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Crowdfunding a New Museum of Science Fiction

Preview museum for the Museum of Science Fiction architectural rendering by Imarchination (all images courtesy the Museum of Science Fiction)
Preview museum for the Museum of Science Fiction, architectural rendering by Imarchination (all images courtesy the Museum of Science Fiction)

The world’s first comprehensive science fiction museum may be opening in the near future in Washington, DC, but first it needs to crowdfund. Luckily for the museum, there are few fans as dedicated as those who love sci-fi.

The Museum of Science Fiction is aiming to raise enough ($160,000) through an Indiegogo campaign to actually open a preview space as early as next year in the downtown area, which would feature sci-fi movie objects, a model of the Star Trek Enterprise, as well as exhibitions of art. As the museum’s executive director Greg Viggiano told Hyperallergic over the phone, the exchange between art and science through fictional narratives is a key focus of the museum.

Preview museum architectural rendering by Imarchination
Preview museum architectural rendering by Imarchination
Preview museum architectural rendering by Imarchination
Preview museum architectural rendering by Imarchination

“Art is a major component and we’re trying to give that equal weight to what people would ordinarily be expecting to see in terms of television and film aspects of the museum,” said Viggiano. He also noted that among the museum landscape in Washington, DC, they could provide a voice that is missing from the dialogue, but certainly wouldn’t be out-of-place. He noted that the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum has already hosted science fiction exhibitions, and that in a way the Museum of Science Fiction could even be “the fantasy wing or the conceptual wing” of this interest in space exploration and the outer limits of technology.

Phil Smith, an artist, futurist, historian, and space industry analyst, is already on board as their chief curator, as are art collectors Howard and Jane Frank and architectural firm Imarchination to give the space its futuristic atmosphere. The 3,000-square-foot preview space will include a massive LED screen where they also plan to incorporate digital art and sci-fi landscapes that people can view from a coffee bar. There has been a Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame founded by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, but that is now part of the greater Experience Music Project museum in Seattle that focuses on music and popular culture, and there really isn’t a museum that seriously concentrates on the wider scope of science fiction. While the museum itself has a goal date of 2017, the preview space could be a microcosm of some interesting conversations on how art and science fiction have evolved alongside each other, as well as how hard science can be inspired and be an inspiration for science fiction.

The Museum of Science Fiction is funding its storefront preview on Indiegogo through December 11. 

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