We arrive at the diarama somewhat like we arrive at other places in life that offer more enigma than answers. An empty classroom without a professor at the front. Everyone is gone from the scene.
An empty classroom …
We look into an empty college classroom. A wall on the left of the diorama and one on the back. Open in front and to the right side. Perhaps some type of signage on the left wall of the classroom? A great yellow sphere in the front of the classroom on the right side of the diorama scene. It must be ten scale diorama feet in diameter judged by the class seats, blackboards and the lectern in the front of the classroom.
… a large sunball next to a small round object on a stand representing earth …
The ten-foot large sphere in the diorama is actually 6 ½ inches in human scale. No one is present in the scene. Two large blackboards at the front of the classroom. On one of the bulletin board are intense calculations. This is a serious class and the professor looks like he/she is seriously intelligent.
This is a serious class.
On the otherblackboard in front of the class, there is a simple message.
Professor Galaxy has expressed a philosophy and laid out an experiment for the class.
Questions arise almost as if the classroom scene is some CSI scene.
In fact, this diorama takes a bow to the “Nutshell Series of Unexplained Death” by Frances Glessner Lee who created meticuloursly detailed dollsized scenes of crimes with clues in them, waiting for observer/detectives to see them and put them together. Her twenty or so dioramas are still used as basic training tools for CSI agents. She paid extraordinary attention to detail in creating the models. The rooms were filled with working mousetraps and rocking chairs, food in the kitchens, and more, and the corpses accurately represented discoloration or bloating that would be present at the crime scene. Each model cost about $3,000-$4,500 to create. Students were given 90 minutes to study the scene. The week culminated in a banquet at the Ritz Carlton. Eighteen of the original dioramas are still used for training purposes by Harvard Associates in Police Science.
One question is who the narrator is in this scene? Who is the voice of this diorama absent people? The voice is not present but written onto two blackboards. Are there any other clues as to who the professor is? Why is the professor not present? What does he/she look like? (Professsor Galaxy could also be the feminine Imma Galaxy). Is the professor a hipster Einsten? Is it being narrated by a human-sized professor or is it by a miniature astronomy professor absernt from the diorama? This question of human-sized or diorama-sized narrator extends also to questions of scale.
A hipster Einstein?
A mixed scale/media/reality is suggested by performing the experiment. What does the professor mean when he instructs per the message on the blackboard to take the sun ball 61 feet away from earth on the pedestal in front of the class? What scale does one go with? If the observer takes it upon themselves to pick up the sun ball they will find that it has a 61 cleare fishing line attached to it and the classroom pedestal.
What scale does one go with? The scale of the diorama or human scale? The fact is that the sun – as a 6 1/2 inch ball in human scale – must be 61 (human) feet from the little round object on the classroom pedestal at the front of the empty classroom. Who takes the sun ball the sixty feet? The human observer of the diorama? Or, one of the students in Professor Galaxy’s class? If a student takes it, then he/she takes the ball only 61 scale diorama feet or about 60 inches or five feet away. Not the 61 feet away demanded by the scale shown bgetween the sun and earth in the classroom. What size scale is one engaged in?
An eduational, interactive, puzzle of a diorama in more ways than one.