How do you know what you've lost? Maya Lin explores our fading world with NRDC at EXPO CHICAGO

What is Missing? film still (courtesy of May Lin Studios)
It’s hard to miss what you’ve never known.  How many times have you purchased a new toy—an iPad, say—and in just a few days couldn’t recall how you ever got along without it?  Now imagine that process in reverse.  Remembering the world as it was is the ambitious task of What is Missing?, the “last memorial” by the renowned architect, designer, and artist, Maya Lin.

What is Missing? includes an interactive website, sculptures, and installation projects around the world.  At its heart lies a series of videos, each more like a sound sculpture than a film, which ask us to remember how the world used to be and, perhaps, how it could be once again. 

Next week, all seventy-five core videos from What is Missing? can experienced at Chicago’s Navy Pier during EXPO CHICAGO, the inaugural international exposition of contemporary / modern art and design.  There, you can listen

What is Missing? film still (courtesy of Maya Lin Studios)
to the sounds of the mostly-vanished tall grass prairies, marvel at the songs of the humpback whale (and be reminded that the most magnificent of these singers, who once belonged to a population in the Caribbean, are now gone), hear the haunting cry of the common loon (a bird now threatened by toxic mercury pollution), and even contemplate the sounds of silent nature, which also is vanishing in the din of industrialized life.

All of these videos will be on rotating display at NRDC’s booth at EXPO, which also will feature two of Maya Lin’s sculptural installations and an iconic Garbage Wall by the late Gordon Matta-Clark.  And, if you can’t make it, make sure to visit the What is Missing? website here and take a minute to pause and remember what we’ve all lost . . . and what we could still save.



Navy Pier | Festival Hall

600 East Grand Avenue

Chicago, IL 60611


Fair Dates / Times (NRDC booth: #112)

Thursday, Sept. 20th: 11am - 7pm

Friday, Sept. 21st: 11am - 7pm

Saturday, Sept. 22nd: 11am - 7pm

Sunday, Sept. 23rd: 12pm - 6pm


Tickets available for purchase here.