Even the Jurassic’s mission – “dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the public appreciation of the Lower Jurassic” – is as darkly vague as the picayune museum itself, which defines the Lower Jurassic as the Nile Delta. Unless tyrannosauruses figured out how to create X-ray bats, trailer parks (“Garden of Eden on Wheels”) and cures for incontinence involving dead mice, then the name is as ludicrous as attempting to write about this … place.
While the MJT doesn’t have changing exhibits, a section is devoted to Athanasius Kircher. Kircher was an inventor, composer, geographer, geologist, Egyptologist, historian, adventurer, philosopher, physicist, naturalist, archeologist, architect, author of over 40 published works and propagator of one of the first public museums, et al.
After a brief didactic on Kircher, there’s a working model of his Magnetic Oracle and an amusing – if quiet – film on the dictionary of this everythingologist. Following are dioramas, sculptures and re-creations of some of his work.
Kircher’s lifelong fascination with magnetism – which he believed every interaction was based on (love and hate, god and mortal, Campus Circle and City Beat) – led him to exclaim the exhibit’s title: “The world is bound with secret knots.” As the list of his accomplishments is too convoluted to reproduce here, so would a worthy explanation of Kircher, or this exhibit. Like the remainder of the museum, you just have to explore it to understand it.
Or not. Find the diorama of a fox head in the dessert by following the barks through the stygian museum. Look through the eccentric glasses affixed to the side of this seemingly innocuous exhibit, and you’ll see the inside of the fox’s head, wherefrom the howls emanate: it’s not a view of the fox’s linguistic cortex, it’s a fat man sitting on a chair barking.
The Museum of Jurassic Technology is located at 9341 Venice Blvd., Culver City. For more information, visit www.mjt.org.