The inaugral exhibition of The Museum of Technorealism: Darwin Among the Machines is entitled after a letter written by Samuel Butler in 1863 to the New Zealand newspaper 'The Press'. The letter sought to highlight Butler's significant concerns that machines should be considered a form of 'mechanical life', and as such should be subject to the same rules of evolution Charles Darwin had identified within biological life.
Most attention is usually given to the narrative of Butler's dystopian concern that machines, when seen as rapidly evolving life forms, might develop sentience and ultimately replace humans as the dominant species on Earth. The subtext that Darwin's theory of evolution might be better regarded as the 'Special Theory of Evolution' and that a 'General Theory of Evolution' might extend the same principles to cultural and technological evolution, however, is one that is now seeing a critical resurgence in both interest and evidence. It is this underlying subtext that the exhibition Darwin Among the Machines now concerns itself with.