SSF: Jaron Lanier: Gadgets, Dreams & Dilemmas - Livestream

Actions and Detail Panel


Event Information

Share this event

Date and time



Online event

Event description
View the live-stream of Jaron Lanier's Sydney Science Festival talk with Powerhouse Museum's Matthew Connell.

About this event

Sydney Science Festival - Jaron Lanier: Gadgets, Dreams and Dilemmas in the Powerhouse Collection

Date: Saturday 14 August 2021

Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Location: Connect online via livestream - a link to this event will be emailed to registrees a few days prior to the event.

Price: FREE

Jaron Lanier is an American technologist, author and commentator credited with being one of the creators of virtual reality. In the 1980s Lanier founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products and applications and he has been on the forefront of technological innovation in Silicon Valley since this time. Today he writes and speaks about the ethics and ideals of technology, the internet and social media and is a regular media commentator and author, including a recent feature in Netflix’s Social Dilemma documentary. He is an expert in the history of computer science and interactive technologies and in his writing he regularly grounds his ideas in the history and evolution of technologies, connecting past to present.

For the 2021 Sydney Science Festival Jaron Lanier responds to ten technological items in the Powerhouse Museum collection. The Powerhouse Museum has over 500,000 objects in its collection spanning history, science, technology, design, industry, decorative arts, music, transport and space exploration. Gems of the computing science collection include Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine, Letters from Ada Lovelace to Charles Babbage, the Apple 1 and the Enigma Cipher Machine that inspired Alan Turing’s Automatic Computing Machine which helped end WWII.

In conversation with Powerhouse Principal curator Matthew Connell, hear a visionary innovator and thought leader connect the legacy of the Powerhouse collection to current dialogues around the latest emerging technologies, ethical quandaries of social media and the ideology of Silicon Valley.


A Renaissance Man for the 21st century, Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, artist, and author who writes on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technology, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism. In 2018, Lanier was named one of the 25 most influential people in the previous 25 years of tech history by Wired Magazine. His books include international best sellers: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, Who Owns the Future?, Wenn Träume Erwachsen Werden (When Dreams Grow Up), Dawn of the New Everything and Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. Lanier’s writing appears in The New York Times, Discover, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Harpers Magazine, Atlantic, Wired Magazine (where he was a founding contributing editor), and Scientific American.

Matthew Connell is currently the Acting Director of Curatorial, Collections and Exhibitions and has been a curator at the Powerhouse since 1991 working in the fields of computing and mathematics, information technologies, physical science and engineering. Before becoming a curator, he studied physics and mathematics and worked in exploration geophysics and microelectronics research. Matthew’s research and curatorial interests include computing history, mathematics history, media art and design, interaction design, STEM education and learning, and curatorship. He has curated and co-curated several exhibitions at the museum, most recently Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital in 2016 which examined the industrial and cultural implications of digital manufacturing technologies. He is currently a partner investigator in a research project exploring interactive immersive systems. Matthew is an Adjunct Professor at the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research at University of New South Wales.

Presented by the Powerhouse Museum

Date and time


Online event

Organiser Powerhouse Museum

Organiser of SSF: Jaron Lanier: Gadgets, Dreams & Dilemmas - Livestream

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences sits at the intersection of the arts, design, science and technology and plays a critical role in engaging communities with contemporary ideas and issues.  Established in 1879, the Museum includes the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Observatory and the Museums Discovery Centre. The Museum is custodian to over half a million objects of national and international significance and is considered one of the finest and most diverse collections in Australia.


Save This Event

Event Saved