The Exh Files: Part 14

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.

Margaret Doyle


Title at MoMA: Director of Communications.
Been working at the museum for: Seven years.
A brief bio: Growing up in Virginia, I was an artist, a ballerina, and a writer. Not surprisingly, I chose a career as an arts publicist. I love working with all of my brilliant colleagues at MoMA, which is such an integral part of the fabric of New York City.
Passion outside of MoMA: New York City Ballet.
What I did in Talk to Me: I worked with our Communications team on press strategy for the exhibition, to make sure that we were getting the word out through the press and social media.
Curatorial team says: The Communications Department juggles an incredible number of different topics at any time, including each single exhibition, new acquisitions into the collection, comings and goings in staff, expansions, contractions, new buildings, new departments, and all sorts of requests from the press. Margaret also is often on the road to organize promotional events for MoMA in other countries. Altogether, a tough and fundamental job that makes the Museum come alive in the world.

Dan Phiffer

Digital Media

Title at MoMA: Media Technology Developer, Digital Media Department.
Been working at the museum for: 1 year full-time, 2 years before that as a freelancer.
A brief bio: Originally from Los Angeles, I moved to New York to go to ITP [[[NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, ed’s note]]]. At MoMA I build websites, mostly the front-end HTML/CSS/JavaScript parts. I also teach media courses as an adjunct lecturer at CCNY and ITP.
Passion outside of MoMA: I have an art practice that relies on networks and computers. Recently I’ve been collaborating with a few friends under the name Future Archaeology. My wife Ellie Irons and I also have been working on projects together, most recently Neversink Transmissions.
What I did in Talk to Me: Two things: I helped set up this blog, and I hacked the Solari flight board in the permanent collection to periodically replace its flight schedule with messages promoting Talk to Me.
Curatorial team says: The great advantage that comes from having artists on your team is that often the curator just has to sit back, relax, and let them run away with their ideas! Dan is never short of tricks when it comes to extending an exhibition’s tentacles into the rest of the Museum and into the world.

LJ Hartman


Title at MoMa: Director of Security.
Been working at the museum for:
12 months.
A brief bio:
 I am currently the Director of Security for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; after spending 3 years as the Director of Security at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco and 11 years as the Manager of Security Operations for the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles.  In each of these roles I have been responsible for the oversight of security operations, planning and management of security technical systems, and the development and training of emergency preparedness and response programs.   
Passion outside of MoMA:
What I did in Talk to Me:
Coordinated the enhancement of security systems/devices in the exhibition space and the MTA access needs through the installation and duration of the show.
Curatorial team says: One thing to remember is that LJ has responsibility for the entire Museum, of which the Talk to Me galleries are (sigh) only a small part. Her job is never dull, you can be sure, and more often than not it is incredibly complex and unpredictable. The MTA MetroCard Vending Machine she is referring to is just a small example of this complexity: the machine needs to be maintained by MTA-affiliated officers that can come in only in the hours when the Museum is closed.

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