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Frankenstein at 200 (Exhibit)

Exhibit Location:  Hayden Library, Tempe campus, Upper Concourse

Description:  No work of literature has done more to shape the way people imagine science and its moral consequences than "Frankenstein;" or "The Modern Prometheus," Mary Shelley’s enduring tale of creation and responsibility. The novel’s themes and tropes continue to resonate with contemporary audiences, influencing the way we confront emerging technologies, conceptualize the process of scientific research, and consider the ethical relationships between creators and their creations

Two hundred years after Mary Shelley imagined the story that would become "Frankenstein," ASU Library is exhibiting an interdisciplinary installation that contextualizes the conditions of the original tale while exploring it’s continued importance in our technological age. Featuring work by ASU faculty and students, this exhibition includes a variety of physical and digital artifacts, original art projects and interactive elements that examine "Frankenstein’s" colossal scientific, technological, cultural and social impacts.

About the Frankenstein Bicentennial Project: Launched by Drs. David Guston and Ed Finn in 2013, the Frankenstein Bicentennial Project, is a global celebration of the bicentennial of the writing and publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, from 2016-2018. The project uses Frankenstein as a lens to examine the complex relationships between science, technology, ethics, and society. To learn more visit and follow @FrankensteinASU on Twitter

Plan Your Visit

Visitors are welcome!   This exhibit is free and open to the public.

  • Hayden Library hours for visitors:
    • Monday - Friday: 7am - midnight 
    • Saturday:  9am - midnight 
    • Sunday:  10am - midnight 
  • Visitor Parking

Frankenstein at 200: Collaborators

The Frankenstein at 200 exhibit is a collaboration among many individuals and groups, both within and outside of ASU.  We would like to thank and acknowledge:

Name ASU Affiliation
Ricardo Araiza Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts 
Bob Beard Center for Science and the Imagination
Joseph Bianchi Barrett: The Honors College
Joe Buenker ASU Library
Amanda Clarke School of Earth and Space Exploration
Karla Elling Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Joey Eschrich Center for Science and the Imagination
David Guston School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Kathy Krzys ASU Library
Nina Miller Center for Science and the Imagination
Christy Till School of Earth and Space Exploration
Amy Watson ASU Library
Emily Zarka Department of English
Bobby Zokaites Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Name Community Affiliation
Daniel Davis Steam Crow
Marty St. James University of Hertfordshire


Exhibit Expanded: Can A Robot Create Art?

Bobby Zokaites converted a Roomba, a robotic vacuum, from a room cleaning device to an art-maker by removing the dust collector and vacuuming system and replacing it with a paint reservoir. Artists have been playing with robots to make art since the 1950s. This work is an extension of this genre, repurposing a readily available commercial robot.
With this project, Bobby set out to create a self-portrait of a generation, one that grew up with access to a vast amount of information and constantly bombarded by advertisements. The Roomba paintings prove that a robot can paint a reasonably complex painting, and do it differently every time; thus this version of the Turing test was successful.
As in the story of Frankenstein, this work also interrogates questions of creativity and responsibility. Is this a truly creative work of art, and if so, who is the artist; man or machine?

Exhibit Expanded: Tuttle Bound Volume Illustrations

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.