Test your boundaries at MOD.’s new exhibition

By Erika Barrett

MOD.'s new exhibition Flex features an interactive exhibit that allows visitors to visualise their pain in 3D. Photo by TopBunk MOD.'s new exhibition Flex features an interactive exhibit that allows visitors to visualise their pain in 3D. Photo by TopBunk

Test your capacity for pain and your perception of risk in the latest exhibition at UniSA’s future-focused museum, MOD..

Flex exhibition. Photos by TopBunkMOD.'s Flex exhibition. Photos by TopBunk

MOD.’s new exhibition Flex asks visitors to explore boundaries and navigate ethical challenges to determine where do you draw the line. 

Director of MOD., Dr Kristin Alford, says the new exhibition challenges people to think about aspects of the future that are a little different to those commonly considered.

“So often when we think about the future, we think about external factors such as climate and digital disruption,” Dr Alford says.

“Flex invites us to think about the future of things closer to home – our bodies and our minds.”

In Flex, visitors can explore interactive galleries where they will meet digital versions of themselves, delve into body augmentation, learn more about resilience, explore ideas about living on Mars and challenge their perception of pain.

UniSA PhD student Adam Drogemuller designed an interactive exhibit for Flex that allows visitors to visualise their pain in 3D as part of his research, and he says the process may lead to better communication about pain.

“MOD. facilitating this research enables us to analyse objects that have been created by the public so that we can work towards a new physical language for pain descriptors, as opposed to the existing verbal expressions of pain,” Drogemuller says. “A physical language may be more beneficial for expressing chronic pain.”

Other live research embedded in the exhibition includes the return of the ‘pain chairs’, which allow visitors to test how perception alters experiences of pain and think through the ethical questions relating to emerging technologies.

Exhibition coordinator Claudia von der Borch says the exhibition allows visitors to see the blending of real research with creative ideas that provoke new thinking.
“When you walk through Flex, you’ll experience tension and curiosity,” von der Borch says. “This exhibition builds from a juxtaposition of real and speculative futures for our bodies, to a reflective space for considering the ethical boundaries we create and embrace. It concludes with an immersive journey into breath that grounds you in your own capability to deal with stress.”

Flex opened in January and is MOD.’s tenth exhibition.

MOD. is a future-focused museum, a place to be and be inspired by ideas at the intersection of science, art and innovation. By bringing together researchers, industry, and students, Flex showcases how research shapes our understanding of the world around us and helps us to better imagine possible futures.

MOD.'s Flex exhibition. Photos by TopBunk

Flex runs until 24 November.

MOD. is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 5pm and is free to visit.

Visit the MOD. website for more information about Flex.