2: James Coupe and Juan Pampin. Sanctum. Installation view. Photo credit: R.J. Sánchez