“Missed Connections”


Thursday, February 13, 2014

How many people exhibited objects?


How many people came but did not bring objects?



Posted by Community Programs Coordinator Nora Grant

What was it about?

This Pop Up Museum explored why we miss connections, where they go, and how we deal with the absence.


How did it go?

The MAH's mission is to ignite unexpected connections and shared experiences, and so we thought, it was time to reflect on the reverse: missed connections. And despite the melancholic theme, the pop up was anything but somber. Taking place at the charmingly nookish  515 Kitchen and Cocktails , the pop up quickly became a lively, rosy spot for people to share love-gone-wrong tales and mishaps. Playing off Craigslist Missed Connections, we sprinkled about hot pink trading cards, in which people could either share a missed connection or literally make one.

Displaying photo.jpgBy inviting people to write missed connections during the event, we not only prompted storytelling, but also translated a typically virtual experience into real time and space. Curious as to the various platforms in which people connect or miss connections, this activity surfaced the following questions:

Why do we shy away from making a connection with someone?

How does a Museum stigma affect the experience of an event?

Do Craigslist missed connections enable more miss connections?

How can the experience of sharing missed connections paradoxically ignite more connections?


The pop up museum also exhibited Craigslist missed connections poetry by Joshua Gillis, an active musician and writer living in Davidson County, Tennessee. Pulling lines from missed connections all over the globe, Gillis' composes poetry through the voices of many to represent the voices in us all. The poems are at once desperate and relatable, comic and severe. As Gillis remarks, "there are striking lines out there- desperate and ecstatic, bored and abhorrent. Gorgeous typos with botched grammar...I find it so endearing and strive to provide a context for each line that will maximize feeling. It's a patchwork by the people, for the people."

Occurring the day before Valentines Day, you could say both love and lament were in the air for this event. One woman heard about the pop up from a friend, and came to fill out cards for the many missed connections she's had since living in Santa Cruz. Another man shared his tortuous affair with his on-again-off-again partner, and how that prepared him for the lady he's with now. One card poignantly revealed a map, in which pieces of a broken heart were placed in different states. One thing we gleaned from this theme is that we miss connections  everyday. It's a part of life. But it is the various ways in which we deal with missed connections that offer insight into our individual and social complexities.


view more photographs from the event on MAH's Flickr