Sensory deception, complex sounds, and optical illusions await guests at OMSI’s newest feature exhibit

Should you always believe what you see? Can you trust your senses? Is anything really as it seems? These are justs a few of the questions guests will entertain at ILLUSION: Nothing Is As It Seems, the mind-bending new featured exhibition opening at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) on Saturday, November 18.

“Art and science are very much linked together, and this exhibit is a unique and fascinating way to make both accessible to audiences of all ages and backgrounds,” said Nancy Stueber, president and CEO of OMSI. “OMSI is a place where we spark people’s curiosity in the hope they will discover new things. I hope this exhibit will inspire future scientists, artists and, maybe, a few illusionists as well.”

ILLUSION is designed to make guests question reality and their perceptions of the world through techniques used in magic, neuroscience, biology, physics and technology. It investigates how perception underpins the way we see, feel, think and understand the world and shows how what we perceive is often radically different from the reality of what we observe.

“For centuries artists, scientists and magicians have exploited perceptions and manipulated our brains to create illusions that boggle the mind and the senses,” said Michael John Gorman, the founding director of Science Gallery. “Magicians are experts at using cognitive biases to their advantage and more recently scientists are borrowing their techniques and combining them with advances in technology to gain a greater understanding of how the brain works.”

Guests will experience more than 40 installations in an exhibition by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin that deceive the senses. Uncover the many ways our minds are fooled by sensory deception in displays like:

- Delicate Boundaries. Creates a space where the worlds inside our digital devices move into the physical realm as bugs crawl off the screen and onto your body.

- Columba. “The seated child” creates the illusion of a young girl sitting in a constellation of quartz stars through the manipulation of light and optics.

- Significant Birds. An auditory illusion that explores how a single sine wave can be picked out from recorded speech to sound like chirping birds.

- Cubes. An aluminum sculpture based on a geometric pattern of diamonds that gives the optical illusion of six cubes, when in fact the cube you see only consists of three diamond shapes grouped together.

- The Hurwitz Singularity. Makes the viewer actively engage with the piece’s structural composition before the illusion can be revealed.

ILLUSION runs from November 18, 2017 - February 19, 2018. General admission to the museum is $14.50 for adults, $9.75 for youth (ages 3-13), and $11.25 for seniors (ages 63+). Guests can purchase tickets online at, via phone at 503.797.4000 or in person at the museum. U.S. Bank is the major sponsor of ILLUSION at OMSI. For more information, visit

About Science Gallery

Pioneered by Trinity College Dublin, Science Gallery is a new kind of space where art and science collide—a porous membrane between the university and the city. Primarily oriented towards young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 years old, Science Gallery develops an ever-changing program of exhibitions, events and experiences on broad themes linking science, technology and the arts.

Since opening in 2008, Science Gallery Dublin has attracted over 3 million visitors and become one of Ireland’s top 5 free cultural attractions. To date, exhibitions have ranged from light to love and from contagion to the future of the human species, and have travelled extensively throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

The diverse and provocative exhibitions encourage people to discover, express and pursue their interests in a friendly, sociable environment. Having received significant international recognition for its approach, Science

Gallery is currently developing a Global Science Gallery Network. The Global Science Gallery Network was launched in 2012 with the support of Google and the aim of establishing Science Gallery locations in eight cities around the world by 2020, with the first planned to open at King’s College London in 2018. For more information visit

About OMSI

Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in each of us. OMSI operates the largest museum-based outdoor science education program in the country and provides traveling and community outreach programs that bring science learning opportunities to schools and community organizations in nearly every county in Oregon. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit