How badly do I want to go to the Sydney Aquarium? Really badly. Sure, it’s one of the few places in the world with dugongs in captivity. Yeah, it’s got platypuses. But you know what else it has? Giant nudibranchs!
Wait, what? I don’t know how this whole project had escaped my attention. The Future Is Wild is a whole big speculative biology project that includes classroom curriculum, a forthcoming feature movie, and this augmented reality exhibition at the Sydney Aquarium. I’m so curious about this. As someone who has spent much of her career dealing with informal education–in my case, in museums and video games–there’s an interesting line to skirt between being fun and delivering meaningful content, and I would love to see how this plays with that tension. I obviously don’t think those two things, fun and content, are mutually exclusive; I get kicks out of a good wikipedia fugue for pete’s sake. It is about getting an audience who is not preternaturally inclined towards this stuff to give it a try with the hopes of lots of outcomes. For biology related things, I think an important outcome is instilling a conservation ethic. For all sciences, it can be about fostering curiosity in general, or exposing young people to something they could make a career out of, etc. The multitudes of goals and angles of attack are why I tend to enjoy informal education more than the classroom stuff.
Also, what exactly does the augmented reality thing mean? Is it like I hold my iPhone up to a real life nudibranch and I get the blorpy version on the screen? So curious.
Also, this is a serious nod to the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, is it not? Megasquid!