Science Fair at HR McMillan Space Centre

Rocket Chair by Scott August

Rocket Chair by Scott August

For those looking to experience another plane of consciousness, look no further than (where else?) the HR McMillan Space Centre. It shouldn’t be such a surprise that the city’s astronomy museum would be the venue for an event meant to challenge the concept of time and space, and ultimately explore the relationship between art and science.

In other words,a grown-up version of the science fairs you would attend in elementary school.

“We’ll be playing around with ideas of research and experimentation and interactive exhibits,” says Erin Green, interpreter at the HR MacMillan Space Centre.

Map collage by Tristesse Seeliger

Map collage by Tristesse Seeliger

She adds that artists were also invited to submit their work, since art and science are so closely connected, and many of the contributors were artists to begin with. That means there will be 2D art, illustrations, paintings and photography, as well as the interactive exhibits, which will go well beyond homemade volcanoes. In total, there are over 30 artist and experiments in the science fair.

Several of the experiments will attempt audio stimulation, as a way of taking the audience to another realm. One, which is called the Dream Machine, involves a shade with cut out slates that spins around on a record player, projecting a strobe effect that creates hypnogogic visions.

Another project explores the idea of the green ray, an elusive light that briefly flashes as the sun sets, through prisms and lights.

There will also be a wearable water suit, which is meant to replicate the amount of water that’s needed to be consumed daily in order to survive. The project is meant to provoke discussion on the world’s diminishing water supply.

After the artist and science exhibit, which runs from 7:30 pm-10 pm this Thursday, there will be a music portion of the evening. Several local psych bands will perform as a visual screening of the universe is projected. It’s a perfect way to showcase the planetarium’s new digital system.

“People will really be able to see the capabilities of this new system, while listening to really trippy music,” says Green.

In addition to bringing together scientists and artists, and expanding people’s minds, Green wanted to draw attention to the Space Centre.

“It doesn’t get the kind of attention it did back in the 70s, and it’s an incredible building and what they’re doing is important,” she says.

Science Fair takes place Thursday, July 10 at the HR McMillan Space Centre, 1100 Chestnut Street. Advanced tickets $15 or $20 at the door. Tickets available at Zulu Records, 1972 W.4th or Neptune Records, 3561 Main St.

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