The Museum of Unusual Instruments
The Museum of Unusual Instruments supports a collection of objects that act as mediators between human perception and the world-bridges between society, knowledge, and nature. These tools foster connections across geographic and ethnic boundaries, creating and sustaining a dialogue between different ways of thinking. They are instruments that fold together opposing points of classification into a more flexible structure of study: Western and non-Western, modern and pre-modern, naturalist and animist.
The story of the museum is told through its anonymous founders, and the Archivists who dedicate themselves to the stewardship of the instruments. This parallel history weaves together historical events between 1908 and the present day with fictional museum archives. The collection and its archives bring together and reframe points of history across cultures, mediating between differing views of the material reality of objects. The narratives of the museum deal with the need to scientifically rationalize unexplainable phenomena, as well as issues of musealization, collection practices, relations with indigenous peoples, themes of magical realism, and the communicative strategies of ritual and storytelling. The outcome of this work is planned as a series of chapters that reveal the history of the museum through installations including objects, texts, archival materials, works on paper, and video works. Within this broad framework, researchers, artists and curators are invited to find a point of connection with the themes of the Museum and present their own research, contributing to the development of a theoretical and practical infrastructure surrounding the museum - a flexible and evolving apparatus for cultural and artistic exploration. These activities will be supported through the creation of an institutional website for the museum (themoui.org*) with accompanying online and print publications.
→ more about the Museum of Unusual Instruments (pdf)
*themoui.org website coming soon.