tim   .


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.   hunkin



(In collaboration with Sarah Angliss and Mongrel Media   2000)

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Mongrel Media was commissioned to fill the visitor centre with 'exhibits' for a year while the biomes were still under construction. The exhibits, although popular, had to be cleared to make room for the ticket booths when the biomes were finished.

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We built most of the exhibits in garden sheds. A shed is wonderfully practical. It insulates sound and keeps out daylight so each shed can be a completely different world inside. Sheds are also very cheap and easy to prefabricate, so exhibits can be completely finished and tested off site.
Their only drawback is the need to cover them in intumescent fireproof paint - horrible gloopy stuff which ruins any surface.

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Although very simple, the cinema interior was very convincing. The seats were just plywood, progressively lower nearer the front to give the illusion of raked seating. A person standing in front of the screen looked like a giant as the detailling was so like a full size cinema. It seated 11 people, with the video projector on a shelf above the entrance door.

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Rubber is a good good subject. It combines stuff about plants (that Eden like) with stuff about the history of technology (that I like) and a touch of vulgarity (rubber fetishism and condoms). We found enough images and objects to completely stuff the 8 by 12 shed, giving it the appearance of a victorian style museum.
We received an enormous amount of help from the Malaysian Rubber Development association, who had a brilliant photo library and provided many great rubber objects and lumps of raw rubber.

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Rubberworld has since been re-erected outside near the biomes. The sign is a sheet of rubber, in front of the lettering cut into a wooden sheet connected to a vacuum pump. As the pump sucks, the lettering is revealled and the gloves round the edge inflate with the air sucked out of the letters.

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One of the posters outside the hut

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The rubber shoes periodically spring to life, dancing to po songs about rubber (rubber bullet, My bouncing ball comes bouncing back etc).  Mixed in with the exhibits and images were a few interactive exhibits: A glove dipper, a ball bouncer and a stretcher (which stretched rubber toys).
Some of the rubberworld exhibit labels are on the mongrelmedia website.

2007 update
Rubberworld is still open but looks sadly neglected. Eden seem to have trouble looking after their exhibits.     



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