Icons of Science Fiction at the EMP Museum

It’s been almost two years since I last visited the EMP Museum, back when they hosted the travelling Avatar exhibit. So of course, I was eager to check out everything I had been missing out on.

The first of the exhibits we visited was Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film. I really liked this exhibit. The use of lighting gave the room a wonderfully creepy feel. Plus they had really cool props, such as the sign from the Slaughtered Lamb pub in An American Werewolf in London and (my favourite) a xenomorph. They also had lots of interactive experiences like the scream booth, which I did not try since I am terrible at screaming and don’t want to stress my vocal chords. But I did really like the shadow monster installation where you step in front of a lightbox and move your body around to make shadow puppets which then get all distorted into monsters with teeth, fins etc.

Next we went on to the Art of Video Games exhibit. To be honest, this is the most disappointing exhibit I’ve seen at the EMP Museum. Knowing it was organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, I expected the exhibit to be about, well, art. Let’s face it, the art in games like Mass Effect and Skyrim is truly staggering. And yet the exhibit really wasn’t about the art. Instead, it showed different generations of game consoles with their various graphics, which while interesting, wasn’t the celebration of art I expected. The clip I watched from Mass Effect 2 didn’t even begin to highlight the incredible alien skyscapes Bioware created.

EMP Museum Icons Science FictiEMP Museum Icons Science Ficti
Click on the xenomorph for gallery.

So of course we quickly hurried on to the Icons of Science Fiction exhibit. This was a relatively small exhibit and featured a lot of items that fans of the EMP Museum have probably already seen before. One major exception to that was a Dalek used in the 1988 Doctor Who episode Remembrance of the Daleks (which means the show featured my Doctor, Sylvester McCoy!). They also had Captain Kirk’s chair, surrounded by little furry tribbles, and the T-800 skull used in Terminator 2. I liked that they chose to include obscure items like props from Stargate: SG1, Space: Above and Beyond and Babylon 5. Another cool thing they had was a green screen, which allowed you to create little scenes using various computer backgrounds and props.

Overall, I think the EMP Museum is still worth going to see if you’re in Seattle, although I was pretty disappointed with the Video Games exhibit. Still, if you think you might enjoy it, be sure to visit before it closes on 12th May 2013. Personally, I’m looking forward to the next big exhibit, Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic which opens April 27th 2013. See you there!