Mmuseumm 1, Season 5

Mmuseumm 1, Season 5

ISIS Currency

The Fake U.S Fast Food Franchises of Iran

Personal Objects of Immigration

Donald Trump: The Message is the Medium

The Life of Sir Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats

Lineage of the Body Bottle

Corcraft Products

The Cornflake Taxonomy

2015: A Year in Cookies

Objects Designed for the Blind

The Last Text Message Received

Nothing

Embalming Accessories

Not Bombs

Permanent Collection

ISIS Currency

ISIS Currency

Iraq and Syria, 2016

Creating a currency is a popular way of legitimizing a government. Having generated hundreds of millions of dollars by selling oil on the black market, ransoming hostages, and turning stolen artifacts for profit, the jihadist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant now claims to be launching its own currency in an effort to escape the “satanic usury-based global economic system.”

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7002

7 pieces
Pictured: 5 Dinars ($694 USD)

Reproductions from the collection of Mmuseumm

Fake American Fast Food Franchises of Iran

Fake American Fast Food Franchises of Iran

Binding Appetites
Iran, 2016

US-imposed sanctions on Iran have left its people without genuine American fast food. In response, local entrepreneurs have opened their own fake franchises. You cannot visit an Iranian McDonald’s or Starbucks, but you can go to McMashallah (“McGod has willed it”) or Raees Coffee. These franchises are a testament to the creativity, similarities and appetites that bind humans, even when disagreements and differences between their governments are strong.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7086

9 pieces
Pictured: SUPER STAR Happy Meal

From the collection of Holly Dagres

Personal Items of Immigration

Personal Items of Immigration

Lost in the Arizona Desert
Mexico-US Border, 2016

These objects can represent the danger, courage, and hour-by-hour struggles of some of the thousands of men, women, and children trekking across the Arizona desert from Mexico, over the border into the United States. Or an opponent of illegal immigration might see nothing but crime-scene evidence. No matter how they are viewed, these possessions were left behind as individuals attempted to make their way through a deadly corridor.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7090

33 pieces
Pictured: Rolled Blanket

From the collection of Deborah McCollough

The Message is the Medium

The Message is the Medium

Donald Trump as his Merchandise
United States, 2016

Donald Trump, the American politician, spokesman, self-help author, luxury brand, real estate heir, reality television star, and celebrity spokesman, is what he sells. An examination of the colognes, energy drinks, liquors, balls, cufflinks, casinos, airlines and games that bear his name, and a close look at their design, substance and backstories, provide insight into the man himself.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7146

15 pieces
Pictured: Success by Trump Cologne

From the collection of Max Abelson

The Cornflake Taxonomy

The Cornflake Taxonomy

United Kingdom, 2012-2016

Millions of randomly shaped cornflakes are created by the minute through an automated process of cooking, drying and flaking. As a lepidopterist identifies species of butterfly, the cornflake collector examines specimens, but here they carry no obvious biological context. Through an indexing system, each example is categorized by brand, size, color, texture, geometry, contortion and twinning, revealing the essential nature and origin of the primal Cornflake.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7001

22 pieces
Pictured: K0.000000

From the collection of Anne Griffiths

Not Bombs

Not Bombs

Suspicious Items
The World, 2015-2016

Sometimes you don’t know until you know. And certain things, people really want to know. Whether something is a bomb or not is one of those things. These objects, including a Taco Bell wrapper covered with duct tape, a dildo with an LED light, a rock, and a stuffed toy pony, required bomb squads to determine they were not bombs.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7162

9 pieces
Pictured: Large Rock

Reproductions from news stories, from the collection of Mmuseumm

Lineage of the Body Bottle

Lineage of the Body Bottle

The World, 1937 - Present

All body and no brain, the sculpted torso is an undeniable sex symbol. It is a human form stripped of individual identity and reduced to its erotic essentials. Yet each iteration, from Ex Machina to the Louvre’s Winged Victory of Samothrace, carries the legacy of classical antiquity. Shocking, Elsa Schiaparelli’s best known fragrance, served as the model for a new trajectory of the classical torso, inspiring countless homages, impressions, and knockoffs.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7021

20 pieces
Pictured: Hot Men Gold

From the collection of Sally Thurer

2015: Year in Review

2015: Year in Review

In Cookies
The World, 2015

Every year, things happen. This has been true since the beginning of time. At one point in history, which confectionary historians believe to be around the 7th century, the cookie was invented. Further along, a way of recording 12 months of recent history known as The Year in Review emerged. This review of 2015 is delivered in cookie form, depicting some major and minor events that took place around the world.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7133

12 pieces
Pictured: Global Warming is going mainstream

Designed and baked by Evan Maddalena

Corcraft Products

Corcraft Products

Manufacturing from within Prison
New York State Prisons, 2016

Work means different things to different people. Some love it. Some hate it. Many of the approximately 75,000 prisoners in New York State are required to work a six-hour day five days a week, earning on average $1 per day. These four items were made by workers at Corecraft Products, an inmate-operated manufacturing company with 17 manufacturing plants in prisons across New York State.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7059

4 pieces
Pictured: Corcraft Underwear

From the collection of Mmuseumm

Designing for the Blind

Designing for the Blind

Redirected Sensory Information
United States, 2016

Everything is relative. To accommodate variations in the strengths and weaknesses of our senses, everyday items are redesigned to translate one sensory language into another. To enable greater independence for people with weak eyesight, these objects translate visual information into touch and sound.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7010

11 pieces
Pictured: Money Brailler

From the collection of Mmuseumm

Sir Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats

Sir Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats

Inventing from the Edge of Death
Japan, 1928 - Present

With over 3,000 patents, Sir Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats, 88, is one of history’s most prolific inventors. Because NakaMats believes that oxygen deprivation creates the ideal environment for epiphany, he dives underwater and holds his breath until he is .5 seconds from death, when he is able to imagine new inventions. On this shelf are some of those discoveries, as well as his personal items.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7042

17 pieces
Pictured: Floppy Disc (Invented by Sir Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats)

From the collection of Sir Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats

Nothing

Nothing

Which of Course is More than Nothing
The Universe, ∞

It turns out nothing may in fact not just be something, but everything. An area of study known as Space-Time Foam describes the nothingness along this shelf as filled with the foundation of the fabric of our universe. The empty space is chaotic, made up of countless particles bursting into existence from nothing and imploding back into nothing, a constant and endless state of creation and destruction.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7121

Gift from the collection of Nature? God?

The Last Message Received

The Last Message Received

Final Texts
Various Digital Networks, 2016

In today’s digital world, where so much of human communication is done via text and email, records of our interactions often outlast relationships. These text messages are the very last ones received from friends, lovers, and family members. They serve as reminders that all things that begin must also end.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7091

14 pieces
Pictured: Mom ❤️

From the online collection thelastmessagereceived.tumblr.com

Embalming Accessories

Embalming Accessories

Creating a Positive Memory Picture
United States, 2016

The phrase “memory picture” refers to the lasting mental image one has of a deceased person. In order to achieve a positive memory picture, the accessories in this exhibition were designed to keep a corpse’s eyelids closed, to secure hands together, and to shut an otherwise gaping mouth. By assisting the mortician in posing the corpse and pleasantly setting features, they can provide mourners a positive memory picture.

Audio Guide: +1 (888) 763 8839 ext. 7122

10 pieces
Pictured: Natural Expression Former

From the collection of Susan Merritt

Permanent Collection

Permanent Collection

In the course of our lives we find love (maybe).

We experience hate, frustration, joy, optimism, and pessimism. We come together and we fall apart.

We cause the creation of life and ensure the loss of it.

We build. And we destroy.

Within each of these de ning experiences are their materials. The details. The physical proof. The symbols of our stories, of our thoughts, our needs, our desires, our hopes, and our fears.

Through the curation and exhibition of the vernacular, Mmuseumm aims to ponder, humanize, and illustrate who we are and the world we are living in.

We call this form of curation Object Journalism.

Keep looking.

23 pieces
Pictured: Dear Guest Placard

Evolution of the Coffee Lid

Evolution of the Coffee Lid

United States, 1980–2015

In the early 1980’s, we noticed a marked cultural shift in the relationship between people and their food. Not only were people In the early 1980’s, we noticed a marked cultural shift in the relationship between people and their food. Not only were people getting their food “to go,” they were also consuming it “on the go.” Sometime around 1984, we saw that more and more people felt the need to drink coffee while driving, walking, and even bicycle riding. Consuming cold drinks while in motion was relatively straightforward—lid sits on cup, straw punctures lid. But for hot drinks, there was no similar universal solution. In the beginning, paper coffee cups with white snap-on lids were what people were carrying around most frequently—there was a whole do-it-yourself regime of lid-tearing to create an aperture big enough to drink through. This was a serviceable, but inelegant solution. The design problem was evident to even the most casual observer: how can people drink hot coffee on the go without it splashing out? The industrial design community soon responded to this set of problems. The coffee lid demonstrates very specific progress points along its phylogenic trajectory. The basic lid, with its primary “fit” focused on the positive lock between the rim of the cup and the lid, evolves quickly. We next see the “peel” type of lids, where the positive perimeter lock is maintained, but a portion of the lid is peeled back to allow access to the hot liquid within the cup. We then see the “peel and lock” types of lids, whereby the peeled element is not discarded, but rather is received and “locked down” by another element within the lid; these peel and lock mechanisms often take the form of male/female couplings. Another lid type is the “pinch” lid, where a section of the lid is grasped and pulled out of the face of the lid; the pinched element can either be discarded or “stacked” at a specified location on the deck of the lid. The “peel” and “pinch” lids are bested by the “pucker” type of lid, which allows a drinker to forego the messy handling of the lid, and simply drink hot liquid through a pre-punctured aperture. The mouth must “pucker” to form itself around the aperture, and in this category, we see many developments to promote “mouth comfort” and to respond to complaints of “facial compression”, mostly at the nose. The most recent lid designs build from the success of the pucker-type, with the added benefit of heightened aroma, whether through specifically positioned holes so the smell will go right to the nose, or additional aroma “booster packs.” New and “improved” versions of drink-through hot beverage lids are still winning patent protection and are still coming onto the market. Each lid has to maintain a “positive lock” with the cup, provide a cover for the contents, and yet also allow for selective access to the beverage. There are new versions that defy our categorization, such as the rotational re-sealable lids, the sliding “plane” type of lids, and the hybrids. To paraphrase design writer Phil Patton, There is (still) no clear winner in the coffee lid design competition; there is no “paperclip” of coffee lids.

16 pieces

From the collection of Louise Harpman and Scott Specht

Stranger Visions

Stranger Visions

It used to be that we could only see what our eyes enabled us to see. When the magnifying glass was first invented, we were suddenly able to see the details of objects with an accuracy that we were blind to before. Then microscopes and other scientific advances allowed us increasing access to elements that we were not even aware existed. More recently the discovery of DNA sequencing has allowed us to see the genetic code that make up every living thing. Within each life form lies a secret blueprint for its reproduction. As we move through our daily lives, we leave traces of this genetic code—our DNA—everywhere. It is in our saliva that we leave on the rim of a glass or on a piece of chewed gum or a discarded cigarette butt. Upon discovering an anonymous and seemingly un-important piece of chewed gum or cigarette butt, artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg collects the specimen and brings it to a lab where she scrapes it for some lingering DNA. The lingering DNA is analyzed to identify the genetic code that makes up the unknown smoker of the cigarette or chewer of the gum. A genetic profile is then created which is then run through a facial algorithm to create a rendering visible to the human and recognizable on the computer screen as a face - the face of the human who chewed the gum or smoked the cigarette or drank from the glass. That rendering is then 3D printed—and results in the physical actualization of the possible chewer, smoker, drinker—carrier of the DNA. These 3D printed faces are illustration of the seemingly invisible. It is a process of working with some of the smallest pieces of the puzzle and extrapolating outwards to create the full picture—using the discovery and analyzation of the micro to see the macro.

4 pieces

From the collection of Heather Dewey-Hagborg

Homemade Gas Masks

Homemade Gas Masks

The relationship between people and power is a dramatic one. Throughout time it has served both as a strong aid in progress as well as a great source of conflict and pain. The manifestation of this relationship can become tense, distrustful, and sometimes violent. It requires a certain level of courage to stand up for what you believe in—and sometimes a certain level of risk. Things can become dangerous. Things can become violent. What do you need to protect yourself? To protect your mission? What do you have? What do you need to make? These homemade gas masks are facsimiles of gas masks used in protests and riots around the world. Made from household items such as water and soda bottles, cans, plastic bags, tinfoil and rags, these gas masks represent the creativity and devotion individuals have when pursuing their cause. They are worn to protect protestors from non-lethal gasses used by policing forces—sometimes known as Riot Police. Riot police also risk their health and lives to do their job. On the opposite wall you can see the elements that make up a riot police suit worn to protests.

8 pieces

Facsimiles from the collection of Mmuseumm

The ‘God Made’ Children’s Book Series

The ‘God Made’ Children’s Book Series

Life is a constant path of education, re-education, and un-education. Our earliest years, our first years, are some of our most prolific. Our brains ingest and react to the world around us for the first time - and along with the biological development that we have undergone for the previous 9 months - we begin the process of emotionally and intellectually developing. We begin interpreting information around us — and content is created specifically for us. The God Made book series is intended for children ages 0-3. By taking highly complex concepts and simplifying them through content and style, these books are intended to serve as educational lessons for pre-schoolers. The website of Christian Focus, the books’ publisher, directs visitors to “show your pre-schoolers that God made everything around them. These sturdy books start them early in their understanding and are so attractive that they always pick them up first.” From a recent Pew Report on Religion & Public Life: “Civil libertarians and others voice concern that conservative Christians are trying to impose their values on students of all religious stripes. Meanwhile, some Americans are troubled by federal courts and civil liberties advocates who wish to exclude God and religious sentiment from public schools. Such an effort, these Americans believe, infringes upon the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.” This set of ‘God Made’ children’s books was purchased at one of the largest malls in Lusaka, Zambia. They illustrate not only the debated ways in which religion plays a roll in American education, but how religious practices in education have traveled around the globe.

8 pieces
originally exhibited 2015
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: God Made Time

from the collection of Anna Abelson

Promotional Pharmaceutical Objects

Promotional Pharmaceutical Objects

Five years ago I found myself on the phone with a man named Jimmy, discussing Adderall tape dispensers. These tape dispens ers are heavy, substantial items – featuring a viscous oil-and-water-like slosh – with Adderall capsules floating about. Jimmy said, “I got two cases.” “Wow Jimmy, where’d ya get em?” I asked. With a southern drawl Jimmy said, “Well, I work in the biggest landfill in Kentucky and my co-worker and I figure about 60,000 of these tape dispensers went into the landfill. So I said what the hell, I grab me a couple cases.” At this point my mind was racing, why did 60,000 of these wild things get thrown out? After some research I discovered due to government and public pressures to clean up their act, pharmaceutical companies volun tarily halted production on these bizarre gift items that are intended to encourage doctors to prescribe. These items ranged from personal Pfizer fans to an Ambien computer mouse to Oxycontin wrenches to squishy morphine steamrollers. All very curious items. So many questions arise from these wild and rare and now contraband items that were created unfettered from budgetary concerns or the law. Who designed this stuff? What were their instructions? Why are some of the items so strange? Its hard to not see the humor in some of these objects – an Adderall soap dispenser in the shape of a brain – one can’t help to wonder if the product’s suggestion of “pumping a brain” was an inside wink between pharmaceutical companies and doctors—a question many of these products ask.

23 items
originally exhibited 2015
Mmuseumm 1
ictured: Handheld Viagra Fan

from the collection of Ryder Ripps

Inmate Inventions

Inmate Inventions

Artistic ability can be very valuable in prison. In a strictly controlled environment with limited resources, the ability to create and individualize things is prized. I taught painting and drawing at San Quentin State Prison in California for seven years. I taught both on the main line and on death row. Inmates would often take the class as a creative outlet but also to learn a practical skill that they could use in order to make money in the prison. Most of the objects in this collection come from this mix of creativity and pragmatism. Whether it is the crucifixes, which inmates would sell, or the electrical ‘stinger’ for heating water, inmates would often use their creativity for very practical purposes. Cells would be checked and raided periodically. Personal possessions were always limited. Some of the items here were considered contraband. But their potential for making money outweighed the consequences.

10 items
originally exhibited 2015
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: Tattoo Gun

from the collection of Stefan Ruiz

SecPro USA ‘Police Ultimate Anti-Riot Suit’

SecPro USA ‘Police Ultimate Anti-Riot Suit’

Riot Control refers to measures used by police to control, disperse, and or arrest persons who are involved in a riot, demonstration, or protest. Officers performing riot control will often wear protective helmets, body armor and carry riot shields. Statement from SecPro USA, manufacturer of this suit: “Without the presence of quality riot gear like the SecPro Riot Gear System, tactical teams are susceptible to blunt force trauma, serious blows and even injury from blades. The effective and consistently reliable SecPro Police Ultimate Anti-Riot Suit is easily deployed for riot control, cell extractions or other tactical situations. The hard shell protectors are used for covering and protecting most of the body. They are designed to withstand hard blow, and prevent penetration or stabbing by sharp tools, anti-fire and anti-acidity. The SecPro Ultimate Riot Suit provides upper body and shoulder protection, forearm protection, thigh and groin protection, knee and shin protection, as well padded hard knuckle riot gloves.”

6 pieces
originally exhibited 2015
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: Vest

Sandplay

Sandplay

As a young child, I would regularly pass a neighbor’s bowed window, where, against it, she had covered a high table with sand and had created a scene using small figures. Seasonally she would change her display, and the objects would vary from year to year. I imagined myself creating small worlds with small things and began my own child-sized collection of miniatures. Decades later, when I was training as a psychotherapist, I discovered the Jungian world of Sandplay therapy and once again felt captured by the pull and power of miniatures. In Sandplay, clients choose to create a scene using the figures and objects from the therapist’s collection of miniatures from nearby shelves. They then place them in either a dry or wet tray of sand. The scene’s construction is guided by the choices the client’s hands make, while respectfully, the therapist silently witnesses the work. Renowned psychoanalyst, C.G Jung tells us that “Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain.” The method of Sandplay I practice was developed by the Swiss Jungian Analyst Dora Kalff. It is a form of therapy for both children and adults in which they can portray, nonverbally, their feelings and experiences that may be inaccessible and/or difficult to express in words. Each Sandplay collection of symbolic miniatures, while containing similar items, also stands as a personal reflection of the individual Sandplay therapist. Before I began my own practice, I spent months gathering together my compilation of everyday and archetypal objects, and another month organizing them categorically on two walls in my office. In my own unique collection, I have gathered over thirty different breeds of dogs. Yes, I am a dog lover. More importantly though, I have observed that when clients need a dog to use in their sand tray, they hold a specific idea of what“dog” looks like. Children often select the dog who best matches the physical characteristics of their own familiar pet, and to whom they feel connected. The miniatures in this exhibit represent a very small cross section of the 1,500 or more objects lining my shelves. Often clients use many of the same miniatures repeatedly in their Sandplay process. None of those items, of course, can travel and, instead, sit, waiting to be used again.

approx. 100 items
originally exhibited 2015
Mmuseumm 1

from the professional collection of Barbara Moreno, LMFT

Handmade Shrines

Handmade Shrines

It is always comforting to have someone to look up to - someone to act as a role model - someone to help guide you through your life. Role models’ achievements and methodology are usually what we worship - and through worship they become symbols for society. These symbols can be manifested in physical creations - sometimes known as shrines. As individuals we can worship anything, anyone, or any idea. Because of this - shrines exist all over the world to venerate all sorts of symbols. For example, in Songkran, Thailand there is a shrine to Television Watching. Each of the four hand made shrines on display is devoted to one of the most influential symbols in contemporary society. The four shrines are to US President Barack Obama, pop-sensation Beyoncé, social media company Facebook, and Christian icon Jesus Christ.

4 pieces
originally exhibited 2015
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: Shrine to Beyoncé

facsimiles from the collection of Mmuseumm

Objects Removed from People’s Bodies

Objects Removed from People’s Bodies

Dr. Robert Insley was the local doctor in Chatham, Mass, a small waterfront town with an active harbor industry. He is popular among the locals, who call him Doc Insley. Until his recent retirement, Doc Insley had numerous items on display in his office, what he called the ‘Board of Shame.’ This self curated wall was made up of various errant objects he extracted over the years from the bodies of his loyal patients. Each of these objects had made their way in to his office lodged into a patient somehow. And Doc Insley, with great care, would remove them. Since his patients never wanted to see the dislodged item ever again - he started his collection. Doc Insley tells the story of one object: “The faucet was removed from a gentleman working at a local boat yard. When trying to pry off a rusted bolt and the bolt broke - he went flying backwards impaling himself on the faucet - breaking it off and therefore having to come in here with a faucet embedded in his rear end. And this was removed.” After Doc Insley retired, he donated his ‘Board of Shame’ to a local boat yard from which many of his patients came, and where today it hangs on a wall in the bathroom.

25 pieces
originally exhibited 2015
Mmuseumm 1

from the collection of Dr. Robert Insley

“Awesome” Inventions

“Awesome” Inventions

The American invention has always sought to make life more efficient. For hundreds of years, our citizens have devoted themselves to imagining and creating the tools for an easier world. Today the tradition continues. Awesome Inventions Inc focuses on curating and presenting some of the most unique visions from contemporary inventors, patent seekers, and gold chasers. Our desires, our images of ourselves, and the lifestyle we imagine changes vastly with the contemporary materials and technologies available. Awesome Inventions Inc are not inventors themselves, but appreciate and curate contemporary inventions. They do not store any inventory but provide direction to other website where the objects are available for purchase.

10 items
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: Baby Mop Onesie

Fake Identification

Fake Identification

An ID card is a physical representation of who you are and why you belong.  I've always felt like an outsider and wished to belong.
As a child I had nothing that stated who I was.
It made me insecure, so I made an Identification Card.
Then I felt ok.
Now I have a real drivers license and passport and a wallet full of other IDs, ones I didn't have to make, but even now as an adult I find myself at times not belonging. If that can be overcome with the proper identification - I get one, and if I can't get one, I make one.

5 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: Pennsylvania State ID, 1996

from the collection of Casey Neistat

Censored Saudi Arabian Pool Toys

Censored Saudi Arabian Pool Toys

Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, is a sprawling suburbia– 4 lane roads, flanked by strip malls connecting residential blocks. It feels like parts of Florida or Texas or Southern California – the bad parts. The strip malls feature some of the best American fast food chains– Dunkin’ Donuts, Fudruckers, Dairy Queen- and day laborers wait for jobs outside home improvement warehouse stores.  It’s all very familiar, except for the fact that 20ft walls surround every home. Saudi Arabia has a religious Police Force known as the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV for short). The men who work for this committee are known as the Mutaween and they can be easily spotted by their long beards, loose-fitting red keffiyehs and their menacing “behavior sticks”. Approximately 3,500 of these officers, and many more volunteers, patrol the streets enforcing Sharia law within the Islamic kingdom. In addition to enforcing Islamic dress codes, dietary laws, and strict separation of the sexes, the Mutaween find the time to cruise the aisles of their local supermarkets, Sharpie in hand, censoring any packaging and advertising deemed to be promoting “sexual immorality.” These pool floats were purchased at a supermarket in Riyadh in 2012 after a visit from the neighborhood Mutawa.

8 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1

from the collection of Santiago Stelley

Chirimen Monsters

Chirimen Monsters

Shown here are two seahorses, three squid, a belt fish, a sea eel, and two fish of indeterminate species. Until the dawn of this century, the word monster prompted feelings of dread and revulsion. Monsters were thought of as physically or spiritually hideous, unseemly freaks of nature, born to be denied and avoided. The Japanese have long shown empathy for the monster, framing the pain of his loneliness and isolation, even while it manifests itself in the destruction of their capital city, Tokyo. The name of the turn of the century collective of animated heroes called Pokémon derives from a contraction of the English words “Pocket Monsters”. They exist expressly to draw children into a world of continual surprise and adventure. It is in this context that Chirimen Monsters came to be known. Chirimenjako is the Japanese word for dried sardine spawn. They’re fundamental to Japanese cuisine as a plentiful source of vitamins and minerals, as one is essentially ingesting whole fish, developing skeleton and all. They’re also considered delicious, imparting a fragrant, stocky flavor to rice dishes, pickles and other staple foods. The fish are harvested in large nets, parboiled, salted, and left to air-dry, another quality accounting for their popularity from an era before refrigeration. Bleached by the process of their production, they appear as a white vermicular tangle. Look closely- and you see them as incipient fish, with diminutive eyes, fins, and mouth. Keep looking- and you may find that the young of other species have found their way into the society of sardines, and been preserved among them. Sometimes these other species are instantly identifiable, as the squid and seahorses are here. Others require much closer examination, like the belt fish and sea eel. Still others, of which there are two in this selection, have taxonomies that are impossible to determine solely by visual means. All that is evident is that they are not the offspring of sardines. These aberrations from the norm came, mostly by children during school time show-and-tell, to be called chirimen monsters. The pleasure of discovering them amidst the massive mesh of white sardine spawn reminds us to be attentive to what we ingest, and that the individual can still express its identity, even in a vast ocean of homogeneity.

6 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1

from the collection of Mika Yoshida
text by David Imber

A Natural History of Death

A Natural History of Death

Death.
The permanent end of the life of a person or organism.
Our awareness of death has brought about countless philosophies, traditions and unanswered questions.
We believe in Eternal Oblivion, in Resurrection, in Reincarnation, and in Heaven and Hell.
Sometimes instead of dying we say that someone has passed away or passed on or expired.
Everyday, around 150,000 people around the world die.
Sometimes we bury the dead, sometimes we cremate, sometimes we forget and sometimes we eternally care for.
This dirt, water, ash, stone, and glass have come from the great deaths of our history. Collected over many years - these jars allow us to explore humanity’s relation to the most absolute yet most unknown experience in life—its end.

14 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: Ground Zero

from the collection of Ken Brecher

Down’s Syndrome Dolls

Down’s Syndrome Dolls

The Down's Syndrome Dolls as introduced by their online retailer: With approximately 5,000 children born with Down’s Syndrome in the United States each year, the Down Syndrome Doll aims to be an important resource for families who have a child with the condition, or for organizations and medical providers that serve these special youngsters. Parents, teachers, and physicians throughout Europe have found that when the dolls are shared with siblings and friends, they can help foster a better understanding of the human body for children and people with special needs. The Down's Syndrome Doll was designed to promote self-acceptance and self-identification of children with Down's Syndrome. The doll is ideally suited and educationally beneficial as a toy for non-disabled children as well. The appearance of the doll can arouse more sympathy and thoughtfulness than other dolls, and contributes to better understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities. These special dolls have been especially successful in children’s hospitals, pediatric practices, Down's Syndrome Associations, kindergartens and nursery schools. Start promoting self love and acceptance today with these realistic and educational down syndrome dolls.

4 pieces
originally exhibitewd 2014
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: Jasmine

House of Hussein

House of Hussein

Baghdad

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, as vice chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council, formally the al-Bakr's second-in-command, Saddam Hussein built a reputation as a progressive, effective politician. At the center of this strategy was Iraq's oil. His achievements include substantially modernizing the country and making dramatic improvements to education and literacy. In 1987, the New York Times called Baghdad "The Paris of the Middle East.” President of Iraq from 1979- 2003, Saddam Hussein is best remembered as a dictator and a war criminal known for his exceptional cruelty and a rapacious need to assert his power through his image and the acquisition of the world’s greatest luxuries. In 1998, he used chemical weapons to kill between 50,000 and 100,000 of his own people in Northern Iraq. In 1999, Saddam celebrated his birthday by building a resort complex for regime loyalists. He adored expensive goods, such as his diamond-coated Rolex wrist watch, and sent copies of them to his friends around the world. To his ally President of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda, Saddam once sent a Boeing 747 full of presents — rugs, televisions, ornaments. Kaunda sent back his own personal magician. On 13 December 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured by American forces at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr near Tikrit in a hole in only his underwear and bearing a pistol. Following his capture on December 13th 2003, Saddam was transported to a U.S. base near Tikrit, and later taken to the American base near Baghdad to await his trial. Iraqis and Americans who spoke with Saddam after his capture generally reported that he remained self-assured, describing himself as a "firm, but just leader." This collection of objects from the inner circles of Saddam’s reign represents the expanse of his personality cult.

14 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: Saddam Hussein Personality Watch

from the collection of Bowery Bob

New Delhi Mosquitos Killed Mid-Bite

New Delhi Mosquitos Killed Mid-Bite

This collection of 176 Mosquitoes, each killed mid-bite, originates from India and was collected over the course of a three-month monsoon season. What you see on display represents one individual’s Sisyphean attempt to rid the home of these pesky and disease-carrying bugs. The Indian subcontinent is home to a variety of mosquito-borne diseases. While malaria often receives headline attention, the presence of dengue fever—also known as “breakbone fever” for the debilitating pain it causes in the muscles and joints—is equally pernicious. Breakbone fever was considered to be eradicated in the United States, however, recently, this usually tropical virus has seen a resurgence in this country. The principal dengue carrier, Aedes aegypti (which is amongst our collection), is now in 26 states and has been found as far north as Chicago and New York City.

176 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1

from the collection of Zachary Becker

Moss

Moss

I love moss. Moss is everywhere.
It appears in the varying shades of green.
From blue green to silver green to electric yellow green.
It is both scientific and romantic.
It clings to things, like trees and rocks.
I don’t know why it exists. It just grows. It is humble, but it seems intelligent. Like it knows something but doesn’t need to think about it.
It is also easy to put in an envelope and keep as a memento of a trip to Matisse’s grave or Thomas Jefferson’s home.

11 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: Henri Matisse's Grave, Nice, France, Spring 2009

from the collection of Maira Kalman

North Korea

North Korea

Six decades after the signing of the Korean War armistice agreement, which ended hostilities and divided the peninsula, North Korea remains one of the most isolated, secretive, and least-understood countries on earth. Few outsiders have ever glimpsed inside the country. Casual foreign visitors are not allowed. Tourists are extremely rare. Those who do get into the country find a nation that offers few clues into the lives of its people. Life is tightly controlled. The North Korean media projects an idealized image. There are no stores that outsiders can freely wander into, no day-old newspapers or other discarded items just lying around. There is rarely any trash to be seen at all. Thus the mundane objects North Korea creates for everyday use take on a weightier significance. The meaning of these objects is not always immediately clear, but in each tiny piece is a complex puzzle.

11 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: My Motherland I Stand Guard CD, 2013

from the collection of David Guttenfelder

Peep Show Tokens

Peep Show Tokens

I found my first token going to a Knicks' game with my dad as a boy. I remember holding his hand tightly as we walked towards the Garden and instantly unlatching from it when I saw the shiny tits on the ground, glowing in the lights of the 34th and 6th Avenue. I was about 11 or 12. So mesmerized by the token itself, I didn't figure out what the tokens actually bought you till I was 15 or so. A quarter, a nickel, a dime alone couldn’t get you off- but a handful of them could! I enjoyed visiting the sex shops and peep shows to see the comings and goings, the daily grind of these gross and amazing centers of scum and cum. Early smut practitioners in the glory dark days of Times Square knew this well. Repurposing nickelodeons with smut loops, 16mm film strips of people engaging in sexual conduct looped continuously, and peep show gallery owners profited on getting their customers off. As technology advanced and home video was introduced, pornography became more readily available, but those looking for a quick fix after work or on their lunch break could still get their thrill with pornography with a few bucks worth of peep show coins. As time passed, private booths were introduced. A customer would enter the booth, place a coin into the coin slot, and select a video to watch for as long as his coins would allow. Times allowed per coin varied depending on the venue. In certain galleries, a peep show coin actually awarded you a live peep show, where a wall or screen would descend and the patron would have a limited time with a live girl.

25 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1

from the collection of Baron Von Fancy

Plastic Spoons

Plastic Spoons

It’s easy to overlook this humble soup delivery tool.  But once you start to unpack its complexity, you realize that a perfect spoon is a design tour de force. To begin with, this object has the hardest job at the table. To get liquid safely from a bowl to the mouth requires a well-made mini-vessel with just the right weight, the perfect balance, and the correct depth to carry its contents across the chasm from dish to lips. It’s also the most intimate of cutlery. You have to want the thing in your mouth, or else you won’t use it, which means the tool has failed. No one knows how many variations there are on the design of a spoon. The Metropolitan Museum has study rooms full of historic cutlery and you see the most striking variations amongst the multitude of important spoons. Years ago, I noticed this same level of design consideration in the plastic spoon and started collecting. I adore the variety and specialization of these implements.

32 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1

from the collection of Chee Pearlman

Styrofoam Rocks

Styrofoam Rocks

Rocks are uniform solids formed from minerals and compounds, arranged in an orderly manner. Rocks are classified as igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. The course of erosion and weathering may take up to a million years. The minerals are then transported to the place of depositing by water, wind, ice, mass movement or glaciers. The weathering and erosion of a mountain creek repeats perpetually and someday it can become a palm sized pebble. Somewhere in this magnificent cycle of mother nature, a man-made material called Styrofoam - comprised of 98% air, which makes it light weight and buoyant - breaks off or is thrown away somewhere in the world, drifts through the North Atlantic Ocean and into the New York Bay, up the East River, and arrives at the waterfront of Grand Street in Williamsburg. To my shock and horror the piece of rock I thought I picked up was indeed not a rock but a beautifully weathered piece of yellow styrofoam. A large assortment of styrofoam from different companies, used for different types of building and insulation were everywhere along this waterfront. Ironically, this is our modern day rock. They are what our modern civilization is built upon, they are an integral part of our foundation, but will never really disintegrate or disappear. And even with this horrifying reality in mind, the uncopyable artistry of mother nature is something to take time and marvel at. This object is presented to us as a beautiful but ominous gift.

60 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1

from the collection of Maia Ruth Lee

Homemade Survival Cane

Homemade Survival Cane

Billy Garifuna works as a security guard near Times Square. He’s a former award winning body builder and a champion fighter from Honduras, where he maintains a farm and his extended family.  He survived the streets as a youth in Honduras, the army as a young man and many, many fights. In New York City, he’s a warrior. His doctor suspects he might not even be human, since Billy somehow manages to be a security guard and active father of 8 children, despite his 9 herniated discs. When a herniated disc presses on nerve roots, it causes pain, numbness, and weakness in the area of the body where the nerve travels. When he suffered his first herniated disc, Billy was forced to relieve some of the weight from his back and walk with a cane. But Billy has never done things by the book. He thought by walking with a cane in Harlem, where he lives he’d be a vulnerable target despite his massive size. A very resourceful man, he decided to design a cane, one that would not cramp his style and one that would be more than just a walking aid. The cane on display here is the first of some forty plus that Billy has created over the years. This one saved Billy's life during an allergic reaction that closed his throat and nearly paralyzed his body. Falling to the ground outside his apartment on 7th avenue and 137th street, he removed the emergency LED flashlight hidden inside the handle of the cane and waived the light violently as he gasped for breath. Miraculously, his kids looked out the window and saw their father's flashing LED SOS. They ran to his aid and transported him to the hospital, saving his life as it flashed before his eyes. This cane is his best friend. In it are two concealed swords, capable of defending yourself in any situation. The swords also act as killing mechanisms in the event of being stranded in the middle of a jungle. If on land, kill your prey and use the knives as weapons and as utilities when cooking. Use the concealed lighter to light a fire to warm yourself or cook your kill and/or catch. Use the lighter also as a take up reel for an attached fishing line. Multiple hooks and lines are concealed within the head as well. Billy points out that in an urban environment, in cases of extreme danger, the cane itself is very heavy and the solid wooden handle, with a cross adorned to it, is a very powerful weapon of defense. Some other designs feature concealed long fencing swords and utilize lamp heads, piano parts, marble balls, animal parts and hooks.

9 parts
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1
pictured: handle with lighter, fishing line, hooks, and lights

designed and built by Billy Garifuna

The Triple Double Bind

The Triple Double Bind

Between 1956 and 1983, Los Angeles socialite Annabel Vale amassed a vast archive of material focused on a network of subcultures and secret societies scattered throughout California history. The collection began as a collaboration with her husband Isaac Vale who died under mysterious circumstances during the height of McCarthyism. Upon his death Annabel took over the collection and expanded it with pluralistic fury. Annabel saw the archive as a body of conflicting symbols, one that involved both a strong countercultural impulse along with an affirmation of the glory of the western empire. As she gathered the material she began to sense that various artifacts were speaking to one another, forming an overarching narrative of the subterranean history of California. Artifacts ranged from countercultural literary magazines to plans for the coming mega-cities of southern California to rare plant/mineral hybrids. What is represented here are examples of commemorative food displays used as a ritualistic remembrance of the "ephemeral now" by the Orange County based motorcycle gang The Brotherhood of Eternal Love.

5 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1

from the colleciton of Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe

Toothpaste from Around the World

Toothpaste from Around the World

Although I come from a "Crest family," I got my first tube of foreign in Finland in 1985. We were shopping for normal stuff  (Merimekko and toiletries). I saw a tube of toothpaste thats name was as long as the tube! They have long words in Finland. As I traveled around I'd sample the toothpaste around the world. It was fun to buy and fit easily in my bag. Meanwhile it was an easy gift! I noticed that toothpaste is a universal media for indigenous people - a veritable blank canvas - both graphics on the generic tube and the flavors of the paste. French brands are more gourmet, Asian is more fruity, while American is very sharp (it this stereotyping?). What about the Chinese brand that started off as "Darkie"? As it became viewed as racist, they changed the name to "Darlie" but made the guy with the top hat on the package look more white! Even as the toothpaste industry consolidates, they continue to make more variations.

17 pieces
originally exhibited 2014
Mmuseumm 1

from the collection of Tucker Viemeister