26 March 2015 - 30 August 2015
In his bestseller “Around the World in 80 Days”, Jules Verne wrote: “The world has grown smaller, since a man can now go round it ten times more quickly than a hundred years ago”. In the late nineteenth century, this was a broadly accepted view of the world. At that time, the development of a communication network comprising railways, mail steamers and the telegraph was rapidly shrinking the world and creating the ‘Victorian internet’, the basis for today’s World Wide Web.
The exhibition “Around the World in 80 Things. The Jules Verne Code” offers a vibrant insight into the history and narratives of globalisation. Following the route in Jules Verne’s novel, visitors are taken on a voyage of discovery around the globe and across time. On their way, they come across such fascinating objects as a portable travel desk, a walking stick with an integrated compass, and a piece of the 3000-kilometre-long submarine cable once connecting Europe and North America. Aside from the 80 objects directly related to Jules Verne’s gripping story, a range of other exhibits highlight how the globe was mapped and networked, the acceleration of transport and global communications, and Europe’s encounters with the rest of the world.
In the final section, modern geoinformation systems and computer applications, including a gesture-controlled globe installation and an ‘Urban Observatory’ with comparative images of various major cities, impressively illustrate how we can comfortably explore the world today in real time with just one click of the mouse.