People move things and things move us. There’s a sacred relationship between humanity, the items people make, and the feats they accomplish through their ingenuity. Titanic was a vessel that was meant to transport people across the Atlantic Ocean; however, in the past and present it has served to move our very thoughts and perspectives of the world.
When she began her maiden voyage in 1912, Titanic embodied the heights to which technology would take humanity. As Titanic’s broken hull lies on the seabed of the North Atlantic, it warns about unpreparedness and bad judgement.
The artifacts on display from Titanic were only extraordinary because of the story they told about the disaster. The plates I observed were a tribute to the ocean liner they sunk with; however, the dishes were just another facet of dining on Titanic in 1912. Everything was grand and marvelous on the surface. Once the ship plunged under the cold water, everything onboard was shrouded in mystery.
An ominous hunk of ice sat in the middle of the next room. A sign encouraged all patrons to experience the cold of the North Atlantic Ocean.
Briefly touching the frigid ice was jarring; I instantly drew my hand away from it. I had a privilege denied to those in the Atlantic: I could leave my hand on the exhibit for as long, or short, as I pleased. My life wan’t threatened by hypothermia. I wasn’t worried about loved ones or panicking after being submersed in the ocean. I was safe and far from experiencing the plight of the passengers. I felt like I was intruding on the suffering of the Titanic victims by participating in the experiential exhibit.