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Swarm

Science Gallery Melbourne has unveiled its latest interactive exhibition — a series of creatively-charged large-scale works diving into the idea of collective social behaviour.
By Libby Curran
August 15, 2022
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By Libby Curran
August 15, 2022
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Intrigued by the concept of collective behaviour and what it means to be part of a pack? Well, all the answers are waiting to be unearthed at Science Gallery Melbourne, within its latest exhibition Swarm.

Running Saturday, August 13–Saturday, December 3, this interactive showcase doubles as a giant experiment, featuring 16 large-scale installations, all exploring various ideas around collective social behaviour.

Ponder whether it's better to operate as part of a pack, or to fly solo, as you immerse yourself in highly creative works from around the world. Among them, you'll find an eight-metre-tall kinetic sculpture by performance artist Stelarc and Uni of Melbourne, which reacts in real-time to the presence of people using movements modelled on that of the human body.

Installation view of 'Sentiment Honk' by Rachel Smith (UK) in Science Gallery Melbourne's 'Swarm', captured by Alan Weedon.

Willoh Weiland's installation Scrape Elegy spits you out a personalised profile based on what's in your mobile phone using data-matching software, while Emmy Award-winning biomedical animator Drew Berry will wow you with the kaleidoscopic antibody swarms in his molecular visualisations of human viruses.

Elsewhere, a kinetic sounds sculpture creates noises that are steered by real-time global population growth data, a karaoke-inspired work will see you singing to fruit flies, and there's a collection of robot trees that'll follow you around as you explore the gallery.

Installation view of 'Sentient Forest', by Bompas & Parr Studio (UK) in collaboration with Assoc Prof Monica Gagliano, Dr Claire Farrell and the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Melbourne (AU), in Science Gallery Melbourne's 'Swarm', captured by Alan Weedon.

Top Images: 'Ngapulara Ngarngarnyi Wirra (Our Family Tree)', by Adam Goodes, Angie Abdilla, Baden Pailthorpe (AUS) in Science Gallery Melbourne's SWARM; captured by Alan Weedon. 'Anthropomorphic Machine', by Stelarc (AUS), Dr Paul Loh, David Leggett, Psyche Hou, Quishi Zhou, Gabriele Marini, Dr Eric Schoof, Melbourne School of Design, School of Computing and Information Systems, LLDS Architects, Pelican Studios and Festo, in Science Gallery Melbourne's SWARM; captured by Alan Weedon.

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