If you’re a fan of Black Mirror, and have ever struggled to shake off that feeling you’re trapped in one of its many dystopian realities even after leaving the couch, then there is an exhibit that should get you quite excited indeed.
Unfortunately those in Australia will miss out on this run but we can still appreciate its worth from afar. The exhibition, ‘Into the Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction,’ will show at London’s Barbican Centre and feature a six-foot video installation presenting elements from an episode in the show’s first season called ‘15 Million Merits’ displayed across multiple screens.
The episode, written by Charlie Brooker and Konnie Huq, imagines a future where all day long people ride bicycles. It’s a monotonous life but they do this continuously because it’s the way to earn points: if enough points are achieved, people can use their merits to audition for reality TV judges. Life is tough and banal, but things turn sinister when someone tries to break away.
Channel4 describes the show as “tapping into the collective unease about our modern world.” Perhaps this is one main reason why the masses have been so transfixed. As each day we progress ever so much closer to a dystopian reality, Black Mirror has created alternate realities (and, arguably, any episode in the series is a fathomable reality) to inform the public of potential repercussions to our technological and social choices.
Giving civilians the chance to physically experience a rigid and scary world such as that painted in ’15 Million Merits’ may help prepare us for a future where individual freedom is nonexistent and freewill is a trait to be stamped out for fear of death or worse. The installation is created to be enjoyed and hopefully the patrons will walk away with eyes-wiser.
The exhibition will not only be a simulation allowing patrons to experience a dystopian reality first hand, nor a display about how close we are to dystopia becoming our present reality. More importantly, Into the Unknown’s primary motive is to celebrate Science Fiction throughout literature, art, film, comics, music, and video games.
As patrons enter the epic new show via the Silk Street entrance, they will first journey through an immersive and immense installation based on the world in ’15 Million Merits,’ before venturing on further into the maze of props and parts from Alien, Jurassic Park, and Godzilla – to name a few classic works of sci-fi featuring in the exhibition.
‘Into the Unknown: A journey Through Science Fiction’ arrives at the Barbican Centre from June 3 to September 1.