Athena's Prostheses

Maurizio Morgantini

Maurizio Morgantini with Student Artists: Mathew Akinarinade, Jose Tirso Alivores, Robert Cecchini, Richard Clack, Paula Coleman, Thomas Crylen, Mitch Diamond, Paul Efert, Yunan George, Gaye Githens, Ruby Harrison, David Henry, Samuel Hopkins, Linda Ibanez, Robert Kaplan, Michael Kuzel, Bernard Raj Louisnathan, Robert Mangler, Dena Ratliff, Paul Shamrock, David Seigel, Rudolph Taylor, Alnino Ticzon, and Bob Garcia

Athena’s Prostheses is a collaborative endeavor between Italian Architect Maurizio Morgantini and a group of UIC design students, a team project where new concept models for artificial intelligence and advanced technology implementation were developed in the forms of products and environments. 

The title for the exhibition was chosen by Morgantini because “Athena was the Greek divinity of Intellect, daughter of Zeus, and born of his mind. Athena is pure intelligence.” And because “prostheses are the extensions of the body, of the senses, of the mind. They are the objects.” In a letter to the participating students, Morgantini wrote: “Young people, in order to create their own world, must be free to dream, and anybody can say if a dream is beautiful or bad. The dream is the intimate synthesis of fear and pleasure, intuition and contradiction, memory and prefiguration."

“I don't think the dream is far from real life, more simply anticipate it. Today man uses airplanes because many and many thousands of years ago he was dreaming of flying. Man has invented technologies in order to materialize his dreams, and in inventing technologies little by little, he has lost his ability to dream."

“Today many objects, such as a new coffee maker, can not make us happy, not for its good or bad form, but simply because its design is no longer problematic. Instead of asking you to think up some objects, I have asked you to think of their metaphors. The exhibition itself is a metaphor. It is not the completion of a project, but only the beginning.”

This exhibition was made possible by the outstanding contributions of Robert Cecchini. Special thanks were also given to Doreen Ciesla, Terry French, Gaye Githens, Hank Jones, and Robert Kaplan.