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Current Programming

Bridge Deconstruction Logo

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.

Bridge Deconstruction will be conducted in three phases over the course of 2023:

Phase I / Special Commission on Bridges / January 9 - April 24, 2023

The Special Commission on Bridges began January 9, 2023 within FIU's History Department

with core commission members Special Historical Officers Philip Cardella, Riley Ford,

Juan Lopez, and Susana Perez, and led by DoR Director misael soto with special counsel

from Phd. Rebecca Friedman, Jacek Kolasinski, Silvia Barisione, and Sue Welch (West Palm

Beach County Bridge Tender).


Using The Wolfsonian-FIU collection’s bridge tender house as a vector from which to work

through, now known as the Josephine Baker Pavilion, and starting at the same geographical

point where the bridge tender house was originally located at NW 27th Avenue (aka Unity

Boulevard) and the Miami River, and connecting it to where it currently resides, in front of

The Wolfsonian-FIU museum building on Washington Avenue and 10th Street in Miami

Beach... together over the course of four months the group investigated infrastructure,

bridges, and related political, social, and ethnographic phenomena.

Phase II / Public Input / June 23 - October 31, 2023

How can you be a part of our next major deconstructive infrastructure project?
Bridge Deconstruction's Public Input phase is your 



Phase III / Bridge Deconstruction Site / November 3, 2023 - January 31, 2024

What the public element of the project will look like depends on you! As we meet and work

with participants and contributions are allocated, the Bridge Deconstruction Site will take



Our Goal: We would like to reunite The Wolfsonian-FIU’s Bridge Tender House with its bridge

on 27th Avenue and the Miami River. But instead of physically transporting it, how can we

metaphorically move it… all while honoring the many intersecting and diverse ways a

ubiquitous piece of invaluable infrastructure can mean so much more than the sum of its parts?

What can we all learn as we reimagine a bridge together?



1. Bridge at 27th Avenue and the Miami River, 1941, Courtesy Miami-Dade Public Library.

2. DoR Special Commission on Bridges visits the Bridge Tender House at The Wolfsonian-FIU.

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.

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