Jurascope | 2008




video | 01 |

The jurascope is a variation of the mid-90s timescope project and was developed for the permanent exhibition at the Berlin Museum of natural History. Five such media telescopes bridge the gap between the dinosaur skeletons on show and the original appearance of these animals and their natural environment in the jurassic period. The devices are positioned at two points in the exhibition room, at an angle from which all the skeletons are clearly seen.
The principle of interaction is extremely simple. Looking through the jurascope, the visitor will at first see the exhibition room. Panning the device so that it is pointing to one of the seven dinosaur skeletons, it locks in place. After a short moment the skeleton becomes alive. The inner organs, muscles and skin of the dinosaur emerge, and the journey through time begins. The museum context around the dinosaur dissolves into the prehistoric landscape of the jurassic period. In the animated films that follow, the dinosaur makes eye contact with the visitor and then engages in a typical pursuit like hunting, self-defense or eating in a manner that explains its physical build. Additionally the screams and steps of these prehistoric creatures are converted into vibrations which the visitors feel on the vibrating floorboards beneath them.
The jurascope provides deep information and an immediate experience of the nature of these creatures while avoiding the need for any spatially intrusive technical installations. They blend into the room, neither obstructing the architecture nor entering into visual competition with the extraordinary items on show.

The project had been developed together with my colleagues and friends at art+com. Special mention: Simon Häcker and the colaborators from Buero Staubach.