We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Paul Hosford
Design and Violence

Homemade guns, a bomb and a home suicide machine are all on view in Dublin

A new exhibition at Dublin’s Science Gallery contains all of these items plus more.

DID YOU KNOW you can 3D print a gun?

It caused some waves a few years ago, so you probably did.

But did you know you can make a gun out of every day items? Or that the instructions to build devastating bombs are freely available?

A new exhibition at Dublin’s Science Gallery contains all of these items plus more, in an examination of the intersection of design and violence.

The exhibit is based on an online curatorial experiment originally hosted by The Museum of Modern Art in New York and brings visitors through a number of different types of violence, from showcasing the path of an AK-47 to an example of the work of Jack Kevorkian.

Kevorkian, labelled Dr Death, died in 2011 after spending a number of years in jail for helping people commit suicide.

IMAG0654 The Thanatron Paul Hosford Paul Hosford

The Thanatron, consisting of three syringes and an electric switch, is designed to be filled with the same chemicals used in a lethal injection.

Kevorkian spent more than eight years in jail for the murder of a man whose videotaped assisted suicide was aired on national television, claims he actively helped 130 people to die.

Kevorkian forced the United States to confront the ethical issues surrounding how best to treat the pain and suffering of the terminally ill when he went public with his suicide machines in 1990 and the videos of his patients begging him to help them die.

The simplicity of the machine is startling, but forces visitors to confront the sometimes benign nature of violence.

Particularly in a world where something like The Liberator, the aforementioned 3D-printed gun can be made.

Speaking at the launch, one of the project’s originators Paola Antonelli said Design and Violence was a “thoughtful translation” of the original.

“In parsing of violence along with semiotic, systematic, and spectacular lines, the Science Gallery have widened the definition of design we at MoMA started with.

“The intention of this experiment is not to glorify violence but to place these relationships between design and violence into new relief.”

Lynn Scarff of the Science Gallery says the exhibition “sheds new light on objects, systems and technology”.

The exhibition is now open and will remain so until January.

Read: Do you think about where your food comes from? It might be time to start

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.