Science Gallery – Illusion

“An illusion is a distortion of the senses, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation. Though illusions distort reality, they are generally shared by most people.”

After weeks of delaying my trip to the Science Gallery I finally made my way to the Illusion Exhibition. In college we explored the idea of illusions and the tricks of the eye, looking at classic optical illusions like the rabbit/duck image where the who animals are in the picture but not everyone is able to see both at once.

Our eyes and our brain play little tricks on us to have our minds absolutely blown by these illusions.

The Science Gallery Illusion Exhibition did not disappoint.

“This exhibition joins magic with psychology, optical illusions with scientific reasoning and confusion with clarity.” Just like described in the website it does just that. Walking though the exhibition literally in the dark was a little frightening, the little UV light torch added an extra touch to the experience which helped read the blacked out descriptions on the walls.

What stood out and is definitely a must see:


Visually so impressive it almost feels like its not real. This piece was a collaboration of digital technology and craftsmanship made out of optic fibres displays an image of a girl sitting down.

Delicate Boundaries

Delicate Boundaries explored the line between the real and the virtual world. The display was a touch sensor screen where a number of bugs wiggled around, upon touch the bugs are drawn to your hand and start to climb up your arm. This is done by using touch and heat sensor technology. The bugs appear of the screen and onto your hand as if climbing out of the virtual world into the real one. Its also a little creepy if you are weirded out by bugs crawling on you…

Die Falle

By far my favorite exhibition. Behind a curtain you could here a rustling sound, if the flashes behind the curtain didn’t invite you in, it was the queue of people trying to stick their noses in. This “device” produces animations by using images and rotations, if your brain wasn’t confused before it will be after seeing this. “The persistence of vision principle applies to the subject as well as the mechanics of the piece because the viewer’s mind not only fills in the gaps of the animated sequence to give it visual continuity, but also completes the sculpture with the added dimension of personal meaning.”

The theme of the piece was dream related and visualizing the dream time reality.

The image I took has a black stipe going across it, this is due to the device and mechanics its not just my bad photography. This one is quite creepy and might give you nightmares… Especially the eye blinking on the mould head.

The Hurwitz Singularity

I don’t know why but this reminded me of something from The Cell… If you haven’t seen it I’d say watch it, its a phycological thriller with Jennifer Lopez. Couldn’t get any weirder then Jennifer Lopez in a thriller… The movie is filled with physiologically disturbing imagery and one of them that really stands out is the horse. The horse is sliced up in pieces and displayed between glass.

The Hurwitz Singularity is similarly of a head which is divided but when looked through a certain angle makes a whole image.

You. Here. Now

As amusing as it was, this was something that I wouldn’t call an illusion. This project was a fairly recent one and people with great programming skills would probably be able to make it themselves using a sensory camera. The camera captures yours colours and throws out a collage of images that represent those colours in a display, making an image of “you”.

Bottle Magic

The only real illusion in the exhibition where the magic bottles. Its as simple as it sounds, glass bottles with objects inside them. These bottles have not been manipulated in any way to get these objects in… This puzzled me for the day. A pair of shoes in a glass bottle. HOW!! After spending an hour on google I couldnt find anything that tells me the technique… I guess a magician never reveals his tricks.

These are only a couple of exhibits… I really would recommend going and experiencing it.


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