“The subtle Art of reframing the world”
Welcome to our Museum.
We're a global museum, dedicated to the unexpected beauty of... bird shit.
The Museum of Bird Shit is probably the most absurd museum in the world. It’s dedicated to one of the most despised phenomena around the globe: bird shit.
Our museum challenges your perception of the world and thereby your reality. It takes something everybody hates and changes it into a thing of beauty, maybe even into art.
A ‘taste’ of our collection
The museum has a vast and ever expanding collection of artworks. The next 8 pictures will give you a taste (sorry for that word) of our strange collection.
We deliberately chose one of the most disgusting things, because…
We all hate it…
We chose birdshit because everybody hates it. Especially when there is lots of it in inconvenient places, like your car, your coat or your hair.
Yet, what if…?
Yet, if you can overcome your initial disgust, and manage to discover beauty in such an unexpected thing, you’ve mastered the art of reframing.
We are a hybrid museum. You can visit us online and in the real world. We’re in every park in every city of the world. Probably even in the street where you live. The only thing you have to do is change your mindset and pay attention. And maybe take a picture and send it to us...
Enter the Museum
Enter our museum and visit our collections. (Not only birdshit…)
The museum has 4 underlying messages:
BEAUTY = EVERWHERE
We don't have to fly to Moma in New York, The Tate Modern in London, or The Louvre in Paris to experience art and beauty. Art and beauty are anywhere around us. Even in bird shit. We just have to pay attention. Change our perception, and reframe what we see.
MEANING = STORY
Our brains are meaning-machines. They attach a meaning to everything we perceive. In een flash of a second. But that meaning is nothing more then a story we tell ourselves. A story that is molded by our experience and the culture we are born in.
REALITY = PERCEPTION
Reality doesn’t exist. Or, to put it more accurate: we’re not able to experience reality directly. We can only experience it through our five (or six) senses. This means our perception is subjective. It is not ‘real’. So birdshit isn't neccesarily gross. That's just your perception.
STORY = PRISON
As soon as our brain attaches a story to our perception, it will do everything it can to stick to that story. Our brains will always present bird shit as something gross. It keeps us trapped in a frame. Our dominant story is our prison. That is: until we break out and reframe.
The important thing to know is that we can change that story. From "Birdshit is gross" to "Bird shit is art".
The subtle art of reframing
How do you reframe birdshit from being gross to beautiful.
First of all: you probably won’t be able to NOT experience it as gross. Not as an initial reaction. You are wired to see it as gross, so you will. Don’t fight it. Just accept what comes up and observe it without attachment
2. Let go
Let your initial reaction pass away. When you accept it as it is, observe it without emotional attachment, the reaction will fade a little. Just like a cloud passing by in the sky.
3. Get curious
Now try to get curious. Pretend you are a three year old again, who sees the world for the first time, and who hasn’t learned that birdshit is gross.
Discover something new. Something you didn’t notice when you were overwhelmed by you initial disgust. Maybe it’s a beautiful color or an interesting texture. There is allways something to discover!
Now try to reframe what you saw. Ask: what else can this mean? Can I experience it as beauty, or at least as interesting?
Not just birdshit
Now, of course the automatic-meaning-machine in our brains, is not only active when we see birdshit. It works all the time. As soon as we perceive something, our mind attaches meaning to it. It creates a story, that we mistake for reality.
But that perceived reality is shaped and molded by our experiences, our education and our culture. We see things through the lens of our experiences. And we get triggered by our automatic reactions.
All these perceptions are NOT reality, they are a automatic product of our education and our culture and can be reframed.
The Benefits of Reframing
By de-automating our perception and reactions we create room for other interpretations. We are no longer hijacked by our past and are open for new opportunities. The more we exercise reframing, the more successful we become (although even succes is just an interpretation.)
Birdshit for a Better World
We believe the automatic one-dimensional framing is the underlying cause to many problems in the world.
Wars can exist because both parties believe strongly in their story, and are unable (and unwilling) to see the other side.
Of course, a visit to the Museum of Bird Shit is not enough to change the world. But it can teach us a lesson: if we’re able to reframe bird shit into a thing of beauty, we’ve made the first step to reframing everything else that happens to us. And just maybe the world will be a little better because of it.
Can’t move past the disgust?
Some people can’t make the leap from birdshit to art. Their automatic reaction is so strong that they can’t look beyond the programming from their past.
If that’s the case, you can try a little less challenging alternative: just hit the streets and make pictures of everything that’s “ugly” or “wrong”.
Now study the pictures you took, find a picture that doesn’t evoke strong feelings and take the the 5 steps of reframing, we described here.
If you want, you can gradually work your way up to some stronger stuff.
The art of the mundane
We collect more then just birdshit. In essence, our museum is about the art of the mundane: everyday things that exist under the radar of our attention; we don’t even bother to notice them. Yet if we stop and become more receptive of our surroundings, a world of wonder and discovery unfolds. A few examples:
Meet the founder and creator of The International Museum of Birdshit: Richard Stomp
“As Chief Wow Officer I help people, teams and organisations to create “Wow”: Things that make our heart beat a little faster and make the world a little better.”
You can read more about him, and find lots of free tools to make the world a little better on richardstomp.com
Things to do next
Talks and Workshops
Experience the power of reframing yourself in one of our exciting 4-hour Birdshit workshops.
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Let founder Richard Stomp shock AND inspire your audience with his famous Birdshit talk.
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