With bizarre and playful interactive exhibits, visitors can experience what happens when their brain plays tricks on them and "common sense" does not offer the solution. What is more, they can discover why they are tricked.
Our unique brain is the trump card of our species. But at times it works too well. Then it burdens us with illusions.
By experience, our brain has learnt to sort out and organize the continuous chaotic stream of raw data from the senses. It structures and interprets, it cuts out and it fills in. So 2D retinas yield a 3D view. Those empirical rules almost always work. Almost.
To illustrate those special cases, where one’s brain gets in its own way and common sense is not the solution, Technopolisdeveloped this interactive themed exhibition.
With playful hands-on exhibits on some 500m², visitors discover what are the rules of thumb their brain uses to structure its observations, and how they can turn those rules against themselves.
Of course, illusions surpasses the classical optical illusions everybody already has seen somewhere, to play some less evident tricks upon the visitor’s perception. The visitors see what isn’t there – or shouldn’t be there. They don’t see what is really there. They better not believe their eyes – nor their other senses, by the way. Because the exhibition also fools people’s touch, upsets their sense of gravity, lets them hear things that cannot be and even lets them mix up senses. Or, better still, some exhibits do nothing – the brain does all the work.
Obviously, after the experience visitors are explained how they were fooled.
The hands-on experiences, the link to daily life and the straightforwardness of the phenomena lead to a series of aha-experiences – with people of all ages, levels of education and interests.
illusions was exhibited at:
- Technopolis, Mechelen, Belgium, October 2003 - October 2004
- Le Vaisseau, Strasbourg, France, January 2005 - August 2005
- Ceutimagnia, Ceuti, Spain, February 2006 - July 2006
- Technopolis, Mechelen, Belgium, January 2007 - February 2007
- Royal Palace, Brussels, Belgium, July 2007 - September 2007
- Bergen Science Center, VilVite, Norway, June 2008 - November 2008
- Belgium Pier, Blankenberge, Belgium, July 2011 - August 2011
- Technopolis, Mechelen, Belgium, September 2014 - January 2015
illusions can be seen at Museon, The Hague, the Netherlands, from March 2016 until March 2017 and will be available for rent from 5 March.