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Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Hosts North American Premiere of ILLUSION: Nothing Is As It Seems

Eight-month immersive exhibition highlights 21 installations that explore the science of magic

April 25, 2014

SAN DIEGO (April 25, 2014)—ILLUSION: Nothing Is As It Seems, which opens to the public on Saturday, May 10, at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, is a mind-bending new exhibition that combines science and art to deceive the visitor through optical, perceptual and audio illusions. It shows that what we perceive is often radically different from the reality of what we observe by playfully allowing visitors to experience concepts used by magicians and explored by neuroscientists.

“We are very excited to be able to bring the U.S. premiere of this remarkable exhibition here to San Diego,” said Dr. Steven Snyder, executive director of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. “ILLUSION will immerse our visitors in a world that will make them question their senses while exploring the workings of the human mind.”

ILLUSION was developed and first exhibited at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. It was curated by psychologist, author and magician Richard Wiseman, and researched by deception artist Paul Gleeson. The exhibition features 21 installations that will distort the senses and mystify logical thinking. Typographic Organism is made from letters, but their movements suggest that they are actually small creatures, like bees trapped in a bottle. They start moving when people blow on them, and their hustle and bustle poetically mixes semantics of language and motion. You. Here. Now. creates the visitor’s portrait from smaller images captured by a system that constantly trawls local news websites. The visitor’s face will gradually emerge from several hundred tiny fragments that are in a continuous state of flux. The Illusion Playground, a collection of the Fleet’s hands-on, interactive exhibits, will be located adjacent to ILLUSION.

“I have created an exhibit that will inspire and educate people of any age,” said Richard Wiseman, curator of ILLUSION. “Each piece in the show deceives the brain with either an optical, perceptual or audio illusion. Illusions give us a greater appreciation of how we view the world and this exhibition brings us closer to understanding the magic of the mind.”

ILLUSION will be open to the public on Saturday, May 10, and runs until January 11, 2015. For more information about ILLUSION: Nothing Is As It Seems, please visit www.rhfleet.org/exhibitions/illusion.  Click here to see a video about ILLUSION and click here to read about it in the New York Times.

About Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin

A groundbreaking initiative pioneered by Trinity College Dublin, Science Gallery first opened its doors in 2008. To date, over 1.5 million people have experienced 28 unique Science Gallery Dublin exhibitions – 4 of which have toured various locations around the world – ranging from living art experiments to material science, and from the future of the human species to the future of play. The gallery has created a loyal following of visitors and has built a strong community through an ever-changing programme. The programme is fuelled by the expertise of scientists, researchers, students, artists, designers, inventors, creative thinkers and entrepreneurs, creating a unique model of engagement with science, aimed particularly at the hard-to-reach 15-25 year age group. Science Gallery is focused on providing programmes and experiences that allow visitors to participate and facilitate social connections, while always providing an element of surprise. Following international recognition, Science Gallery is now developing a Global Science Gallery Network with leading universities in urban centres worldwide. The Global Science Gallery Network, pioneered by founding member Trinity College Dublin, was officially launched in 2012. In 2013, it was announced that Science Gallery at King’s College London will open by 2016, with other galleries expected to be announced in Melbourne, Bangalore and New York before long. For more information visit: https://dublin.sciencegallery.com/international


About the Fleet Science Center:

The Fleet Science Center connects people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet--and beyond--in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet offers science workshops both at the Fleet and at schools throughout San Diego County. For adults, we offer events like Suds & Science and Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar™ at locations all over San Diego. We support communities by leveraging science resources to meet local needs. Teachers are encouraged to join our Teacher Partner Program and take advantage of our professional development opportunities. Additionally, at the Fleet Science Center, visitors will find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store, and pizzas, sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in our Craveology cafe. Located in Balboa Park, at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd., the Fleet is San Diego's science center. Science starts here and opens a world of possibility. For information regarding current admission prices, visit our website at fleetscience.org.
About Balboa Park:
Located near downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the largest urbancultural park in the United States. First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, it is also one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover. For more information, visit balboapark.org.

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