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Conversations · Exhibition-Related

Interdisciplinary Dialogues: Synergy Between Creative Forces

Cover Image:

Chris Burden, 1 Ton Crane Truck, 2009. Restored 1964 F350 Ford crane truck with one-ton cast-iron weight. Dimensions: Truck and weight: 14 ft (H: tip of crane to ground) × 22 ft 10 in (L: front of truck to back of weight) × 8 ft (W: width of back of truck) / (4.2 × 6.9 × 2.4 m); One-ton weight: 20 × 20 × 20 in (50.8 × 50.8 × 50.8 cm.) Total weight: 9,000 lbs total. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photo: Jesse Untracht-Oakner

Presented in conjunction with “Chris Burden: Extreme Measures.”

For this panel, Gensler has invited five creative professionals from diverse fields—including design, engineering, sound, and art handling—to discuss their processes and how they can, and do, collaborate together to realize unusually ambitious projects in a constantly shifting contemporary art context. The backbone of the discussion is the diversity of routes that different disciplines take to problem-solve, and how each field can inform the other to generate both strong and meaningful projects.

Gensler is a global design firm, with forty-four offices and 3,800 employees worldwide. Over the past few years, Gensler’s New York office has worked closely with the New Museum to install aspects of major exhibitions that reached well beyond standard installation practices. This included the installation of a three-story interactive tubular slide as part of “Carsten Höller: Experience” and, more recently, the installation of two major sculptural works on the façade of the Museum as part of “Chris Burden: Extreme Measures.”

Joshua Edwards, New Museum
Joshua Edwards is the Director of Exhibitions Management at the New Museum. With a BFA in sculpture from Western Kentucky University and an upbringing on the jobsite with a carpenter father, Edwards’s strength lies in melding the world of intangible artistic desire with the reality of the laws of physics. Before joining the New Museum, Edwards fabricated and/or designed sculptures, which have found their way into various international collections and galleries. His experiences over the past six years at the Museum have ranged wildly in scope from large-scale construction projects involving major architectural alterations to executing detailed objects for exhibit and limited editions. His most recent project was in realizing the massive exhibition “Chris Burden: Extreme Measures.”

Stephen Vitiello
Stephen Vitiello is an electronic musician and media artist. His sound installations have been presented internationally, including at the Museum of Modern Art, MASS MoCA, the 2002 Whitney Biennial, the 2006 Biennial of Sydney, the Cartier Foundation, Paris, and in public spaces including on the High Line in New York. Vitiello has collaborated with such artists and musicians as Nam June Paik, Tony Oursler, Pauline Oliveros, Julie Mehretu, Joan Jonas, Steve Roden, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. His work is the subject of a twenty-seven-minute documentary produced by Australian TV. Vitiello has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fine Arts, Creative Capital funding in the category of Emerging Fields, and an Alpert/Ucross Award for Music. Originally from New York, Vitiello is now based in Richmond, VA, where he is an Associate Professor in the department of Kinetic Imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Mark Hage, Hage Engineering
Mark Hage is a structural engineer based in SoHo, New York. He has served as a panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts and as a juror for the Scholastic Art Awards. Hage has collaborated on the engineering of a variety of artworks, including works by Richard Serra, Sarah Sze, Ugo Rondinone, George Segel, Damien Hirst, and others. Looking Up is a book that chronicles his collaboration with Rachel Whiteread and the team that realized Water Tower, a resin cast sculpture currently exhibited at MoMA.

Michael Szivos, SOFTlab
After finishing his Masters of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in 2004, Michael Szivos founded the design studio SOFTlab. Szivos is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the School of Architecture at the Pratt Institute. SOFTlab is a design studio based in New York City. The studio operates at the intersection of architecture, art, video, and interactive media design. The constraints of all projects and the media they work in are treated as opportunities that are tested through a collaborative studio environment that searches for ideas through a mix of research, craft, and experimentation. Through the studio’s unique blend of backgrounds as designers, artists, architects, and educators, they are able to approach every project from a fresh perspective to create rich spatial, graphic, interactive, and visual experiences.

Bevin Savage Yamazaki, Gensler
Bevin Savage Yamazaki is a member of Gensler’s Culture+Education practice area. Savage Yamazaki has worked collaboratively with artists for many years. Prior to Gensler, she worked on the construction of Dia:Beacon, and in the past with Vito Acconci, Leni Schwendinger, and Dennis Oppenheim. In 2011, she worked closely with Gensler and the New Museum to install Carsten Höller’s slide and recently partnered with the Museum on the installation of the Chris Burden survey exhibition. Savage Yamazaki believes in the strength of interdisciplinary design and the collaborative process.

About Gensler:

Founded in 1965, Gensler has deep expertise in design and architecture across twenty practices, including commercial office buildings, professional services, retail, aviation, planning and urban design, entertainment and hospitality, sports stadia, and education facilities. The firm also holds practices focusing on brand strategy, environmental graphic design, mission-critical facilities, and has recently invested in consulting for real estate workplace and sustainable design.

Gensler’s recent projects of note include the Shanghai Tower, JetBlue T5 at JFK International Airport, Houston Ballet Center for Dance, Facebook’s global headquarters, Incheon International Airport in South Korea, Dubai International Financial Center, and Duke University’s Kunshan Campus in China. Additional projects include the New Museum, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the School of the International Center of Photography and Christie’s.

For more information, visit the firm’s website or blog, follow Gensler on Twitter, or like them on Facebook.


“Chris Burden: Extreme Measures” is made possible through the lead support of the Henry Luce Foundation.

Major support is also provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Lonti Ebers and Bruce Flatt, Gagosian Gallery, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Generous support is provided by the Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc., the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation,LLWW Foundation, Eugenio López, Catriona and Simon Mordant, Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Foundation, Aby and Samantha Rosen, and Åke and Caisa Skeppner.

The International Leadership Council of the New Museum is gratefully acknowledged.

The publication for “Chris Burden: Extreme Measures” is made possible by the Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson Foundation.

Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David B. Heller & Hermine Riegerl Heller.

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