Museum of Non-Visible Art (MONA)
The Non-Visible Museum is an extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought. Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real. Although the artworks themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words. This world is not visible, but it is real, perhaps more real, in many ways, than the world of matter, and it is also for sale.
I like the idea of MONA but I do hope that they expand their idea of what is non-visible art to include sound, smell and touch. If they just stick to narrative, that will be boring! If they just keep it at ideas, how will this be anything new that builds on the history of conceptual art? Anyhow, the project is new so no need to pass judgment this early in its creation. They are currently raising funds and inviting interested people to join a mailing list.
In 2009, with the artist Sandhya Khumar, I created an artwork made from a sound recording of an iconic SF Bay two-tone foghorn – one that hasn’t played for over 25 years. Little has been done to preserve foghorn sounds yet they’ve had huge impact on the sound aesthetic of San Francisco and other cities for 100 years. The reason I bring this up is that the formation of MONA reminds me of this sound recording and how we were able to auction it off for nearly $300 at a live auction in 2009, part of the Radical Practices Live Auction Series in San Francisco.