The Field Museum, Chicago
This new permanent exhibit highlights the adventurous side of environmental science as documented in field notebooks; preserved specimens of far-flung species, such as a green birdwing butterfly, right; and firsthand accounts from the museum’s conservation researchers. Elaborate multimedia compositions let visitors fly alongside the researchers deep into the Andean wilderness, braving storms, swarms of insects, and tropical diseases to create inventories of the undocumented and undiscovered species there: new frogs, ferns, and orchids. Closer to home, an awe-inspiring video of a controlled prairie fire illustrates how scientists are working to restore the Midwest’s natural rhythms, and one moving display shows eggshells from the collection used to help prove the harmful effects of DDT.
Talk to Me
The Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Inanimate objects have minds of their own in Talk to Me, a new exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. In a Wi-Fi–
enabled exhibit hall with Twitter hashtags on every placard, dozens of information-age artworks express the ways technology can shift our perspective and change how we interact. An aluminum backpack senses skin responses, emitting puffs of smoke that alert bystanders to the wearer’s mood. In a video, animated streaks of light leapfrog across maps of the world, tracking the migration and resting places of discarded batteries, cell phones, and other technological detritus. And a friendly-faced cardboard robot makes his way from the lobby to the exhibit hall, depending on the kindness of strangers to point him toward his destination. Open now.
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