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This year is the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein, the influential Gothic novel by Mary Shelley. As a modern tribute, DAE Bachelor students from the Man and Motion department created their own contemporary interpretations of this legendary lab-made monster for an exhibition at Museum TwentseWelle in Enschede.

The novel continues to capture our imaginations today. Its themes are more relevant than ever as we enter an era defined by emerging AI, biotechnology and the ethical debates arising from their growing use.
“No work of literature has done more to shape the way people imagine science and its moral consequences than Frankenstein. Soon humans will merge with computers. Hopefully the next step in evolution will be that we will no longer need a ‘human’ body as we know it, with all its silly limitations,” says designer Eibert Draisma, who led the project and tutored the students.

Shopping for body parts
With their Franky’s Supermarket museum installation, the students create a chilling and evocative mashup of body parts and technology. A giant eye watches our every move, a robot hand embodies the antithesis of the flesh and blood of cheap labour, there are pre-packaged performance-enhancing tongues, frozen brains complete with memories and a machine that sucks up energy from our hearts − it’s all on sale here. For this is a store like no other: a glimpse of a possible future with a nod to the horror of Shelley’s original.
It all boils down to our ongoing quest to create better versions of ourselves. Where is society and technology headed and should we be afraid? Or can biohacking bring our salvation? And what happens to our idea of humanity when you start messing with the body? This supermarket raises powerful questions that need to be asked.

The Museum
Located in a former textile factory, the Museum Twentse Welle in Enschede is dedicated to bringing the past, present and future together in evocative, interactive exhibitions that serve as a platform for human creativity.
What the students say
• “This was the first time I actually saw how my project interacts with users/visitors. The experience was incredibly useful and highlighted unexpected reactions to the installation, which added a personal value to the project.” − Ieva Jakuša
• “This is a vision of a possible future where the line between imagination and reality is blurred. That’s what made it interesting − convincing the public of a doomed scenario by making the outcome scary-realistic, with a setting everyone can relate to − a local supermarket.” − Gundega Strauberga
• “We had to find solutions to problems we never had before. We had to be creative at every step, from the concept, to the realisation. It offered a fresh new way of working that combined improvisation and planning.” − Vincent Dassi
Franky’s Supermarket can be seen at Museum TwentseWelle until 27 June, as part of the Frankenstein exhibition. Click here for more information.


Published: 03-Apr-2018 10:31