Seattle’s EMP Museum Gets a New Display: Infinate Worlds of Science Fiction

9 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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The EMP Museum has a new exhibit, Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction, to go along with its many other popular culture themed displays. Along with Star Wars and the Power of Costume, Indie Game Revolution, Star Wars: The Power of Costume (a travelling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service & the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art), We are 12 and Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic, to take them all in half a day can be done.

But at a time when I was there to partake in Emerald City Comicon, I looked at as much as I could of the EMP world in an evening. This event opened a few weeks ago, and I’d be remiss to not check it out, even with a slightly impatient friend (he hates long lineups) in tow.

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I got to enjoy the music by the band 80s Invasion and soak in the ambience of the party. Eventually, we beelined over to the lineup to see the new exhibit. Upon entry, it felt like I was walking in a spaceship. In some sections, I thought I was in one of those crafts belonging to the Predator.

With the way some items are displayed like trophies, there’s plenty of reason to feel the way that I did. There were weapons, spaceship models and armour strewn about!

IMG_9031The Dalek and Cyberman costume is what caught my attention first. When I saw in detail the actual wood construction, I really have to commend the effects people who fine tune the edits so that on television, the product really looks real! There’s also a T-800 from Terminator on display, and I wondered how could a Predator kill that?

When I caught glimpses of other myriad battle gear, including the Proton Pack from Ghostbusters II, my guess is that any of these weapons can do the job. They were great to look at up close. Of course, nothing can be touched, but to appreciate the type of detail put into these items inches away from my face made me wish I paid attention to art class more so I could be a prop designer for movies.

I don’t consider myself an expert model maker. I try to add a level of realism when I build my plastic Gundam models or put in some of that rustic aged look so that those display units do not look too cartoony. I even built my own lightsaber from plumping parts and while it looks okay from a distance, there’s problems when my hilt gets examined up close. When compared to the blasters this exhibit had on display, I’m nowhere close to that level of sophistication or design. A few are certainly worthy of being cringe-worthy. One of the guns in Men in Black II that had a lot of needles was intimidating!

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I had to wonder which is worse, trying to handle that work of art or just keeping it secure on the display shelf so it won’t fall down and break.

The space was of course crowded on opening night, and perhaps on my next trip to Seattle, I’ll just spend an entire morning here so I can be re-acquainted with this exhibit along with another one — Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film.

Another exhibit, The Fantasy: Worlds of Myth & Magic is certainly worth lingering in just to play with Adeline, the animatronic dragon. With a head towering over my height, I could not help but gasp. This show originally opened back in 2013 in April and it’s one that some folks can miss if they don’t pay attention to the signage. When the place was packed for Infinite Worlds, some may miss the Fantasy and Can’t Look Away exhibit.

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In the middle of the EMP is the Indie Game Revolution, a look at how video games a changing away from the traditional shoot ‘em up model, but also in how to interact with these games at a different level. Although both that friend and I didn’t figure out how Paranormical, a music game, was supposed to work, I soon realized it’s about fractals and creating sensory responses by playing with the dials and levers. Now why can’t Gottacon spotlight that as part of their event? Well, the directors have their own ideas in what they think is popular amongst the masses.

At least at the Experience Music Project Museum, they have all the right ideas to make this place a must visit once every few years when new galleries come to town.

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