Ottie and I went on a date at the ArtScience Museum back in July to catch some futuristic exhibits – HUMAN+ The Future of Our Species, and The Universe and Art: An Artistic Voyage Through Space. Even though we originally met because of a mutual interest in Martial Arts movies, it turned out that we share an enjoyment of Sci-fi serials too – Futurama, Firefly, Farscape, Ghost in the Shell, The Expanse, Westworld, Rick & Morty, The Orville and the latest instalment of the Star Trek series (Discovery)… just to name a few. Although, our tastes diverge sometimes – he doesn’t share my enthusiasm for Almost Human and Sharknado, while I don’t care for Killjoys and Doctor Who. Believe me I tried. I like the stuff that comes out of the DW fandom though, so I suppose that counts for a little bit?
Anyway getting back on track, we were pretty pumped for this museum trip. Here are some of my favourite displays at the HUMAN+ The Future of Our Species exhibit. Be warned, the second image depicts a surgery-in-progress:
Images from Stelarc’s Extra Ear Surgery by Nina Sellars. Stelarc seemed to be the main pull of the exhibit, having a few rooms dedicated to videos of his highly-performative art. I’d learnt about him in school and so was pretty excited to see what would go on display in this exhibit.
Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas cyborg arts. Extrasensory implants, anyone?
I really liked the pink acrylic dividers in this room. In the background on the left is Tardigotchi by S.W.A.M.P, which features a living tardigrade and an artificial life avatar. In the foreground is a write-up of True Love, which displayed an excerpt of a book which was written by a computer.
Imagine my delight when we came across the Euthanasia Coaster by Julijonas Urbonas! It was totally awesome to see the mockup and technical drawing in person.
Beautiful babies in Transfigurations by Agatha Haines, depicting surgically-modified traits such as creating excess skin to withstand higher temperatures and stoma in newborns to for regular medicinal intake.
Our last stop was at Nadine‘s desk, who achieved such a level of uncanny valley that I absolutely refused to go near her.
The HUMAN+ exhibit is ongoing until 15 October 2017, so there’s still time to catch it if anyone’s interested.
Next, we headed up to explore The Universe and Art: An Artistic Voyage Through Space. This exhibit was actually our favourite of the two, however it ended its run in end July. Highlights:
The highlight of this exhibit was the gallery featuring first edition manuscripts by some of the world’s greatest scientists:
1543 first edition book of De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) by Nicolaus Copernicus. The revolutionary (geddit) moment when Earthers realised that the universe did not revolve around Earth, but the sun.
1610 first edition of Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger) by Galileo Galilei. This was the first published scientific work based on observations made through a refracting telescope which he built – the moon’s terrain and craters and Jupiter’s moons, which ascertained Copernicus’ theory of a heliocentric universe.
Facsimile of an original 1844 drawing of Utsuro-bune (Hollow Ship), which was perceived to be an alien vessel.
Sci-fi pulp fiction covers by Frank R. Paul.
There was a little room which allowed visitors to punch holes in these constellation cards and use the torchlights provided to shine light through the cards onto the blackboard. It was a pity that the hole-punchers were too large to achieve the desired effect, but it was a cool idea nonetheless.
Here’s an outfit:
Photos of myself taken by Ottie.