Note: This post is part of my “Museums Project“, a collection of 200+ high-concept ideas for museums.
Since a lot of art relies on the perception and interpretation of the viewer, why not just have a museum of clouds because that’s what people do with clouds.
They might be shaped like: famous art, famous places, celebrities, fruits and vegetables. Anything.
Then perhaps in another room, there are oil spills and stains and burned things that also look like stuff? Maybe some wood that has knots that look like stuff.
The fun is in the discovery and the effort it take to try to see stuff. It’s rewarding.
Maybe the floor has stuff too, but you can’t tell right away. Or the paper guide you are given when you enter. Or even the windows have some slight warping or shine to them. Maybe the clouds in each room are related and each room stands on its own.
Maybe it rains. Maybe it snows. Does the pattern of the rain look like stuff?
Soapy foam. On coffee, in dishes. The stuff is everywhere and there’s hidden things in them. What sorts of things?
Droplets of water. Swirling water. Shadows. Arrangements of things. Arrangements of arrangements.
It’s a reminder that human nature desperately wants to make sense of it all.
The clouds room could have clouds that are characters. They move to tell a story. Or, put more accurately, they move so that you can tell yourself a story. Maybe they interact with more traditional pieces of art. Or with toast.
Maybe there are special glasses so that you can see even more stories in the clouds and elsewhere. The glasses could have parts blacked out. Or be rose-colored. Or 3D. Or be nothing.
Maybe there’s a headset you get later and can go back and hear the story that you only saw before. Maybe each headset has a different story. Maybe some of the stories aren’t clear or are hard to understand. That’s some of the point of the museum.
The lighting in the room changes and effects the way things look. Glow in the dark. Blacklight. Redlight. No light. Darkness, but a spotlight that plays off the shadows making other shapes. But only for a little while.
With clouds: you stop and wait and be present. You look and examine. You don’t have a reason to rush. There are places to sit. Or lay on your back. And just wait for things to happen in the museum. For clouds to show up. For shapes to appear. For sounds to happen. It’s relaxing. Maybe there is a coffeebar right there in the gallery space.
If people are to wait, we need to give them cues as to when they leave. It could be a sound, visual or a physical cue like a door opening.