“The Evolution from Man to Cyborg” Gallery

On December 9th, 2014, I visited the Bret Llewellyn gallery at Alfred State College. My fellow classmates had installed an exhibit entitled The evolution from Man to Cyborg. The gallery addressed the relationship between man and cyborg and how cyborgs impact society. It also raises the question, “should people with new mechanical body parts, such as bionic eyes or prosthetic limbs be considered cyborgs?”

The gallery consisted of an interactive interface and four levers. Projected onto the wall was a side-scrolling city background with the main character walking through it. There were also people in the background with thought bubbles saying things related to technology, such as, “do you want to make a playdate with my microwave?” These thought bubbles got the participants to really ponder whether or not these cyborgs have gone too far. The four levers were labeled “arm,” “leg,” “eye,” and “humanity?” and each of them switched the normal body part of the character with a cyborg-like part when pulled. In addition to this, the characters in the background’s expressions changed when the levers were pulled as well.

There were some strong things and some weak things about this gallery. The strong things were the music and the design. The design of the character and background images all stylistically matched. The music matched the design style as well, with a techno game-like feel to it. On the other hand, the interactivity was somewhat weak with this gallery. It lacked reward for pulling on the levers. I think that some kind of sound would have really led more people to participate. In addition to this, by just pulling the levers and watching the screen, it was somewhat difficult to understand what the exhibit was trying to portray. All that was shown was a person with changing limbs walking through a city. I think some kind of direction in the beginning or something similar would have made the message more clear.

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