In a radically inclusive and interactive way, the Museum of No Spectators creates a space for everyone to make art and become an exhibiting artist.
Out near the dusty perimeter of Black Rock City lies a different kind of museum. As you approach this mysterious building, appearing part machine, part creature, part abstract and surrealistic form, it presents as a blank slate, with an expansive exterior. Otherworldly yet grounded, it is waiting for you to approach and become a part of it….. to participate.
What would a museum be like on the playa within Burning Man culture? What would you do there? What role would art play, what role would people play, what role would you play? It picks up the debate of the participatory nature of Burning Man culture in contrast to the Default World museum experience. The Museum of No Spectators (MoNS) is a fully participatory container encouraging people to participate playfully with the idea of creating and nurturing culture. Radically inclusive and highly interactive, MoNS creates a space for all citizens of BRC to become exhibiting artists.
As a study in decommodification, participants enter through the Gifting Shop, where they are encouraged to make a gift from available supplies before proceeding into the main museum.
After this initial experience, these artists flow through galleries, making art right on the walls, standing on a pedestal and being the art, or bring art to add to this outpouring of creativity. The art on the walls constantly changes.
When participants exit, they find themselves on a stage, the Theatre of the Participant, which opens you back up to the vast potential of the Playa and the World beyond. This is the stepping-stone to becoming the change you want to make in the world …….
Location Black Rock City, Nevada
Client John Marx, Lead artist
Image Credit Renderings by Form4 Architecture / Downtown
Artists John Marx, Co-Lead Artist J Absinthia Vermut, Co-Lead Artist
2020 American Architecture Awards, The European Centre and The Chicago Athenaeum