David Pescovitz on the world as a wunderkammer


MAKE Editor at Large David Pescovitz gave this wonderful talk at TEDxSoMA on “The world as a wunderkammer” (aka “cabinet of curiosities”). Hey, Mousey the Junkbot even makes a guest appearance. Woot!

Pesco’s talk from TEDxSoMa: The World as a Wunderkammer

From MAKE magazine:


Check out MAKE, Volume 17: The Lost Knowledge issue!
Buy your copy in the Maker Shed, subscribe to MAKE, or access the Digital Edition (if you’re already a subscriber).
In Volume 17, MAKE goes really old school with the Lost Knowledge issue, featuring projects and articles covering the steampunk scene — makers creating their own alternative Victorian world through modified computers, phones, cars, costumes, and other fantastic creations. Projects include an elegant Wimshurst Influence Machine (an electrostatic generator built entirely from Home Depot parts), a Florence Siphon coffee brewer, and a teacup-powered Stirling engine. This special section also covers wunderkammer, watchmaking, letterpress printing, the multimedia art of William Blake, and other wondrous and lost (or fading) pre-20th-century technologies.

2 thoughts on “David Pescovitz on the world as a wunderkammer

  1. April Dunn says:

    OH MY WORD! This is what I’ve been looking for! I went to the Milwaukee Museum of Art last week and saw the “Rooms of Wonder” exhibit. This is my first formal introduction into the world of “wunderkammer”. I never realized there was a name for what I was doing! I home-school my seven year old daughter and have been turning my dining room into her “Imagination Room”. There are three book shelves full of books and more shelves housing various curiosities…a copperhead snake in a jar of alcohol that we found in Virginia, a morpho butterfly framed in glass from a thrift store in Las Vegas, a jar of my husband’s gallstones, other insects we’ve found in truck grills along the way, petrified rocks and fossils, a 3D cast of my daughter’s hand giving the “Vulcan” salute (she’s a huge Spock fan), various plastic injection molded souvenirs, a cool glass telephone pole topper from a thrift store in Canada, my daughter’s tonsils (which are quite large), four papyrus paintings from Egypt, a cow’s eyeball in liquid, etc. etc. Now that I know what I’m doing, I’m going to continue artfully arranging our crazy collection! Thank you for the information!

    PS – I am going to have to subscribe to MAKE Magazine. This thing is right up my alley. Right now my daughter and I are into week four of mummifying a chicken (King Cluck II) for science/history.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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