The newest iteration of the University of South Australia’s MOD. exhibition is themed all around the idea of hedonism.
Walking through the round glass doors of MOD.’s ground floor takes you straight into the first display, The Hedonometer, where the effects of our everyday communications are analysed through the modern day pleasure tool—social media. The Hedonometer digests the day’s Tweets before revealing the Internet’s current happiness rating. Visitors are encouraged to affect the mood of The Hedonometer either through Tweeting themselves or scoring words on their happiness level.
Other exhibit highlights include Symbiosville, where visitors are able to create their own character before exploring how some lifestyle choices may positively or negatively affect the health of our microbiome; Biophilic Fantasies, exploring the ability of virtual worlds to mimic the sense of pleasure brought about by plants and animals; and the Pleasure Arcade 5000, housing machines that stimulate the thrill of indulgence—including arcade games that you can never lose.
MOD. Director Dr Kristin Alford describes the exhibition highlights and the parameters that make pleasure more possible and sustainable.
“It’s a highly interactive exhibition and because it is so focused on what makes us happy – happy at work, happy with our hobbies and sports, happy in our social connections, healthy and happy – I think there is something for everyone to enjoy and be curious about,” Dr Alford says.
Visitors of MOD.’s new exhibition are encouraged to dissect the very meaning of the word ‘pleasure’ and explore the intrinsic human need to seek out pleasure-inducing activities in our day-to-day. Hedonism delves into the science behind the psyche, colliding the two worlds temporarily on North Terrace for the next five months.
MOD. is open Tuesdays to Thursdays 12pm ’til 6pm, Fridays 12pm ’til 8pm, and weekends 10am ’til 4pm. The Hedonism exhibition will be on display until November 2019, before a new exhibition moves in.
Words and images by Geena Ho