MOD

Where Art Meets Science and Technology

Have you ever wanted to visit an art gallery that shows the relationship between art, science, and technology? Well, fear no more for MOD is the place for you. Opened in 2018, MOD is an art gallery where you can view art based on subjects like augmented reality, astronomy, and robotics. Being a bit of a science nerd (astronomy in particular), I have been eager to visit MOD. Upon visiting it, I was enthralled and absorbed into its world of interactive wonders.

The first exhibit I visited was Prosthetic Reality (an Augmented Reality exhibition) in the Lecture Gallery on the ground floor. As you can see in the image below, it appears to a casual observer just an exhibit of pop art. However, if you have the EyeJack app (available on both iOS and Android devices) you can download the exhibition and it will be transformed. Using the AR feature, the artworks come to life with colour, animation, and sound. For example, one of these artworks tells a story of a Japanese town destroyed by a disaster. Its main picture is of the town before the disaster, but through EyeJack, it plays Japanese style music and shows it destroyed through animation. I discovered more of these set up across the museum, which was a surprising addition. It gave me motive to explore the entire gallery to find them all.

 

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Another exhibit within the MOD I found interesting looked into genetically modified babies. Displayed in the Gould Interactive Gallery, this demonstrated what we may have to do to survive on Earth if we keep going the way we are. All these babies are displayed in wheel-around newborn beds from hospitals. One baby that really stood out to me had a head with strange gill-like curves on its sides. To me, it appeared as if a Ferengi and a Klingon from the Star Trek universe had a child. There was explanation on a nearby wall, this modification would be necessary to survive higher temperatures on Earth. It is a frightening possibility and seeing it in model form really got my creative mind running.

 

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There was a small part of artificial intelligence and robotics near the genetic modification exhibit. You could stand in the middle of a room and an AI would supposedly learn and copy your movement. I tried this out, but could not comprehend how it worked, which was unfortunate. The idea behind it is really cool and I do recommend you to give it a go. Perhaps you will figure out how it works. Also, part of that exhibit was a model of a robotic head. Upon first glance, it looks exactly like a human head (with extremely realistic skin), but its eyes move and it speaks. It was like stepping into Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Seeing it alongside the movement exhibit made me realise it was part of the human-like features which AI and robots of the future may soon have.

Perhaps my favourite exhibit in the whole of MOD was the Our Sky exhibit in the Universal Gallery. A Science on a Sphere (currently the only one in Australia) sits in the middle of the room with screens on all the walls. With a computer board, you can cycle through the planets and moons in our Solar System which appear on the Science On a Sphere. As you can see below, Jupiter appears on it, but I could easily change it to Mars or Enceladus (a moon of Saturn). With the screens on the walls, you could surf the Solar System and check out the many different astronomical signs. Perhaps what really made this exhibit fantastic is the inclusion of science and astronomy from the First Australians. This is shown through video and sound, which play above the gallery. This addition gives a fresh, more Australian perspective on astronomy and science and has me eager to learn more about First Australian astronomy.

 

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MOD is a fantastic place to check out the relationship between art, science, and technology. If you are a sci-fi fan or into science and technology I highly recommend you visit this place. You can find it on the western side of the Morphett Street bridge on North Terrace (north side) on UniSA’s City West campus. Entry is free and it is open six days a week (closed Mondays). More information can be found here.

 


Words and photography by Cameron Lowe.

Cameron Lowe: Editor/Writer

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How did you get involved with Tulpa Magazine?

I was a sub-editor at Empire Times in 2017 and got the opportunity to get to know both Liam and Lisandra well as they were editors at the time. I had heard from one of them that they were going to be starting up their own magazine after their editorships, so I liked the idea of it.

When I saw what Liam and Lis were doing in the flesh I decided right from there to help join in helping with them in Tulpa.

 

What do you do?

So far I’ve only contributed fiction and a feature about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Due to being one of the 2018 editors at Empire Times, my availability to edit received pieces has been limited so far. Down the track though I will be discussing more about pop culture, video games, and fiction.

 

What’s your life like outside of Tulpa Magazine?

As mentioned before, I’m one of the 2018 editors at Empire Times, the student magazine of Flinders University. Alongside this, I’m also doing my third year in the Bachelor of Communication and Professional Writing at Flinders. This is my second degree after I attained a Bachelor of Creative Arts: Creative Writing in 2018.

I often like to spend most of my time reading, writing, gaming, and attempting to catch up on TV shows and films. My favourites include for each: reading (Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson), writing (speculative fiction), gaming (The Legend of Zelda series), TV (Doctor Who, The Simpsons), films (classic horror and sci-fi).

I like to travel too every now and then to different countries, primarily in Asia so far. What I love to do is go to other countries, seek out their museums, book and video game stores, and try all these new foods and beer.

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What has been the most rewarding part of working for Tulpa Magazine?

I guess it’s just a great feeling to be a part of a magazine during its beginning times. To be part of a team and aiding in creating and contributing to a place that’s still new, it’s a wonderful feeling.

 

What do you see yourself doing in the future? Where are you headed after Tulpa?

How much water is there on Mars? By that, I mean I honestly don’t know at all. I would love to spend my life writing fiction (both novel and short story) and discussing pop culture, but it unfortunately won’t help pay off my university debts, or allow me to really travel anywhere at this moment. Depending on how Empire Times goes this year, I guess it’s really to see what opportunities come up.


You can find Cameron on Twitter at @cloweshadowking

He also does a monthly discussion on the books he’s read on his blog, entitled ‘Lair of the Shadow King’, which you can find here. https://lairoftheshadowking.wordpress.com/