The Exh Files: Part 4

Everything you have always wanted to know about how exhibitions get done, but you’ve never dared ask. The Exh Files bring you into the belly of the monster, not only to shed light on the curatorial process of Talk to Me, but also to cast the spotlight on the unsung heroes and heroines whose work is critical to the success of a show. For the duration of the exhibition, twice a week we will post three profiles of MoMA colleagues that were involved in the making of this show, and of many other MoMA exhibitions.

Roger Griffith


Title at MoMA: Associate Sculpture Conservator
Been working at the museum: 13 1/2 years
A brief bio: I am one of a two-member team whose main responsibilities include the evaluation of the condition of design objects in the Collection and on loan for exhibitions, their conservation treatments, their packing and storage, as well as research and publishing of scholarly work related to these same subjects. I received an MA in Objects and Furniture Conservation from the Royal College of Art in London in 1998, but prior to this I obtained extensive experience in the field of Objects Conservation through fellowships and internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam;  and the University of East Anglia: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, England.
Passion outside of MoMA: Gardening and Cooking…I have a small bungalow in the Catskill Mountains. I go every weekend to tend to my garden where I grow my own food to prepare delicious meals.
What I did in Talk to Me: I was the conservation point person on the show and when things needed repaired I assisted the artist or jumped in to repair the object.  For example, the Tweenbots have needed some conservation since they interact a lot with the public.
Curatorial Team says: let us give you some more examples of what an expert like Roger deals with on a show like Talk to Me: rewiring Tio, vacuuming El Sajjadah, taking care of the sneezing, glowing, crying, twitching and blinking objects as if they were his own. An expertise in Design Conservation entails flexibility and inventiveness.

James Heck

Information Technology

Title at MoMA: Network Systems Manager
Been working at the museum for: As a full time employee only 7 months as I joined at the end of January 2011.  However I was also here for roughly 8 months as a consultant with the infrastructure team that did the network design for the new building project (ed’s note: the new bulding opened in 2004).
A brief bio: I manage MoMA’s Network Systems group which 6 main focus areas: All Wired and Wireless Networks (Local or Wide area), all server infrastructure administration and support, Messaging (email) and Directory services, Database design and support, storage and network security.  Our group is responsible for the architecture, design and support of these areas that support all departments within MoMA.  Before coming to MoMA I was a Managing Consultant and Architect for voice, video and LAN/WAN networking solutions for IBM Global Services and France Telecom/Orange.
Passion outside of MoMA: I am an avid technical scuba diver (deep, ice and cave), love boating or anything to do with the water, spending time with my family, and have been known to spend some time on the quarter mile drag strip.
What I did in Talk to Me: I determined and implemented the support strategy for all the communication and connectivity needs of the show. This included some pieces that just needed basic Internet access, as well as Peer to Peer/Machine to Machine connections and 802.11A/B/G/N wireless access for the public.
Curatorial Team says: the exhibition relies on connectivity, and James and his team souped up the galleries and made them into the most wired and connected space in the museum. They have guaranteed that every visitor has access to our new and improved wi-fi network. They also worked with individual design teams to network objects in the exhibition.

Artwork by Claire Corey

Graphic Design

Title at MoMA: Production Manager, Department of Graphic Design and Marketing
Been working at the museum for: 15 years
A brief bio: I  grew up in Southern California, studied Fine Art at UCLA and am an exhibiting artist. My art practice aids me in many aspects of my job at MoMA, including color correcting and producing materials which conceptually match the original art and ideas of both the curators and the designers.
Passion outside of MoMA: Art, gardening, my home, husband and animals.
What I did in Talk to Me: I worked with the Graphic Designer Sam Sherman, and the curatorial team to produce all the graphic materials in the exhibition. I planned the production of all the wallpapers, panels, labels, and signage; I color-corrected all the advertising, from banners and billboards to printed media; I generated all the production schedules for various graphic design elements; and I tracked the graphic design budget.
Curatorial Team says: We all know that ideas are the easy part; it is making them happen, on time and on budget, that is really tough. That is Claire’s job, and she is the best at it. Her background as an artist indeed infuses her efficiency with a deep sensitivity for the needs of artists and curators.


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