On one winter night, 104 hand-painted characters (from Where’s Waldo books) transformed Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood into a social experiment. With no pre-existing fan base, no visible lead-up, and no warning those who were curious and willing could participate in the neighborhood-wide search for the elusive Waldo. An equally quiet release of an online platform allowed the public to share their finds and identify all remaining characters. On the site, each character was given a sweet name and a unique catchphrase.

Within a few days, interest in the project spread to the local Capitol Hill Blog, news stations, and The Huffington Post. Emails of support and interest came from as far as the UK.

*photos from Jeremy Hurd