Note: This post is part of my “Museums Project“, a collection of 200+ high-concept ideas for museums.
This was inspired by my visit to the Micro Wonder Museum, an interesting little place 30 minutes outside of Budapest, Hungary. In that tiny museum you look at art through microscope-type lenses. The art is typically very small carvings made of materials like gold and rice grains. The art doesn’t blow you away but the fact that it was made by hand at such small scale is impressive and it makes for a unique experience. It’s also fascinating to think that only one person can look at the art at a time. It’s just you and the art for a few moments in time.
So the telescopic art museum goes in the other direction: what if instead you had to view art through a telescope? The museum is over here and the art is way way over there, across a valley or a river or something. A few hundred yards or more.
What if there were viewing areas on both sides of this valley and art on both sides, but set up in such a way that you couldn’t see the art on your side, just the art on the other side? Compassion and understanding other people or cultures is one obvious subject that comes to mind for this museum.
I’m imagining a valley like the one between Tajikistan and Pakistan or North and South Korea. Something that gives insight from a place you really can’t visit and shows you what the art and life is like “over there”.
Suppose the border of a wealth and poverty. The viewing area and telescopes from the wealth side could be plush and comfortable and the viewing area from the poverty area could reflect the conditions there. To sit in a broken chair and have to use a rusty cracked telescope to view wealth might create a powerful moment of insight.