Bridge Deconstruction is a sustained creative investigation undertaken by the Department of Reflection for The Wolfsonian-FIU. The research-based, and context and site-specific collaborative endeavor uses bridges and related infrastructure as vectors for individual and communal ideation, storytelling, and creative expression. Bridge Deconstruction takes direct inspiration from The Wolfsonian-FIU’s collection, particularly its Bridge Tender House (aka the Josephine Baker Pavilion), which is seen as a launchpad from which a public installation and collaborative programming will take place.
After Phases I and II, Bridge Deconstruction on November 2, 2023 moved onto Phase III with Bridge Deconstruction Site.
BRIDGE DECONSTRUCTION SITE
November 2, 2023 - January 31, 2024
Bridge Tender House at The Wolfsonian-FIU
The Department of Reflection uses The Wolfsonian–FIU's Bridge Tender
House as the foundation for a special public installation involving
community and student-submitted work inspired by bridges. Originally
located at Northwest 27th Avenue on the Miami River—and now part
of the museum's collection—the streetside Art Deco architectural structure
has played muse throughout Bridge Deconstruction. The installation and
series of programming is the public culmination of the year-long project.
Project associates include: Kayla Delacerda, Chris Dougnac, Rebecca Friedman
Loni Johnson, Jessica Mueller, Victoria Ravelo, Sterling Rook, Nicole Salcedo, Ayesha Singh,
Samuel Tommie, Sue Welch, Agustina Woodgate, Armando Zamora, Donzii, The Greater
Miami Bureau of Time Tourism, Bridge Deconstruction Special Historical Officers: Riley Ford,
Philip Cardella, Juan Lopez, and Susanna Perez; and FIU CARTA Students: Shannon Bishop,
Sandra Botros, Oriana Leon, Busra Sari, Jadayne Smith, and Valentyna Willard
November 2, 2023, 7-9pm
Be there as the Department of Reflection (DoR) unveils its Bridge Deconstruction Site with a groundbreaking ceremony. We are launching the public installation component of our year-long collaborative endeavor using bridges and related infrastructure as vectors for individual and communal ideation, storytelling, and creative expression. The bridge-inspired works of art and design by community and FIU students are centered around The Wolfsonian's historic, street-side Bridge Tender House, DoR's muse throughout Bridge Deconstruction. The evening will feature a groundbreaking ceremony and participatory photo-op, and a performance by Samuel Tommie. Refreshments will be served.
Attendees are encouraged to bring fabric donations for Sterling Rook's Miami Rope Bridge Project.
Miami Rope Bridge Workshop
November 19, 2023, 2-5pm
The Miami Rope Bridge's rope-making workshops continue with a public workshops in collaboration
with the Department of Reflection. Drawing from the power of collaborative building, these fabric
workshops will allow for folks at almost any skill level to contribute. The final, communally-made
Miami Rope Bridge will be installed at the ancient Arch Creek Park in early December, 2023.
Please join us in building bridges - both real and imaginary.
December 1, 2023, 5:31-7:30pm
Bridge Deconstruction continues with a procession led by artist
Loni Johnson and a conversation on Miami's historical and current
infrastructure issues. Honoring a century of service workers and Black
culture, Johnson's 5:31: Sundown Procession references Miami Beach's
former "sundown town" laws barring African Americans from residing
within the city and requiring them to cross the causeways to the
mainland before nightfall. Meet at the beach entrance on 10th Street
and Ocean Drive to accompany Johnson as she bridges past and
present, guiding you from the beach sand, down 10th Street, and into
The Wolfsonian, where an altar will be activated. Immediately following
will be an interdisciplinary panel discussion, moderated by Department
of Reflection director misael soto, that sheds light on the intersectional
ways public space is political. The panel will include Transit Alliance
Miami co-executive director Cathy Dos Santos, multidisciplinary South
Florida Historian Malcolm Lauredo, Palm Beach bridge tender
Sue Welch, and South Florida bridge engineer Andrew Barthle.
Bridge Deconstruction Site—the project's public installation centered around The Wolfsonian's historic streetside Bridge Tender House—will also be open for the night, inviting you to check out the wide array of bridge-inspired works of art and design.
December 8, 2023, 7-10pm
The Department of Reflection's De-Code Compliance Team will be conducting work in and around
The Wolfsonian-FIU's Bridge Tender House. Over the course of a evening the team will use various
tools, writing, and found and taken images in order to visually and conceptually layer geographies,
bridges, architectural and infrastructural elements, histories, and thoughts and theories related to
Bridge Deconstruction. Visitors will be engaged to bring in further layers and recordings of our
findings will be made as the process unfolds.
RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY
January 28, 2024, 1-4pm
The Department of Reflection's Bridge Deconstruction Site comes to an end with a ribbon-cutting ceremony! After three months building a figurative (and at times literal) bridge with collaborators, community members, and audiences, the work is finished, and we are ready to unveil a plaque honoring the project. Local band Donzii will premiere a commissioned original musical bridge piece, Chicago-based artist Jessica Mueller with her two children will perform a new iteration of Public Weigh-In as they physically balance on each other in a demonstration of familial endurance and growth, Sterling Rook's Miami Rope Bridge will be temporarily raised for the occasion, and Miami-based Chris Dougnak's Underworld Construction Company will present EDEN Construction Cones, a choreographed arrangement of caution cones that will be dismantled and reorganized throughout the afternoon.
Bridge Deconstruction is organized with The Wolfsonian-FIU and The Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab, and sponsored by the Mellon Foundation and the Extreme Events Institute.
Bridge Deconstruction is additionally supported by a WaveMaker grant from Locust Projects, Bas Fisher Invitational, and by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.