Charles Dellshau Airship
The new exhibition Farfetched: Mad Science Fringe Architecture and Visionary Engineering features artworks, images and objects that push the edges of known science and technology. Included in the show are a perpetual motion machine, something called a Quack Shock Helmet, a clock the predicts the end of the world, and lots of flying machines, healing devices and other imaginative creations made by unconventional artists, amateur hobbyists and garage tinkerers.
The show asks us to challenge our assumptions about what we know to be true and to imagine what rock-solid scientific facts might — hundreds of years from now — seem as ridiculous as the theory of a flat earth seems to us today. “One of the big things that gets in the way of science,” says the show’s curator Roger Manley, “is the idea that something is already known to be true.” He hopes that Farfetched can inspire future scientists, architects, and engineers to remain open-minded about ideas outside the mainstream, and to “have the courage to try things that other people haven’t tried yet.”
This week on Art Uncovered, we speak with Roger Manley about how radical, outside-the-box thinking often leads to important scientific discovery, and how even the craziest ideas in his exhibition, might not be all that crazy after all.
Farfetched: Mad Science Fringe Architecture and Visionary Engineering is on view at North Carolina State University’s Gregg Museum of Art and Design through April 26th.
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