Next year is the 300th anniversary of the 1714 Longitude Act and we're currently working on several projects, many of them as part of a major research project funded by the AHRC. One of the more unusual ideas we've come up with is Longitude Punk'd, a steampunk 'takeover' of the Royal Observatory.
To kick the project off, the Museum has commissioned eight UK steampunk artists – Robert Rankin, Herr Döktor, Dr Geof, Jema Hewitt, Major Thaddeus Tinker, Karen Grover, Yomi Ayeni and Wyn Griffiths – to create works inspired by the ideas submitted to the Board of Longitude. We've met with the artists a number of times and they're now busy working on their designs.
We've also announced The Longitude Punk’d Competition for the Encouragement of the Arts of Longitudinal Steampunking, which will be open to everyone. It will be judged according to four categories – Inspired by Longitude; Aesthetics; Craftsmanship; and Spirit of Steampunk – with the winners' work displayed in the exhibition.
To help get your creative juices flowing, have a look at some of the objects in the NMM collection that are connected with the Board of Longitude, at the newly digitised Board of Longitude archive, and some other objects we think think capture the spirit of the period.
More details of the competition will be announced in October via the Longitude Punk'd web pages. It's time to get creative!