Garbage: The Future
What does zero waste to landfills by 2030 look like? A Maintenance Perspective

To accompany the current exhibition Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art, the Queens Museum presents a special convening that explores the NYC Department of Sanitation’s ambitious 0x30 initiative to radically rework the City’s garbage and recycling infrastructure. The convening features the perspective of voices that are rarely heard from but are critical to the success of this initiative: residential building supers.

There will be brief presentations by Larissa Harris of the Queens Museum, NYC Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, Anthropologist in Residence Robin Nagle, and Artist in Residence, Mierle Laderman-Ukeles explaining the critical role maintenance work plays in achieving 0x30.

Additionally, we will witness a conversation between residential building maintenance staff to see how managing waste will maximize diversion in the city’s residential buildings.

DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia stated, “While many people view us, while the sanitation workers are out doing their job, they don’t actually see us. This is also true for the maintenance workers handling waste within the city’s buildings before it gets to the curb. This conversation is an opportunity to bring to light a behind the scenes maintenance perspective for New Yorkers. It is an honor to be able to work with the Queens Museum on such an innovative exchange of ideas.”

The special discussion will take place around Peace Table, originally commissioned in 1997 by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art for Ukeles’s installation Unburning Freedom Hall. Made of layers of cobalt blue stained glass and plate glass in the shape of a halo, it is suspended from 50 feet above the central atrium of the Queens Museum.

Image: Artists In/Of The City, September 25, 2016. Photo by Kuo-Heng Huang

Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art is made possible with leading support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts; Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. Contributions were also generously made by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; Mark and Katie Coleman; Rivka Saker; the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.; EMU Health; Gabriel Catone; Andrew Ruth; Helen and Peter Warwick; Manon Slome; and Elizabeth Smith.

The Queens Museum is grateful for significant in-kind support from the New York City Department of Sanitation. Additional in-kind gifts were provided by Shine Electronics, Inc.; Delta Air Lines; W X Y Architects; Lower East Side Print Shop; and SITU Fabrication. The accompanying publication is supported, in part, by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

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