Teleri (telerib) wrote,

Museum of Jurassic Technology

Its homepage, nearly as befuddling as the place itself.

I tend to think of it as half museum, half Dada art installation. If it were really the organization it claimed to be - presenting 'Jurassic' (antediluvian) technology from the world before the Flood - it would be pushing that agenda a whole lot harder. Also, aside from the first room of exhibits, nothing else appeared to be on this theme. There was an exhibit on campers - trailers that you can live in, you know - complete with "The (Last name) Collection," which might be crocheted doilies or a collection of old bottles, taken from LA area trailer parks. Is this to make us question what's "proper" for museums, and why some things are considered museum-worthy and others, like doilies and old bottles, are not?

Some of the things you want to fact-check. Like "The Micromosaics of Harald Henry Dalton." Is what I'm seeing through the eyepiece of the microscope really what's on the slide? Did this guy even really exist? I was finally able to find a reference to him that did not come from the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and he did apparently make mosaics out of butterfly wing-scales, so it may well be real.

Or consider the exhibit on the Cameroon stink ant. You're supposed to pick up the telephone and press the button for the narration. And nothing happens. Or there's the "Protective Audio Mimicry" display of a scarab beetle (I think) mounted above a blue-green gemstone. There are red LEDs next to each, and the one next to the bug is lit. Again, there's a phone, and you can pick it up and hear an endless loop of bug noises. As near as I can tell, the light by the stone never lights, and the audio loop never changes. Maybe if you wait a really long time? But that is it - the entire exhibit. No other explanatory text as to what "Protective Audio Mimicry" might be or what the stone has to do with the beetle. See why I'm thinking 'Dada art installation'?

I walked out with a book on sacred geometry, a DVD about the museum so Moe could experience the bizarreness himself, and a tiny ceramic box with the catchphrase "The world is bound with secret knots" inside. (It's a 17th century reference to magnetism, which was heralded by some as the Grand Unified Theory of its time - magnetism could explain everything, even why you liked peanut butter, if you didn't fully understand what it was, which they didn't.)

Well worth the $5 admission if you like weird stuff. The nearby parking garage is even free for the first two hours, although the museum doesn't validate parking stubs if your visit goes longer than that.
Tags: travel
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