Calling all Kurt Vonnegut fans! This spring, WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology will kick off the 2019 Granfalloon: A Kurt Vonnegut Convergence, the spring festival of music, literature, and art. Hosted by the Indiana University Arts & Humanities Council, the Granfalloon celebrates Indiana’s most famous science fiction writer, Vonnegut, at various Bloomington venues from Thursday, May 9 through Saturday, May 11. WonderLab will kick off the festival by hosting a 21+ adults only event, WonderLab After Dark: The Science of Vonnegut on Thursday, May 9 from 6 to 9 p.m.
“We see WonderLab After Dark: The Science of Vonnegut as Granfalloon 2019’s inaugural event,” said Joe Hiland, associate director of IU the Arts & Humanities Council. “We are excited to see people whose academic and scholarly focuses, which are primarily literary, interacting with the scientists at WonderLab and broadening their horizons. That’s really what Granfalloon is all about.”
Now In its second year, the Granfalloon Festival is gearing up to be even better. The 2019 festival not only kicks off at WonderLab, but also features keynote Vonnegut scholars, academic panels, and musical performances headlined by indie rocker Neko Case.
“Vonnegut was one of the most prolific science fiction writers of the 20th Century,” said Sarah Lynn Wells, WonderLab’s adult and secondary education specialist. “Here at WonderLab we want to take this chance to look at the science that that fiction is based in.”
At WonderLab After Dark: The Science of Vonnegut there will be a number of activities exploring the science behind Vonnegut’s science fiction. One activity will be based on a firestorm display, inspired by Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five.
Make your own cloud-in-a-jar with hairspray and water, as inspired by Vonnegut’s brother’s work in cloud-seeding for GE.
Visitors can also investigate how artificial intelligence and humans interact with robots provided by Indiana University R-House, as explored in Vonnegut’s story “EPICAC,” named after a computer and main character of the story.
“I don’t want to be a machine, and I don’t want to think of war… I want to be made of protoplasm and last forever so Pat will love me. But fate has made me a machine. That is the only problem I cannot solve. That is the only problem I want to solve. I can’t go on this way.” – EPICAC, “EPICAC.”
IU physics professor Rick Van Kooten will guide guests through the science behind Vonnegut’s fiction. Other activities include:
- Experiments with liquid nitrogen as inspired by the formation of Ice-9 in Cat’s Cradle, a crystal invented in the lab of Dr. Felix Hoenikker which has the ability to freeze the whole world.
- Recreating Tralfamadorians out of Ozobots from Slaughterhouse Five.
- Exploring the chemistry of paint and paper as inspired by BlueBeard.
- Vonnegut team and individual trivia throughout the night with prizes for the winners.
Food will be provided by HIVE, free with admission. Free drinks, and food-and-drink samples, will be provided by Upland Brewing. Cash bars will be stocked by Switchyard, Oddball Fermentables, and Friendly Beasts.
WonderLab is proud to partner with IU Arts and Humanities Council on this Granfalloon event. WonderLab After Dark is sponsored by Griffin Realty as well as Mira Salon and Spa.
WonderLab After Dark: The Science of Vonnegut is an event for people age 21+. Tickets cost $15 for members and $18 for non-members, available at wonderlab.org. Tickets will also be available for $20 at the door.
WonderLab is an award-winning science museum located at 308 W. Fourth St. on the B-Line Trail in Bloomington, Indiana. The museum is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $9, and children younger than one are free. For more information call (812) 337-1337, or go online to wonderlab.org or WonderLab’s Facebook page.