The Museum of Jurassic Technology is a curious, almost alien museum.
The self-proclaimed intent of the museum is twofold: 1) to provide a specialized repository of documentation and artifact for the academic community, and 2) to provide visitors with “a hands-on experience of ‘life in the Jurassic (I have to admit, folks, that the latter is never explained, even with consultation of other online sources that reference the Museum of Jurassic Technology).”
On a personal level, the Museum of Jurassic Technology resembles a collection of both bizarre and useful technological advancements that have perpetuated humanity and transgressed the boundaries of nation-states. The museum collection itself approximates an extraterrestrial collection of human behaviors and curiosities. The collection’s items are both fascinating and loosely familiar in the recesses of shared human knowledge.
The interior of the museum is eerie and dimly lit, as you wind your way through the various collections, you encounter various exhibitions.
The Telling of the Bees – Belief, Knowledge, and Hypersymbolic Cognition is an exhibition where beliefs of “old wives tales” span human practice across time and distance throughout human history. For example, you will find an art piece dedicated to the belief that a duck’s breath placed in the mouth can cure one of illness, or that a polished glass rod wards off disease and negativity.
Sublimation, lithophanes, phantograms, and stereoscopy techniques accompany entomology, ethnology, astronomy, ontology, anthropology, and history throughout the exhibitions. Objectively-odd and untraditional art forms have been aided by the technology on display at the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Micro sculptures and paintings are on display alongside practices of tobacco smoking and devices used for smoking across the ages.
An exhibition of trailer parks around the world features peoples individual possessions hoarded in the trailer parks, and descriptors of what led people to hoard these possessions.
A map shows where trailer parks are most concentrated throughout the world. First and second source documents proclaim the once held belief that when the apocalypse was to come – trailer parks were best equipped to survive the fallout. You can see how strange these beliefs and life accounts would be to an alien visiting Earth (since they’re even strange and foreign to visitors).
An unsettling rattle of bells welcomes you into one of the rooms as a big wheel hanging from the ceiling was created to mimic Renaissance polyphony and secular baroque music, while mirroring human feeling.
Religion, citations of scripture and erroneous attributions of phenomena can be found throughout the accounts and artifacts of the museum. Letters to Mt. Wilson are one such account of combined technology and a Creator talk.
Upstairs, portraits of Soviet space dogs guide visitors to the Borzoi Kabiner Theater, which plays 30-45 minute films.
Adjacent to the Borzoi Kabiner Theater is a series of stagnant and moving guides for the creation of Cats Cradles.
The Cat’s Cradle exhibition also outlines early 1900 heteronormative urban legends surrounding men and boys who create Cat’s Cradles. If you’re looking to pick up a new hobby, this exhibition also provides ample examples of how to make various Cat’s Cradles in the likeness of various animals and sceneries.
Past the Borzoi Kabiner Theater is a well lit and charming Victorian Tea Room that transports you back in time – complete with an attendant offering tea and cookies.
It’s in the Tea Room where you can climb a short staircase to the Columbarium. The Columbarium is a magical rooftop garden with cooing mourning doves. Mind you, the mourning doves are both alive and dead – at the back of the Columbarium is what appears to be urns with the ashes of former dove inhabitants of the garden.
The brilliance of the Museum of Jurassic Technology is the feeling of human history being at an arms-length, which is done through the collection of weird urban legends, old-timey holistic cures, traditional realms of academic intrigue, and the overarching obstruction of religion.
I’d like to extend the dual purpose of the Museum of Jurassic Technology into a third purpose.
1) to provide a specialized repository of documentation and artefact for the academic community, and
2) to provide visitors with “a hands-on experience of ‘life in the Jurassic, and
3) to represent the minutia and failures of individuals and academia as a reminder that, “A planet is a cradle of mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.”
*photography is not permitted inside the Museum of Jurassic Technology – all photos in this article were garnered from public photos available online
Where: 9341 Venice Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90032
When: Permanent collection on display with rotating, borrowed collections
Hours: Thursday 2pm – 8pm
Friday – Sunday 12pm-6pm
Cost: $8 Adults
$5 Children 13-21, Students, Teachers, individuals 60+, Unemployed persons, disabled persons
$1.50 active service personnel in uniform