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Has technology killed the art of human connection? Dublin's Science Gallery is going to find out

‘Intimacy’ is running in the Science Gallery Dublin from 19 October 2018 to 3 February 2019.

Image: Science Gallery Dublin

DOES ABSENCE REALLY make the heart grow fonder?

In today’s world, social media and the internet, in general, has dramatically changed the way humans communicate with each other.

Electronic interconnectedness may be disrupting traditional notions of togetherness, opening new avenues for connection, or killing it off altogether.

Given the way human interaction has evolved significantly over the past few years, a new exhibition in the Science Gallery Dublin will this year dismantle our understanding of intimacy and communication.

Running from 19 October 2018 to 3 February 2019, ‘Intimacy’ will examine the science and art of connection between humans, bringing together neuroscience, behaviour, belief and trust.

The exhibition aims to “find closeness in surprising places” and explore how intimacy can emerge between enemies, opponents, or across time.

Director at the Science Gallery, Lynn Scarff, told TheJournal.ie that the exhibition “really looks at how crucial human connection is to our wellbeing”, particularly looking at it “through the lens of the impact of technology and social media and how we use those in our lives”.

“We’ll be exploring whether we’ve forgotten how to be intimate and not necessarily in a sexual way, but actually in terms of friendship and the power of them,” Scarff said.

Just like the first exhibition of the year, Fake, which TheJournal.ie highlighted yesterday, there’s a reason the topic of intimacy has been chosen as one of 2018′s exhibitions.

2018 is the Science Gallery’s 10th anniversary. To mark this momentous year, Scarff said that she wanted this year’s exhibitions to be creative and innovative, but ones that also bring with them elements of the society we currently live in.

And, of course, social media and technology have taken over the lives of almost everyone, and have changed how we perform even the simplest of interactions.

“We’re always looking at themes which resonate with big questions that are happening in a social, a political or an economic context,” Scarff said.

Taking that into account, Scarff explained why the Intimacy exhibition was one that she had to include in the 2018 programme.

“It’s not necessarily that we’re trying to develop something that takes a deep dive into a particular science, but instead something that really offers a new perspective on something that we’re going through collectively at the moment,” she said.

We chose Intimacy because I really fundamentally believe that one of the problems around why we have such polarity of opinions at the moment is because we’ve lost the ability to converse.

“We’ve lost the ability as humans to have conversations when we’re coming from polar opposites.

Intimacy is really probing that in some ways about how those human connections are really critical, how our ability to navigate our relationships is really important to our health and well being.

Visit the Science Gallery Dublin’s website for more information about 2018′s upcoming exhibitions. 

Read: Fake it ’til you make it: The art of deception… have humans mastered it?

More: ‘We want to connect and surprise’: Dublin’s Science Gallery has some big plans for 2018

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