Random Institute is an extension of what a contemporary art institution can be, that is to say, truly unbothered by rules and bureaucracy. Ultimately, it brings together & curatorial and publishing activities.

Since March 2016, Random Institute is running the curatorial program for Despacio in San José, Costa Rica.
The best color is transparency.
The best defense is a good offense.
Untold Stories
Shown
Anytime
Anywhere

Disappearing Museums

Ongoing: Started on Tuesday, January 28, 2014
65.3375011000
-15.8522764000
Kunsthalle Tropical

Life-sized “drafts” of museum buildings will be realized in three dimensions and installed in the remote Icelandic desert. These sculptural blueprints are composed of salt core, a biodegradable material that naturally dissolves when it comes into contact with water.

It's unpredictable how much rain a desert sees, and this unpredictability will result in beauty, slowly dissolving the structures.

Thoughts
Information

Thoughts about this project appear, change, and disappear constantly. Here is a snapshot of our most recent thoughts:

WHAT ARE THE DISAPPEARING MUSEUMS?

A study in architecture, ephemerality, and locality, the Disappearing Museums project examines environments, both built and natural, through art. Essentially life-sized “drafts” of select buildings, the Disappearing Museums themselves are realized in three dimensions and unexpectedly installed in the remote Icelandic desert. These sculptural blueprints are composed of salt core, a biodegradable material that naturally dissolves when exposed to rain, and as a result, the project aims to decontextualize and re-evaluate architecture as we traditionally know and understand it. In other words, the Disappearing Museums, which are fleeting and displaced, contrast with the sturdy, integrated, and permanent structures of contemporary society. The viewer is thus asked to reflect on the importance of architecture in daily life, as well as to consider ingrained expectations for--and dependence on--such buildings and their surroundings.

Although the project touches on a number of themes, a key characteristic of the Disappearing Museums is their focus on the intrinsically ephemeral, even sculpture-like, nature of infrastructure. Guaranteed to degrade, the drafts demonstrate, albeit in sped-up fashion, the inevitable decline and eventual deterioration of the constructed environment. In this way, evolution and the passage of time are brought to the forefront; the Disappearing Museums poetically point not only to the momentariness of humanity but also to the longevity of nature.

The Disappearing Museums’ unlikely installation in the desolate wilderness of Iceland is also central to the project. An extreme contrast to the buildings’ likely urban environments, this desert locale pointedly draws attention to all that is absent, most notably: communities, infrastructure, and other buildings. The absence of these things at the installation site is further amplified by the presence of the viewer, who, having traveled to this secluded location, also finds him or herself profoundly displaced.

WHY TEMPORARY BUILDINGS?

"The ideal building has three elements; it is sturdy, useful, and beautiful."

In his paramount work, De architectura, the Roman architect Vitruvius identifies durability – or sturdiness – as one of the three key elements that define an ideal building. The Disappearing Museums project explores the longstanding human impulse to realize indestructible structures, and it explicitly subverts this very ideal. The promised decline of the three-dimensional designs upon interaction with weather is central to the project’s conception.

Here, the inevitability of atrophy is prized rather than evaded, offering fresh perspective not only on the objectives of architecture but also on its innate nature. Likewise, as the salt core degrades, the structures function symbolically, pointing to the ephemerality of human life. In these ways and more, the Disappearing Museums project attempts to demonstrate the oft-overlooked significance of the incomplete and the transitory.

WHY NON-FUNCTIONAL ARCHITECTURE?

"Architecture shares the narrative qualities of sculpture at an essential level; both transform the relationship between object and ground into a poetic expression."
Thom Mayne, founder of Morphosis Architects

A dual responsibility to both functionality and aesthetics is indeed at the heart of an architect’s practice. To further explore these qualities, and in particular the artistic elements of a building, the Disappearing Museums project renders given structures non-functional and essentially sculptural. Uninhabitable and incomplete, the Disappearing Museums are in no way utilitarian and are thus aligned more closely to our understanding of the arts than to design, technology, or science.

By thus converting architecture into art, the Disappearing Museums project explores the potential of buildings, structures, and social interaction in a context free of limitations, rules, and common thought patterns. In this unique environment, which might be considered something approaching a utopia, creativity is fostered, enlightened perspectives adapted, and critical discourse encouraged.

WHY EXTENDING THE BLUEPRINTS?

Through the means of an art installation, the Disappearing Museums project offers a new, experimental, and sensory space for designing. The limitlessness of the vast Icelandic desert imposes little restrictions, and traditional pen-to-paper blueprints or scaled-down models are, in the context of the Disappearing Museums project, traded in for more experiential and lifelike renderings.

Translated into three dimensions, yet not fully realized, these building plans are arguably more complete versions of their two-dimensional iterations, as well as more accessible to “readers” of all backgrounds. At the same time, their incomplete states continue to foster creativity, imagination, and ideas.

Neither material nor intangible, neither shapeless nor fully formed, the architect’s draft lies somewhere between a building and the idea of one. By realizing a series of blueprints in salt core, the Disappearing Museums project allows such drafts to briefly occupy a fragment of time and space.

WHY MUSEUMS?

The Disappearing Museums project functions as commentary on the history of museums and their various incarnations in the 21st century. Museums today largely sustain centuries-old values relating to the care, preservation, presentation, and interpretation of cultural artifacts and collections.

In the context of the Disappearing Museums, however, these fundamental responsibilities are released, rendering the time-honored notion of a museum essentially obsolete. Popular conceptions of a museum are also undercut by the structures’ extreme ephemerality, isolation, and weightlessness. All of this is to demonstrate – and ultimately question – the rigid, arguably anachronistic definition of a museum that continues to be accepted by contemporary society.

WHY IN ICELAND?

The Disappearing Museums project is specifically conceived as an installation for the uninhabited landscape of Iceland. In part a nod to Iceland’s rich architectural history, the project demonstrates a deep respect for the nation’s tradition of harmonious relationships between nature and the built environment (the development of grass-and-turf-covered houses comes to mind, for instance). Moreover, the project embraces the unpredictability of the Icelandic weather and the element of chance it introduces into the works’ atrophy.

On a more social and political level, the appearance--and disappearance--of the salt core installations in unspoiled nature demonstrates a harmless approach to building, a particularly striking action against today’s backdrop of global overdevelopment.

Thoughts by Sandino Scheidegger & Lindsey Cash

Who knows when it will finally take place? Good things take time, and we are in no hurry.

Residencia en la Selva

ArchivedHappened in February 2017
9.5442660000
-83.3903569000
Alto Telire

There is a time in every artist’s life that, for their art, they must go so far that they risk falling right off the map. We have developed a unique residency for Despacio that begins with an incredible two-day journey on foot through the dense Costa Rican jungle to bring you to one of the world’s most isolated indigenous tribes, the Cabécars of Alto Telire. Once there, you’ll engage with a local community totally disconnected from the world of contemporary art.

Experience a place that has been inhabited for centuries but rarely appears on a map.

Thoughts
Information

If we want to establish new paths in the field of art, it is essential that artists seek inspiration in places far away from the old, ingrained patterns of thinking. It is only by questioning and rethinking established rules that artists have achieved innovation throughout history and have led us to where we are now.

Like many of the world’s most secluded places, contemporary art has no meaning in Alto Telire. There is no place for art as the rest of the world knows it in the everyday life of the Cabécars, nor is there a word for it in the local language.

Update April 14, 2017
The application period for the 2018 residencies will be announced on Instagram later in the year.

Update February 15, 2017
Ayami Awazuhara and Matthias Dolder’s returned from their ten day trip to the jungle. A selection of images have been published on Facebook.

Update November 18, 2016
Despacio is pleased to announce the successful applicants of the 2017 Jungle Residency are Berlin-based artist Ayami Awazuhara and Cali-based artist Matthias Dolder.






The application period for the 2017 residencies closed on September 1, 2016.

Requirements:

  • In 2016, all residents must be fluent in Spanish (English is not spoken in the area). However, we are planning to open the residency up to non-Spanish-speaking artists in 2017.
  • You must be able to walk for 4 days (8 hours per day). It is a two day journey to and from Alto Telire.
  • You must be in good physical condition. The nearest doctor may be as far as 18 hours walking distance away.

What the residency includes:

  • Airfare to and from San José, Costa Rica
  • Lodging and a stipend in San José
  • Travel to Limon by bus
  • Travel from Limon to Vesta by private transport
  • A guide to lead you you to and from Alto Telire
  • Return private transport to Limon and bus to San José

The residency takes 6-14 days, depending on the availability of local guides. Please note that you may be asked to carry a certain amount of food or medicine for the community you are visiting.

All images above by Alberto Font.
Sandino ScheideggerJohanna SchaibleBookRamon StrickerJean-Dominique NgankamHoiko SchutterVinzenz MeynerRenaud LodaSebastien VerdonMarion QuartierLaurentino RodriguezNicola RuffoSimone HuserCarlos GonzalezAndreas WagnerSascha LinglingMonika StalderAnnika EbneterHans WirzChristian MesenhollLukas ErardRenato AebiLilian KlosePhillipp SiegenthalerChristophe KuenzlerMarcel MeuryEmanuel SenAnna ErnstJrene RolliRomano StrebelBarbara StreuliStephan AebischerToby MatthiesenAnna RhynEli RhynLorenz HuserMagdalena OberliMichael BaeriswylSimon GrossenbacherJulia WeissDiana Abi KhalilMarco StrickerArnim MahlkeFabian NiklausLuca MüllerResearchLindsey CashMarlen HaushoferMarcel BroodthaersMartha NussbaumMalcolm McLowryMartin SuterMcElweeMichael MooreN.R.KleinfieldNiels van MaanenNietzschePaul D. MillerPaul ÉluardPaul McCarthyPeter MountfordPlatoPopeProustR. P. BlackmurRabanRobin BlakeRoland BarthesSarah SilvermanShakespeareSimicStephan PashovSteven KingThe Daily WasterThomas BernhardWerner HerzogYoko OnoLucy LippardLorenzo PrendiniLopateLisa PageLászló KardosKen KeseyJudit BodorJohn MiltonJoan DidionJoachim KoesterJacques DerridaJ.G. BallardIngmar BergmannIngeborg BachmannHonoré DaumierHolland CotterHarry S. TrumanGuy DebordGeorg TraklGeoffrey O'BrianGallagherG.W. BushFlorian GrafErnst JüngerE. M. CioranDavid Shieldsda VinciD'AgataCharles OlsonCarolyn Christov-BakargievCamusBrian EnoBoris VianArthur SchnitzlerAnthony VidlerBoris GroysAlain de BottonEmiliano ValdesPhil HanleyRaphael GygaxAndrew O'HehirAtlas StudioSofia MariscalLinda TeggMarso GaleríaExhibitionYoan CapoteGwenael BelangerMarina MagroZilvinas KempinasNino BaumgartnerLithuanian EmbassyItzel PeralesAnuar MaauadAlejandro CarvajalKaryn OlivierSandro StübiAndrew MooreTarek Abu HagebBonadea CoconJonas EtterIvan EbelSolomia ZoumarasTobin TaxiEric MischlerWian BawiLiva KupčaZane OnckuleJuliana SmithIvo GretenerPro HelvetiaCity of BernKanton BernAlain JenzerXymna EngelIeva SauliteElectronic Text + Textiles ResidenciesMarks BlondArthur de PuryEmanuel GeisserPerformanceMiriam StraussNadim JarrarAngela WittwerKommando TrashJacques et BrigitteCamille ZürcherBurgergemeinde BernNadine StrubEric VerdonRaphael EtterClaudia ComteNoemi ReislePatrick UrwylerSamuel FrancoisMartinka KremeckovaRoland NussbaumerFabian BoschungGuillaume PiletAthene GaliciadisCharlotte HerzigRemy PiaMilieu ArtspaceOlaf-Asteson HausPhilipp StrahmAnonymous ArtistArt BrutCamille PellauxJoël Luc CachelinHKBBianca PedrinaSarah HugentoblerMathieu AckermannJon MerzChristoph EisenringKyra BaldererLivia Di GiovannaSybill HäusermannKatja JugAnselm StalderChristof LötscherHans Rudolf ReustOrlando GuierStudienstiftung SchweizSodiumMatthias WilliAndreas EgliChristiane BüntgenDeimantas NarkeviciusYvon ChabrowskiMark DivoBas Jan AderHanna LauerUlf BüntgenFoodMagdalena JukerLeila HincelinAziz TemimiMaurice Maggichmara.rosinkeFlorina MinderBenjamin StöckliSelina FreiSimon ErnstDavid PestalozziJuliette ChrétienSocialSamusocial de ParisNele DechmannGuido van der WerveAgnieszka SosnowskaGioia dal MolinState Government VictoriaArts VictoriaAbuConcertZüblin FiresafeKatja BrunnerNiklaus MettlerManuel SuterBrian MastMatthias EggerLorenz GurtnerAnja SchoriLukas WilleThe MotherlandsMatthias JostDow Jones and the NikkeisThomas MoorAnabel SarabiSarina ScheideggerNora HalpernFri-SonZara NydeggerBrigitte BoessAndreas GrossePeter HuberNaima BärlocherPartyLeticia ParenteAndré ParenteMariann OppligerSophie HoferSaunaClaudia MouginBertrand GadenneFilippo MontalbanoDavid HorvitzUjazdowski CastleAnna WantuchRoad TripAmaury BergerTimothy EdserRéne StricklerProductionVerena DietzeKarin BachmannJonas FehrRamon WilliRemo ZimmerliRebekka SchaererHyperwerkHanna RocchiETH Flying Machine ArenaChristian FreiAaron DerungsMalin BaumannSimon WandelerSam BuchliNathanael RussellJonas BechsteinHeidi KöpferMaria TrenkelRebecca KunzDaniel vom KellerLuzia RinkflymotionsUlrich BruppacherLi TavorSimon BurkhalterNicola DauwalderMichel WinterbergGil PellatonEugen BisigSibylla GigerAda AvetistDavid WidmerIna MertensAline JuchlerYondon OtgonbayarOdgerel OdonchimedMareike GünscheDavaanyam DelgerjargalBadruugan NaranzunAriunaa TserenpilAdiyabazar ChadraabalShinee ErdenbatSussette MartinezGregor PodnarNicky RayBernard SchützeChristopher CozierThylacineHyperwerk BaselChris LupoNewspaperFrancoise CaracoDaniel BjörnssonKarin KurzmeyerUnnar ÖrnZHDKAnja MajerBarbara HauserArnhildur PalmadottirHelgabjorg SigardardottirJennifer FlumeOdinn SigurdssonHikingMatthias VollmerRosalia BlumDidier CrepeyValeria StuckiHEADCécilia Xin YangScreeningChilette Ann LalogOutsourcingHudspeth County CourthouseBojan MartinLena ZinnikerUrezza CaviezelJames Lee ByarsGerhard LischkaKarin MingerHan LoAnnina MachazMelanie WirzJared MuraltManuel ScheiwillerSaskia EdensNils Amadeus LangeMira KandathilIvan BlagajcevicMatthew CianfraniFlorence JungAlexandra DelageOlivier AubertinIan G.C. WhiteCharly Le PoissonnierTheaterStrangersAlexis Coco DupontJessica BrasslerAlma EggerSluiceAlberto DiazChen SerfatyOrlando DiazDilara ErbayAhmet BugdayciMally SustickMolly O'BrianCharlotte ColmantLonnie StantonHilary BrownBriana BrownSarah LifsonNola SmithMarco AntoniniStephanie TheodoreKarl EnglandCharlie LevineBen StreetMonia SbouaiLucia Ruiz de InfanteAli Ekber ÇelikJohan AchermannVladimir BessonAngela JimenezElizaveta KonovalovaTarissan AnnaAlexandra GoullierMarion RingevalMathieu CénacGiulia MagnaniDominique MeierMartin Furler BassandDominik WensauerJan MarckhoffRoland FrühFlorian Schmidt-GabainChristoph SchifferliStefan BiglerStefan BumbacherHumberto GollabehUrs SteinerDania MichelCory ArcangelPeles EmpireSelina Grüter + Michèle GrafAlois GodinatRichard LongFederico HerreroKarin LehmannSan KellerAlejandro CesarcoSlavs and TartarsLibraryLuís SilvaJoão MourãoKunsthalle LissabonJoana EscovalRobert FrankTanzhaus ZürichMaria PetschnigDaniel HellmannJamie DiamondMarie-Caroline HominalMica SigourneyMarc StreitJiri KovandaAntonio Da SilvaHuang QingjunJeremy CohenMohamed ArejdalMohammed LaouliValentine UmanskySophie LapaluMatthias RaffelsieperJanosch PerlerMarco Andrea MagniEva & Franco MattesLamia JoreigeJana KapelováMarco AntoniniJiří SkalaBen Thorp BrownSamuel LeuenbergerKodoji PressBook LaunchSchool of Visual ArtsLectureRobert Barryto be announcedJulien PrévieuxSophie BarbaschBarbara HoffmannFrancis AlÿsDavid ClaerboutDouglas GordonGary HillPierre HuygheJoan JonasIsaac JulienWilliam KentridgePaul McCarthyPipilotti RistAnri SalaDiego FournierPrinted MatterNina Beier & Marie LundAnna HugoSwen RenaultNicolás RobbioIván ArgoteFayçal BaghricheJay ChungJulian CharrièreSigurdur GudmundssonAdrian MelisHans EijkelboomBethan HuwsCarey YoungDiego Arias AschJürgen KrauseJens RischBen LongJens SundheimSasha KurmazRonald ReyesHabacuc Guillermo Vargas Paulette PenjeJavier CalvoCamille LaurellieteamMikko KuorinkiThomas GeigerYann VandermeRoger MunozBenvenuto ChavajayMarton RobinsonNicola TrezziSabrina Röthlisberger BelkacemAchraf TouloubAlfredo AcetoAlison KuoClifford E. BruckmannJuan BetancurthRagnheidur KaradottirSimon MullanThomas MailaenderMark Pezinger VerlagErnesto Jara VargasAlberto FontResidencyÁlvaro Marenco MarrocchiRosemary MedinaAyami AwazuharaMatthias DolderChus MartínezStéphanie SerraNicolas LeubaAníbal LópezYaxs FoundationTamara DíazCentral American BiennialCrack RodriguezAna Lucrecia MuñozAníbal CatalánAudrey HoubenDiego GiannettoniErica Muralles HazbunJason MenaJorge LinaresKevin BaltazarMario Alberto López CruzNuria GüellSergio RojasProyecto 44Maria José GuevaraHugo QuintoJennifer PaizNora PérezPaulina ZamoraJorge de LeónPablo XonáCarolina ArroyoLeonel JuracánEsperanza de LéonLeo HoffmannC.R.A.C.artSchandra MadhaZoe Sans-Arcidet-LacourtGabriel RodriguezHanne LippardRonald MoránNaufus Ramírez-FigueroaAdán VallecilloAbigail ReyesAna AlensoDeborah CastilloMichele Di MennaPaula PiedraCorina HeinTercerunquintoThe Pizza Suicide ClubEleanore PientaDafna MaimonAude LevèreWalterio IrahetaTeresa MargollesRegina José GalindoAlfredo JaarLuis CamnitzerSol CaleroAlejandro Almanza PeredaAllora & CalzadillaRivane NeuenschwanderYoshua OkónLiliana PorterMelissa GuevaraAlejandro de la GuerraJonathan HarkerDonna ConlonGabriel SierraMarlena WaldthausenPhotographyZelia ZadraDino RealLutz GegnerCarlos FernándezPaula KupferMarcus RehbergerSSBA SalonKunstvlaaiFajo JansenArd KokPablo Marcus BienElyla SinvergüenzaOscar Ruiz SchmidtMonsieur BienRoberto ChavesSeñorita AbrilDanceCamila Garon OrellanaMonopolPressEssayÈloïse de GuglielmoAmélie du Petit ThouarsMoshi Moshi StudioVerlag KettlerSies + Höke VerlagSofía Hernández Chong CuyLisette LagnadoChris SharpHanne Tonger-ErkDroste EffectEleonora CastagnaPriscila GómezMaripaz HowellRevista Rara
Made in Switzerland by Foreigners