Money is not just a medium of exchange, but also, in this case, a means of sharing information between the people who use the currency, who participate in the economy. This seems obvious in a networked information age.
—Caroline Woolard, 2013
I started my research process by visiting the Study Centers at MoMA and spending time going through letters, photographs, and ephemera in the archives. I remember the excitement I felt, being able to read the letters sent between Eva Zeisel and Alfred Bar as they planned the first exhibition dedicated to a woman’s oeuvre at MoMA, in the 1940s. Zeisel made sure that her work was available for sale, at an affordable price, to the staff, at the same time that it was on view. I remember touching small photographs of Marcel Duchamp’s Standard Stoppages, documented resting informally against a fence in a garden. After days and days of research, and many visits to the galleries and spaces adjacent to MoMA, I sent a number of proposals to Pablo Helguera, Sheetal Prajapati, and Sarah Kennedy, the key facilitators of the project. I am sharing this proposal because most artists do not realize how many written proposals they will need to make in order to secure project support.
Subject: proposal for Exchange Studio January 29, 2013 Hey all,
I decided it's easiest for me to get clear in a PDF... I also have sketches to show you and there's lots of room for additions and changes, but I also made a nice PDF for you all to look over if you have time in advance.
Here's what I'm thinking: The studio is a café. In the mezzanine, the hardest thing is to get people in the mood to sit down and do something unusual. The way to get around this is to have 1–3 people who greet the public as they come down the stairs. They will be standing with tall tables and laptops and be the "google/algorithm" power of information people. In addition, the public will be able to "book" an experience in advance, online or via phone. This way, the focus is on the power of the moment, and on our ability as facilitators to connect people to one another. This helps people focus, and will spread the word about the Studio and give us lots of data. The major rule is this: the café will only serve strangers, and they must sit in pairings of 2 or 3. The waitress/waiter is the facilitator, and the menu is milk/tea/honey and a series of actions/encounters/scores with imagery from the collection. This highlights the importance of an encounter, of the stranger. The waitress/waiter is the tour guide and informant.
So, this can be called MoMA Studio: Reservations about Tea with a Stranger Yeah?
Until 4 p.m., Caroline — "Society pays itself in the counterfeit money of its own dreams." -Marcel Mauss
I decided that I wanted to make a café because it seemed that most visitors spent as much time eating as they did looking at art. From here, I began to consider the installation, furniture, and sculptural aspects of the space itself.
There should be hiding spaces, in the museum, because the museum is so open that it almost feels like you’re being watched all the time, so I wanted some hiding spots where people could find solitude and read quietly.
—Caroline Woolard, 2013
Barricades trap and control movement, but could they be used for other means?
When thinking about MoMA, located right off of 5th Avenue, I thought about my experience of the space without cars during protests or parades, from Occupy Wall Street to Pride. Barricades trap and control movement, but could they be used for other means? I wondered if I could “borrow” one and carry it into MoMA, to use it as furniture. The open access toolkit for Barricade to Bed demonstrates how to attach wood, a tennis ball, and a dowel to a police barricade to turn an object associated with censorship and state violence into an object of rest and contemplation.
I learned so much about working with institutions to make art, as this was my first time working with a big budget on my own
STEP 1: Borrow a public barricade.
STEP 2: Tip it over.
STEP 3: Attach hardware: 4 pcs 1′′ black plumb- ing strap (can be found at Decorama Plumbing Supply in Brooklyn) with 3/4′′ wood spacers bolted to 14′′ tall wooden 2 × 6s or other legs, plus added safety attachments: 3 tennis balls on the ends, and a 1.25” diam. × 20′′ dowel for the extra leg).
STEP 4: Add a mattress: any “army” sized narrow and long cot mattresses work, as well as prison mattresses, or any piece of 29” × 79′′ foam from Canal Rubber in Manhattan.
STEP 5: Modify and share revisions.