Suffrajet live at CBGB, February 2003. Photo Tom Klem.


We wanted to do something sculptural, with solidity and polish to underline the importance of a seemingly ephemeral place. We've marked sites connected to lots of serious subjects: democracy, free speech, civil rights. And CBGB is another one, with its own joy and spirit. We were both in the audience in the early days; Tom making pilgrimages from Brooklyn with his friends the Shirts, and Neill from Georgia following the Fans and the B52s. The place is still going strong after 30 years, and going in and seeing Hilly Kristal still tending the front and the kids lined up to play is quite moving. CBGB is as American as Little League, but louder.

Maquette of Klem/Bogan marker for CBGB, three-quarter scale, and exhibition panel. Urban Center Gallery, 2003.


We wanted the viewer to be invited by something surprising (the light-transmitting interior of the disc, with its hyper-real object), within a familiar context (the supporting structure). We wanted people to encounter this within the context of an area-wide or even city-wide marking system composed of numerous markers, all put together in different ways out of the elements found in our maquette. Some would stand on the street on full-size legs; some would emerge from walls on shorter arms; some would have multiple discs. The system would include small outrider markers at major intersections, giving cues to visit nearby site markers.

CBGB founder Hilly Kristal at the opening at the Urban Center Gallery, 2003.

We wanted the viewer to have a comfortable relationship with a piece that's easy to see and read; but the piece is high enough to meet NYC sidewalk codes and to discourage impulse vandalism. We wanted to build it out of materials that can withstand severe urban street conditions. We wanted each site to have an interactive element; the marker for CBGB has sleeves on the leg to contain the rock-band stickers that cover both the club's interior and the street outside.

Detail, head of maquette with polycarbon disc that will hold a significant object for each site marked.

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We would like to thank Hilly Kristal, Lisa J. Kristal and Irene Ledwith for their guidance and help on this Place Matters project.