Artist Doug Wheeler’s “PSAD Synthetic Desert III” exhibit at the Guggenheim is a soundless dome that is completely the opposite of the loud and bustling city we call home.
Open through August 2nd, the exhibit is inspired by the so-called “elating” silence of the Sonoran Desert. Doug Wheeler told the New York Times he went there once and “watched a great horned owl sitting on a saguaro cactus. And when it took off, it was just amazing. There was no sound, at least nothing I can describe as sound, but just a kind of almost imperceptible percussiveness in the air.”
This “Synthetic Desert” is almost like another version of the Museum of Feelings; it has nothing but silence and visually stimulating colors that are supposed to make museum goers feel an otherworldly sense of calm. Only groups of five can enter the exhibit, using timed tickets of course. Though Wheeler says that he would prefer only one person being allowed in at a time.
Originally conceived in 1968, this exhibit was sold three years later to Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, an Italian art collector and was finally acquired by the Guggenheim in the early 1990s, along with five additional works by Wheeler. [NYT]