Sunday, January 07, 2018


Click on any image for a larger version

Broadly speaking, this exhibition in the Science Gallery, in Pearse Street, explores artistic, conceptual, or fictional responses to the end of the world or its threat.

Some exhibits mock efforts to prevent Armageddon while others post unworkable ways of surviving it. It is all meant to provoke the visitor into thinking about the environment, be it biological or political.

Below are just a few of the items that appealed to me.

This is the Doomsday clock which marks how near we are to the end of the world.

It was started after WWII and is adjusted backwards or forwards according as threats increase or recede.

It is currently three minutes short of midnight which is when the whole place goes up. Mind you, as it's an analogue twelve hour clock, you could be forgiven for thinking it was nearly high noon, if nobody told you otherwise.

This, believe it or not is a modern Noah's Ark.

The little ball in the glass case on the left contains the biological base from which new life could evolve. It is shot into space in the satellite on the right and comes back down again when earth's environment has recovered sufficiently to support new life.

This one is simply to help you survive air pollution.

The left element goes on your back and you fit the mask on the right over your nose and mouth.

The plant on your back is supposed to make the oxygen for you to breath.

The impracticality of this is that you'd probably need half a forest on your back to make any difference.

This one has sort of given up the ghost and is just documenting the demise of species as they exit stage left.

The idea is to have a drawing dating from the time they expired, cut them out of the picture like this ...

... or like this, and then ...

... burn (cremate) the cut-out image and store it in one of the urns above.

And finally the bees.

We know they are dying off due to pesticides and whatever. When they're all gone we'll die because there will be nothing left to pollinate the plants and they'll die out.

Well, this guy here is not going to go without a fight and he has hocked up this gadget to do the pollination and save the world.

I don't think Grace, my host(ess), also in the picture, is all that impressed.

But she did let me in on the secret that this exhibit is really a criticism of short term engineering solutions designed to mitigate the effects of disasters instead of finding their root causes and dealing with them.

Grace is in final year science in TCD and is just one of the many students who put in time explaining the exhibits to visitors. She enjoys this as it keeps her mentally on her toes and introduces her to other people's perspectives. And, at the end of the day, she enjoys meeting people.

You can visit the whole thing on line through the link below. Much better to drop in, if you're around, and take the tour with one of the many students on duty there. The live interaction is much more fun.

Link to the exhibition on line

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