Science Gallery explores love in the 21st century

9 Feb 2010

What do high-tech beds, T-shirt sniffing and singer Chris de Burgh have in common? They’re all part of the Love Lab, a Science Gallery Dublin event that is kicking off tomorrow with a launch party and aims to explore the language and chemistry of love, as well as love in the 21st century.

The Love Lab is not just an exhibition but also a series of experiments, created by Trinity College scientists Luke O’Neill, Fiona Newell and Aoife McLysaght, that the public can take part in.

From rating the attractiveness of faces, voices and the way people walk, to exercising those pheromone receptors by choosing the best-smelling T-shirt from a lineup we can learn a lot about the science of love.

From the attraction of symmetrical faces to the reasons why we like the scent of those with complimentary genetic makeup, we can explore why we love the way we do.

Love in the high-tech age

But what about love in a high-tech age? Have social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter or online virtual worlds, such as Second Life, and constant communication at our fingertips actually made it any easier to express our love at a distance?

This is a concept that artists Tomoko Hayashi, Stefan Agamanolis and Matthew Karau explore with the ‘Mutsugoto Bed’, a set of beds fitted with custom light projection systems that allow long-distance couples to draw with light on each others bodies and translate it to touch in a unique form of communication.

The twist is that the Science Gallery has teamed up with Distance Lab in Edinburgh and is looking for long-distance couples to volunteer for this ‘science meets art’ experiment.

For more details on the Love Lab in the Science Gallery, which runs from Thursday, 11 February, until 12 March, visit the Science Gallery website.

Photo: The Science Gallery is exploring the science of love in Love Lab, an exhibition that includes experiments