The Order of Things
The Wagner Free Institute of Science
Philadelphia USA

Site specific installation & performance

The Order of Things consisted of an electro-acoustic performance installation piece for The Wagner Free Institute of Science, an historic 19th-century natural history museum located near the Temple University campus. The Wagner is home to a collection of 100,000 specimens that was assembled by Philadelphia businessman and naturalist William Wagner (1796-1885) over his lifetime, as well as an ongoing series of free public courses on the natural sciences that he inaugurated in the 1850s and that remain on offer to this day.

The commission work celebrated the 2007 tercentenary of the birth of Swedish biologist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), who was the father of modern phylogenetic taxonomy (i.e., the notions of family, genus, species, etc.). Phylogenetics remains the foundation of modern biological sciences.

Scanner's work addressed issues of taxonomy, order, and other ideas of structure, not only as they relate to the biological legacy of Linnaeus, but also as they relate to sound as a phenomena, as well as our contemporary scientific world view.