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Welcome to MoNS, a radically inclusive and interactive museum space designed for Burning Man 2020. Due to Covid-19 we were not able to build our Art Piece and bring it to the Playa this year. We are fully committed to making it a physical reality in 2021, but in the meantime, we thought it would be nice to offer you a virtual experience ….. while not the same as actually being there, we strove to create a visual richness that would give you a sense of what awaits you in 2021. Please enjoy ….. and imagine how your artwork would add to this experience, because the real museum would start with blank walls, offering space for you to add your own vibrancy, a venue for you to share your humanity with us all.

To visit the museum in 3D CLICK HERE.

Museum of No Spectators

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. With the intention of allowing art to continue to develop during event week, burners radically self-express by adding to or subtracting from existing pieces or creating their own in a de-commodified space.

Out near the dusty perimeter of Black Rock City lies a different kind of museum. As you approach this intriguing and mysterious building with its unusually shaped galleries, appearing part machine, part creature, part abstract and surrealistic form, it may present as a blank slate, with an expansive exterior, the letters spelling Museum of No Spectators hovering above. Its dynamic shapes emerge as otherworldly yet grounded. It is waiting for you to approach and become a part of it….. to participate.

The Museum of No Spectators (MoNS) asks a question – 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. MoNS turns the concept around and creates a fully participatory container by encouraging people to participate playfully with the idea of what museums and participatory art means in terms 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 will enter through the Gifting Shop, where they will be encouraged to make a gift before proceeding into the main museum.  Art Barkers will be available to facilitate, inspire or teach you how to make a gift …… with art supplies available.

After this initial experience, these artists can flow through eight galleries, where the temptation is to make art right on the walls, or to bring art and add to an outpouring of creativity, will be particularly infectious. There are eight galleries: Snark, Ground-score, Transformation, 10 Principles, Sparkle-pony, Dark Art, Surrealism & Whimsy, and Borrowed Art. These gallery walls offer intriguing ways for citizens of BRC to interact and engage. What piece of MOOP did you pick up that may be just right in the empty display case in the Gallery of Groundscore? Will you stand on a pedestal and be the art or bring a sculpture? Here the art on the walls would be constantly changing as Burners come and go, where anyone can be an artist.

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 …….

John Marx, Co-Lead Artist

Painter, Poet, Architect

John Marx, AIA, is the founding design principal of Form4 Architecture in San Francisco, CA. He advocates for the inclusion of Philosophy, Art, and Poetry in the thoughtful making of place. Keenly aware that architecture is a balancing act between self expression and collaboration, he uses the compelling power of form to create emotionally resonant architecture and urban spaces.

In addition, John is a part time student of Absurdity, Paradox, and Kindness.

He has widely lectured on the topics of Design, Placemaking, Emotional Meaning and Cultural Vibrancy in Silicon Valley and places as diverse as Korea, Italy, Austria, Australia, Canada and the Technion in Israel.  John exhibited his work at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale and exhibited during 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale at GAFF.

John’s design work, and writing has been published in over 100 national and international publications, including writing in the Architectural Review, Architect’s Newspaper, Architect Magazine, Abitare, ARCADE, FORM Magazine, Architectural Record, Arts and Architecture, and ArchDaily.

He is the recipient of over 160 design awards, including: Eighteen German Design Council / Iconic Design Awards, Three WAN Awards, Five American Architecture Awards (Chicago Athenaeum), Eleven Good Green Design Awards (European Centre for Architecture), AZURE Design Award, AIA Justice National Design, Two AIA Honor Awards, Ten PCPC Gold Nuggets, and The Korean Institute of Architects 100 Architects of 2013 thru 2018. The 2017 Upstart 50 Award which honors the most innovative, disruptive, and creative business professionals throughout the SF Bay Area.  In addition, John was honored with the Sam Shepard Legacy Award in 2018 from the Magic Theatre.

In 2017, John became a Laureate of the American Prize for Architecture. Curated by The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture the award is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s highest public tributes for architecture in the United States.

J Absinthia Vermut, Co-Lead Artist

Artist, Business Woman, and Entrepreneur

J Absinthia Vermut is an artist, business woman, and entrepreneur with a passion for making things. A Burning Man participant since 1995, she is a maker and creator.

She is CEO and Founder of Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits, makers of the woman made and distilled award winning, Absinthia Organic Absinthe. She is Co-Founder and COO of Nickel Dime, makers of four award winning cocktail syrups.

Absinthia kicked off her first Burning Man in 1995 by volunteering on Chris De Monterey’s Camera Obscura in Center Camp. She was BM Senior Staff 1998-2001, founded and answered questions@burningman.com and Check Point Salon, which became Playa Info.

She built Check Point Saloon, a bar in Walk In Camping, was trained as a Black Rock Ranger, and trained in Leave No Trace by the Bureau of Land Management. She has worked in Communications and Regional events on social media and a Global Leadership Conference, and on playa she has worked at the Cafe, Media Mecca, the Fashion Show, and is currently Arctica staff. Absinthia has worked on Charlie Gadeken’s Murder of Crow’s and John Marx Temple of Andromeda. She has raised tens of thousands of dollars to build The Temple of Wholyness. Absinthia cofounded Burning Moms and launched @burnerwomen_.

Absinthia enjoyed her first taste of absinthe at a San Francisco Cacophony Society event and served her first bootleg bottles to friends a few months later on April Fool’s Day 1997, where she received the nickname, Absinthia. In 2013, she legally changed her name to Absinthia (Vermut is on her birth certificate), trademarked it, and founded Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits, LLC in order to bring her organic absinthe to market. Absinthia™ Organic Absinthe Blanche Superieure began to appear in bars, restaurants, and bottle shops in 2017 and won its first gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018. Six awards and two years later, Absinthia Organic Absinthe is currently available in California, New York, and Louisiana, with more states on the way. A second product, Absinthe Verte, is expected in 2020. Absinthia has launched a podcast called “Absinthe: Education,” and is a member of the Women’s Cocktail Collective.

About Tomek Miksa
Tomek Miksa is a Poland-based 3D visual graphic artist and founder of DOWNTOWN, an architectural visualization firm.  As a 3D design specialist, he has created virtual renderings for architects and urban planners at a variety of firms, including HKR Architects, Impressiondomain, and MIR.  Miksa founded DOWNTOWN in 2012, where he continues to design 3D representations of benchmark architectural projects.  He has designed conceptual renderings for several Form4 Architecture projects, including Cloudscape and Jeju International Airport. 

Museum of No Spectators (MoNS)
Architect/Co-Lead Artist: John Marx
Co-Lead Artist: Absinthia Vermut
UnReal renderings and 360° Pods: Downtown/Tomek Miksa
Still renderings: Downtown/Tomek Miksa
Gallery Visual Art by: John Marx, Downtown, Mende Design, Mary Graham

Andromeda Reimagined (in background of 3D and 360º Pods from 2019 BRC)
Studio Name: Form4 Architecture / Playa Muses
Architect/Lead Artist: John Marx
Producer/Visionary: Brian Poindexter
Consultants: Derrick Roorda, Burohappold Structural Engineer
Artist: Mary Graham, paintings
Artist: Mischell Riley, concrete sculpture called “Freedom and Awaken”
Poem by John Marx