The motivation behind creating homunculus.agora was to explore the emotive connections we form with the technological objects we make. I believe we form these connections because the technology we make is part of our ideas, our culture, and our bodies and therefore is part of ourselves.

full shot of homunculus
In legend a homunculus is an alchemically made creature that looks like a miniature of its creator. There are several recipes for making a homunculus, but they all commonly call for the use of the creator’s ejaculate as part of a potion in which the homunculus is grown. After the creature is a fully formed homunculus, “…he comes out and puts himself at your service. And they never die. Imagine: they’ll even put flowers on your grave after you’re dead!” [1]

Goethe, Faust and the Homunculus
19th century engraving of Homunculus from Goethe's Faust part II.
source: Wikimedia Commons

Conceptually, we form similar connections with our own technological creations as the alchemist did with the homunculus. A product of our culture, technology, in turn, shapes our culture, our minds, and our bodies, having a lasting impact on the organization and manipulation of our World. As we pass on the technology remains, it holds our thoughts and extends our impact beyond the grave to future generations.

Lecture Night image

 The term agora is a Greek word describing a place for gathering [2]. The Homunculi gather in the museum to facilitate an exchange of emotive expression that contributes to an ecology of form, light, and sound. It becomes a gathering place for people to reflect on the connection we have with the environment and the world around us.


[1] Eco, Umberto. 1989. Foucault’s Pendulum. 1st trade. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
[2] See Agora: from the Ancient History Encyclopedia: