Anne Pasternak Talks About Art, Outer Space

By Mark Mavrigian May 24, 2007, 4:43 PM EDT

Creative Time’s first work outside of New York was artist Haluk Akakçe’s “Sky Is the Limit” in Las Vegas.

Photo: David Lancaster/Courtesy of Creative Time

Anne Pasternak is the president and artistic director of Creative Time, the innovative organization that
stages art installations in public spaces in New York. This May, the Princeton Architectural Press is publishing Creative Time: The Book, an informative and visually inspiring collection of the nonprofit’s projects over the past 33 years, designed by Karlssonwilker. Three new works surround the book’s release: citywide performance pieces, an outdoor archive show on a large construction wall in Chelsea, and the “Plaque Project,” which marks 33 distinctive cultural sites in New York (among them Warhol’s Factory) and offers cell phone tours with anecdotes from the likes of David Byrne, John Waters, and Cindy Sherman.

Creative Time is commemorating 33 years of its work with a book. What’s in it?
Wehave worked with more than 1,300 artists, so the book is visually verydynamic, really loaded with imagery. And it wasn’t just greatest hits;there’s a little bit of everything in there. We wanted to share thevibe of the organization. It’s a combination of a really greatcoffee-table book, a really great design book—because the design is socreative—and there’s a lot of text in it, so there’s a lot ofeverything for everybody.

When you see marketers putting ads up or hosting events or publicity stunts in public places, do you think they use enough creativity or innovative thinking?
I think what’s happened is that everyone has done everything. People do these extreme stunts today, and it’s
very hard. I think some of the areas in which people are paying the most attention and where there’s a lot of
creativity is actually on YouTube.

You worked on a project last year in Las Vegas. Are you planning more out-of-town projects?
We are starting to go national in our work, which is exciting. Las Vegas was a tester case. I was thinking, “You know what? New York City will always be our base. Our personality is everything New York: We’re experimental, we’re creative, we’re edgy, we’re pushy, we’re bold, we’re unapologetic, we’re challenging, and we’re changing constantly. But wouldn’t it be great to share our mission with the broader populace outside of New York City?”

What are some dream projects of yours?
I’m really interested in outer space as the new frontier for my artistic practice, my curatorial practice. Chris Burden is just one of the few artists who has an exceptional idea for an outerspace project that would orbit the earth, and it’s just going to take some time before I can devote my entire life to making that real. It’s kind of like these are the steps: New York City, the rest of the nation, and then outer space!

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