ARTISTS AND SCIENTISTS EXPLORE THE FUTURE OF OUR SPECIES AT MAJOR NEW EXHIBITION AT SCIENCE GALLERY, TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
15 April - 24 June 2011
Visit HUMAN+ exhibition website: www.sciencegallery.com/humanplus
What is the next step for humankind? Will we learn to take control of our own evolution or enhance our senses to allow us to see ultraviolet light, feel magnetic fields or hear ultrasound? Can we defeat ageing and extend our lives indefinitely? What would be the consequences for the environment and for our social relationships? These questions will be explored in HUMAN+, a major new exhibition, supported by the Wellcome Trust, at Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin.
From a petunia plant combined with human DNA to a euthanasia rollercoaster and a prosthetic head, HUMAN+ will invite visitors to consider a future of augmented abilities, authored evolution, new strategies for survival and non-human encounters.
Featuring works by some of the world's leading artists exploring the art-science interface, including Australian performance artist Stelarc, American transgenic artist Eduardo Kac and dystopian sculptor John Isaacs, HUMAN+ paints a somewhat ambiguous picture of the future of our species. What enhancements will we choose to become better humans? What happens when we live side by side with our robotic companions? How can we author our genetic futures?
In addition to the installations and artworks in HUMAN+, the public will be invited to donate their DNA to a major public research experiment conducted by scientists from Trinity College Dublin on the D4 dopamine receptor gene which research suggests codes for “high risk behaviour”. It has been suggested that this gene may be linked to credit ratings and entrepreneurial personality-types, conjuring up a Gattaca-like future where DNA-profiling could affect one's ability to get a bank loan. Another experiment on our relationship with robots will allow us to understand human-robot interactions from the robot's point of view.
The HUMAN+ exhibition opens at Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, on April 15 and runs until June 24 2011.
Speaking ahead of the launch Science Gallery Director Michael John Gorman said:
“HUMAN+ tests our boundaries - boundaries of the body, boundaries of the species, boundaries of what is socially and ethically acceptable. Should we enhance ourselves or seek to modify our descendants? Are we approaching a singularity of human-machine hybridization or deskilling ourselves through our ever-increasing reliance on technological extensions of the body? Is extended human longevity a wonderful aspiration or a dire prospect for the planet? These questions naturally bring scientists, humanists, medics and artists into dialogue, which is a key goal of Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin.”
During HUMAN+, Science Gallery will host talks and performances from world-renowned artists, scientists and visionaries, including:
· Professor Gordon Wallace, expert in organic bionics on April 18
· Professor and cyborg Kevin Warwick on April 21
· Creative Commons co-founder and author of Shamans, Software and Spleens Professor James Boyle on May 12
* Controversial scientist Dr Aubrey de Grey on May 26th
· A closing event featuring performance artist Stelarc.
HUMAN+ opens at Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 on April 15 and runs until June 24th 2011. Admission is free with a suggested donation. HUMAN+ is open Tuesday-Friday 12:00-20:00 and Saturday-Sunday 12:00-18:00. Find out more on www.sciencegallery.com/humanplus
HUMAN+ is supported by the Wellcome Trust and has been developed as part of the Tercentenary celebrations of the Trinity College Dublin’s School of Medicine and with Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College’s new centre for humanities. The exhibition is curated by Dr Rachel Armstrong, TED fellow and Science Fiction author, Dr Ross McManus, Trinity College Dublin School of Medicine, Professor Richard Reilly, Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, Dr Aoife McLysaght, Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, Professor Charles Spillane, National University of Ireland Galway, Dr Juliana Adelman, research fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin and Dr Michael John Gorman, Director of Science Gallery.
ABOUT SCIENCE GALLERY
Science Gallery is a world first – since opening in early 2008 over 750,000 people have experienced 16 exhibitions ranging from light to love, from sustainability to infections, Science Gallery aims to transform curious minds through science – creating dynamic intersections where science and art collide.
Science Gallery recently received the 2011 Shorty Award for Best Cultural Institution on Twitter globally adding to its awards including European Museum of the Year Award – Special Commendation 2010 and National IT award for best use of technology in education, 2009
Science Gallery is an initiative of Dublin’s leading research university, Trinity College Dublin and is kindly supported by the Wellcome Trust (founding partner) and DELL, Google, ICON and Paccar (Science Circle supporters). Science Gallery receives government support from Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport and Science Foundation Ireland.
ABOUT THE WELLCOME TRUST
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.