New Science Gallery Dublin exhibition HOME\SICK explores the meanings of ‘home’

What are the right homes to build in a growing city? What secrets lurk in your household dust? How would you teach a robot to make the bed? How many other planets in the Milky Way could be home to intelligent life? Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin today launched HOME\SICK: POST-DOMESTIC BLISS a new exhibition exploring the meanings of home, from rubbish to robots and microbes to micro-dwellings.

‘Home’ is sick. Our unhealthy and socially divisive addiction to home ownership and our traditional idealisation of hearth and clan are out of date for a mobile, networked and fragmented society. In spite of the traditional comforting image of home, they can often be perilous places — accommodating toxins, isolation, bankruptcy, and physical accidents. We’re twice as likely to end up in A&E from an accident in the home than a road accident, institutional homes have an even more questionable record than family homes in Ireland’s recent past. Does the future offer us improved prospects, or more of the same?

HOME\SICK explores our emotional attachment to home, and considers how architects, designers, artists, scientists and technologists are reimagining domestic space, healing the home, and reinventing shelter for times of global change. Curated by Anna Davies, Professor of Geography at Trinity College Dublin, author and Laureate for Irish Fiction Anne Enright, Internet of Things Thought Leader Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Ali Grehan, City Architect at Dublin City Council, and Director of Science Gallery Dublin Lynn Scarff, HOME\SICK features a collection of eighteen exhibits. Highlights include:

  • Blendie, a blender that responds to visitors growling or yelling at it
  • Who’s Home? explores the probability of communicable intelligent life on another planet in the Milky Way through the Drake Equation
  • Lighthouse, a new artwork from prolific local artist Fergal McCarthy, presenting a scaled down replica of the Northbank Lighthouse, the original of which is located at the mouth of the River Liffey
  • Dust Matter(s), collected samples of dust from various homes in Dublin have been used to create a range of bespoke ceramic objects
  • Bringing Health Home is a collection of products that allow monitoring of health and wellbeing in the home, moving diagnosis out of the clinic and into our domestic space
  • WASHLab, an interactive shower cubicle provoking questions around water useage
  • Humans serve as a comfortable home to billions of bacteria. Host invites visitors to have their bellybuttons swabbed so that they can be examined and displayed in the gallery
  • Ritual Machines explores how our homes might be reconfigured and reimagined as centres of connection in spite of emigration and new concepts of intimacy in an age of digital distraction.
  • Extracts from the HERE & NOW project in which artist Veronica Dyas returned the keys of her home the work explores the sentiments, perception and physicality of homeliness
  • WildUrban Radio is a device that allows visitors to eavesdrop on our bird neighbours by tuning in to their nests, questioning our proximity and distancing from nature

Anne Enright, Author and Laureate for Irish Fiction and co-curator of HOME\SICK said at the launch today:
I was delighted to work with Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin again; their mixture of rigour and fun is irresistible, and I really wanted to see what they could do with what is, for me, an utterly Irish concept. The home place. The place we come back to. The place where it all begins.

HOME\SICK opens to the public on 1st of May. The full list of exhibits and the events programme can be found

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