Hacking is something we usually associate with computer wizkids or geeks. Phone hacking is what dodgy journalists do. But more generally hacking means to make an intervention, to upset or trouble the conditions and understandings of particular spaces, objects and scenes.
Hacking is taking found objects and adapting them, redesigning them, reinventing them. Hacking is subversive, creative and productive. It’s interactive and often involves communities of people to reinvent and create new meanings.
Hacking is also about being hacked off! It’s about not being happy with the status quo, making your mark and doing something about it.
About the project
The Who am I? Gallery in the Science Museum explores the ways in which the world of science and technology enables us to think about humanity, life and who we are. What makes your gender? – Hacking into the Science Museum is about interacting with the objects in the Who am I? Gallery as well as adding new objects to the space in order to reorient or reinterpret meanings, particularly to do with gender.
This project was thought up and created by 17 young trans people from Gendered Intelligence in order to show members of the public the various ways in which people express their gender through different means and by using different objects. It aimed to enable young transgender people to consider and learn about science, and medical science in particular, in relation to their heritage.
Testimonies from the participants:
I liked thinking about what objects that we might draw on that aren’t stereotypical
It was really nice to meet everyone
I don’t really engage in museums so it was good to see that this stuff goes on
I realise now how much work goes into creating a display in a museum
From the Science Museum the All Our Stories Research Coordinator, Kayte McSweeney, says:
The Science Museum is delighted to be working with Gendered Intelligence on this All our Stories Project. Not only have the group developed an exciting and provocative new display to open in our Who Am I? Gallery in February 2014 but they have helped us investigate and consider our medical and psychology collections in new and thought-provoking ways.
The All our Stories Project is about giving everyone an opportunity to get involved in their heritage and through this project exploration I think we have also created a fascinating insight into the history of science and medicine in relation to transgender heritage for our visitors.