MoNS is a collaborative project by John Marx and J Absinthia Vermut, curator/director of cultural inclusion Lonnie Graham, builder/welder Wes Skinner, project manager James Monday, and gifting shop director Paul Delathauwer—along with 120 volunteer tradespeople, artists, and artisans, of whom 53% are BIPOC artists. MoNS aims to redefine the perception of what constitutes “art” through participatory engagement.
To learn more contact John Marx
John Marx, Lead Architect, Co-lead Artist
Painter, Poet, Architect
John Marx, AIA, is the founding design principal of Form4 Architecture in San Francisco, California. 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.
The American Prize for Architecture, also known as the Louis H. Sullivan Award, is bestowed to an “outstanding practitioner in the United States that has emblazoned a new direction in the history of American Architecture with talent, vision, and commitment and has demonstrated consistent contributions to humanity through the built environment and through the art of architecture.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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_.
About Lonnie Graham
Curator/director of cultural inclusion
Lonnie Graham is an artist, photographer, and cultural activist whose work addresses the integral role of the artist in society and seeks to re‐establish artists as creative problem‐solvers. He is a Pew Fellow and professor at Pennsylvania State University. Graham is formerly Acting Associate Director of the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, and served as Director of Photography at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh, an organization dedicated to arts and education for at‐risk youth.
About Wes Skinner
Wes Skinner, the founder of Yzzo Studios, is a San Francisco‐area artist and metal fabricator. With several years of professional metal fabrication experience under his belt, his specialty is artistic and architectural metalwork. Skinner got his start building small sculptures out of car parts, and then by working on large‐scale metal art installations with the Flux Foundation and several other art collectives. This led to him leaving a career in marketing and advertising to pursue metalworking full time.
About James Monday
James Monday founded trapezum! architects in 1984, and has designed and managed complex residential, commercial, and institutional projects. His recent work focuses on private‐sector projects for the development and implementation of farm‐worker housing in California; rebuilding schools and developing a World Heritage Site Master Plan for Jacmel, Haiti; and developing a prototype for urgent‐care mobile modular medical clinics. He views architecture as an investigative process to expose the essential determinants of a problem—whether it is the design of a book, a children’s toy, a lighting fixture, a piece of furniture, or a building.
About Paul Delathauwer
Gifting Shop Director
Paul Delathauwer attended Arizona State University, studying industrial design, sculpture, and diverse disciplines in fine arts and crafts. In 2016 he attended his first Burning Man, which was a transformative experience, and the next year launched his first line of pendants as gifts. Paul’s method of work involves both 3D and traditional goldsmithing techniques of jewelry making.
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)
Lead Architect/Co-Lead Artist: John Marx
Co-Lead Artist: Absinthia Vermut
Still renderings: Downtown/Tomek Miksa
UnReal renderings and 360° Pods: 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