Susan Treister's insanely detailed art piece A Timeline of Science Fiction Inventions: Weapons, Warfare and Security catalogues 150 science fiction killing devices spanning almost 300 years. Her timeline covers crysknives, lightsabers, proton packs, and everything in between.
From Richard Grayson's catalogue essay published by Annely Juda Fine Art:
In A Timeline of Science Fiction Inventions: Weapons, Warfare and Security Treister has drawn up a history documenting innovations of imaginary and fantastic military technology. These include the 'Raytron Apparatus', a form of aerial surveillance, which was described in 'Beyond the Stars' by Ray Cummings in 1928, or the 'Control Helmet', from 'Easy Money' by Edward Hamilton in 1934. The timeline starts in 1726 with the 'Knowledge Engine' in Gulliver's travels and carries on up to the present day. It allows us to see the meetings of worlds as these weapons sometimes travel from the fantastic to manifest themselves into the real, like the 'Atomic Bomb' described in 'The Crack of Doom' by Robert Cromie in 1895. The format in which she organises this information is the schema of the connected circles of the tree of life or the Sephirot, from the Jewish mystical traditions of the Kabbalah, a representation of linkages between the worlds above and the physical world below and which map stages of transformation between these realms.
Along with your average scifi armaments, Treister also includes such security and defense innovations as the Invisible Man's invisibility and Orwellian Doublethink. A Timeline of Science Fiction Inventions: Weapons, Warfare and Security can be seen at the Documentalist exhibit at Edinburgh's Collective Gallery until March 28.
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