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Alternative Mythologies

Dec 31, 2019

Child using Alternative Mythologies AR experiences

Imagine a world where flora and fauna did not evolve separately. Instead, they co-evolved, giving us amazing creatures. What myths might have resulted?

That’s the premise of a new agumented reality (AR) experience within the What is Reality exhibition now on display at Pacific Science Center. It comes from artist Ginny Ruffner who came up with this thought experiment about evolution.

“It’s an augmented reality and metal sculpture exhibition,” she said. “It’s about what might have happened if animals and plants had not split early in evolution and what might have happened if they had evolved together.”

If the name Ginny Ruffner sounds familiar, you may remember one of previous works called Reforestation of the Imagination. Pacific Science Center hosted a prototype not long ago. It is currently on display at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC until January 5, 2020. 

This new AR experience consists of a series of sculptures that come to life with the use of iPads (iOS and Android apps also available for download to your own device) that introduce our guests to some amazing creatures. For example, “The Fish has a tulip growing out of its back. It swims so that the blossom is just above the water which attracts insects to the blossom and the fish reaches up with its pincer and eats them.”

There’s also a cat with wings, a bird with primate appendages instead of wings, a crow covered with leaves rather than feathers, among others.

“The best thing about being an artist, you get to make up stuff and nobody argues with you because it’s art,” she says. “The goal has always been to make the viewer think.”

Located in Building 4, Alternative Mythologies is included with general admission, and always free for our members. Become a PacSci Member

You need bring nothing but an open mind. But expect it to bend a little.

For more information about the fascinating artist behind this exhibit and to see some of her other work, check