San Francisco

“The Museum of Jurassic Technology”

New Langton Arts

The Museum of Jurassic Technology was founded two years ago by David Wilson, an artist who designs miniature special effects models for movies and TV. Normally housed on Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles, the collection comprises a bevy of eccentric artifacts—some redolent of the ultramundane but most of them chortling at the high end of speciousness. The museum is a belated tribute to the batty logic of 19th-century empiricism, whose will to certainty was paralleled by a taste for the grossly unfounded. An introductory slide lecture encourages immediate identification with “the incongruity of the overzealous spirit in the face of unfathomable phenomena.” Specimens are propped up and decisive scientific discoveries reenacted inside glass cases. Windows give onto tiny stage sets featuring stereographically projected tableaux-vivants of biblical scenes from 14th-century illuminated manuscripts.

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.