September 23, 2012
Everest For The Gold
We’ve been running a series of events at the Wellcome Collection’s fantastic Superhuman exhibition this month. With the help of a scientist and an illustrator, our audience were asked to design their own superhuman in response to a futuristic scenario.
So far we’ve produced eight fantastical, bizarre and in some cases hilarious stories that we’ll be posting over the next week. Here’s the third installment. We hope you enjoy the products of our audience’s collective imagination and can join us for the last event in the series on 26 September from 2-5pm.
Story #2: Everest For The Gold
Our storytellers were asked to design an athlete to compete in the 2024 “Superolympics” for Team GB.
In 2024, the Olympics and Paralympics are joined by the “Superolympics”, a competition where physical, genetic, and chemical enhancements are all legalised, and nations battle it out to showcase the limits of human enhancement technology. You are in charge of developing a champion for Team GB for the inaugural ‘Superolympics’, which are held on the slopes of Mount Everest. Pick an event, and choose three enhancements that will make your athlete a dead cert for Superolympic gold.
Any kind of modification – robotic, chemical, genetic – was permitted.
Our storytellers decided that the obvious competition was a race to the top, and designed a climber called “Ganesh Scamper-Smith”. He was given large lungs and a high red blood cell count in order to cope with high altitude, and large ears to wrap around himself in order to stay warm while climbing in cold conditions.
The plot: Ganesh Scamper-Smith is training in preparation for a race to the top of Mount Everest. But while doing his exercises his large ears start to become an impediment, not an enhancement, when they catch a gust of wind and he starts to fly! To get his large ears under control he uses weights to strengthen his ear muscles so he will be able to keep them clamped tightly while climbing in high winds. During the final race, falling rocks threaten to knock him off the mountain, but his large ears shield his body from injury. He goes on to reach the summit of Everest and claim Superolympic gold.
Storyteller: Salea Baroukh
Scientist: Eugene Schuster, MRC Career Development Fellow at UCL in the Institute of Healthy Ageing.
Illustrator: Thomas Dowse (www.thomasdowse.com)