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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

The Science Museum Climate Science Gallery Cockroach Tour with Superflex

This month the Science Museum officially inaugurates the Cockroach Tour. Here's what happened when I did a sample run at the end of last year... and what you can expect if you decide to dress up as a Cockroach yourself.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Kuni Awai Darkroom Valentines
Cockroach-tour-Science-Museum-by-Mina-Bach
Cockroach tour by Mina Bach.

A couple of months ago I was invited to visit the Science Museum to dress up as a Cockroach. How on earth could I resist such an invitation? So it was that with trepidation myself and boyfriend strolled up Exhibition Road on a Saturday afternoon. Who would be our fellow Cockroaches? Children? Families? Other slightly bewildered online journos and bloggers?

Cockroach-couple-by-Sarah-Matthews
Cockroach couple by Sarah Matthews

We arrived at the tail end of nibbles in the lecture theatre, healing and were hastily whisked off to the Cockroach dressing room – right at the front of the museum so that interested passers by (and slightly petrified children) could watch as we donned our Cockroach regalia.

Cockroach Amelia Gregory
That’s me, buy information pills dressed as a cockroach. Photo by Tim Adey.

Cockroach by Jessica Holt
Cockroach by Jessica Holt.

The purpose of all this Cockroach fun? Well you might ask… the Science Museum has just opened a swanky new Climate Change Science gallery, order all swelling colours and interactive screens that change the digital atmosphere. (Immediate thought: what the hell is powering all this technical gadgetry? I was assured it was green energy).

cockroach tour maria papadimitriou
Cockroach tour by Maria Papadimitriou.

The Cockroach Tour is an art installation commissioned from Danish art collective Superflex – wherein my definition of art is VERY stretched – and takes groups of Cockroaches on a tour of the museum that ends up in the high reaches of the Climate Change Science gallery. The aim being to introduce people to the concept of human idiocy, as viewed through the eyes of a Cockroach, one of the oldest and most resilient life forms on the planet.

Cockroach-boy-by-Sarah-Matthews
Cockroach boy by Sarah Matthews.

For this tour we were led by a rapidly overheating actor. Ah yes, the Cockroach costumes. These are made of fibre glass and that rubbery stuff that you find in lots of kid’s toys these days. Hardly sustainably sound in itself, but very fun, even if my shell did bang rather hard against the back of my knees as I scuttled around the exhibits.

Cockroach tour car
Cockroach tour leader

Sample Cockroach talk: “Why do humans eat pizza when the box is so much more preferable?” I must confess that I really wasn’t listening very hard: it was just too damn distracting to gaze upon Cockroach Boyfriend, knowing that I looked equally ridiculous. The tour was indeed funny, but our leader could have been talking total mumbo jumbo and I would still have been chuckling like a mad woman at the looks on people’s faces. Oh how I love to dress up – we spent most of our time trying to out silly each other’s photos. Did we feel like overgrown children? Hell yes, but that’s no bad thing every once in awhile. After a few wrong turnings we arrived at our final destination, with all it’s interactive Climate Change wizardry, where we finally de-Cockroached.

Cockroach man by Sarah Matthews
Cockroach man by Sarah Matthews.

I’d like to turn a totally blind eye to the principal sponsor of this gallery (Shell, cough, greenwash, cough) but there has clearly been a large amount of money thrown at what has now been renamed the Climate Science Gallery in the wake of the Climate Scepticism controversy last year (boo, hiss) – so why not get along and enjoy it? Hell, why not enjoy it dressed as a Cockroach?

Amelia Cockroach from behind
That’s me showing off my shiny cockroach ass in the Climate Science Gallery.

I personally feel I know enough Climate Change Science to last a lifetime, but for somebody who hasn’t got a wide knowledge this would be a really fun way to engage any kids you might have in tow. What’s more, even just this brief visit reminded me just how much there is to see in the Science Museum, which I haven’t really visited since I was a child. And if you need any more reason to get down with the Cockroaches why not check out this very fancy Cockroach Tour video:

YouTube Preview Image

Cockroach tours are being held every weekend until December 2011, and you can find out more about them and book online here. To celebrate the launch of the tours the Science Museum is offering one lucky winner four places on a tour of the weekend 12-13 February – they will be given a hand held camera and their video will be slicky edited into a film for the winner to keep. Oo-er. More information on this link. Offer closes on 8th February so get in there fast.

I’m quite tempted to go back and visit their Trash Fashion exhibition myself.

CUCARACHA  COSMOPOLITA by Geiko Louve
CUCARACHA COSMOPOLITA by Karla Pérez Manrique.

EL BAILE DE LA CUCARACHA by Karla Pérez Manrique
EL BAILE DE LA CUCARACHA by Karla Pérez Manrique.

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One Response to “The Science Museum Climate Science Gallery Cockroach Tour with Superflex”

  1. [...] More to the point, this is one of the latest pieces I’ve done for Amelia’s and the Science Museum Cockroach tour. As in, you dress up as a cockroach in full on fibre glass costumes and go on a tour of the museum and the new Climate Change Science gallery. Don’t know about you but this sounds like a dream to me. It’s Danish art collectibe Superflex to thank for coming up with the art installation and the chance to see the world through the eyes of our favourite insect. I honestly cannot wait! Here’s the article in full. [...]

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