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Arts Program Overview

Arts Program Overview

Artists contribute in countless ways to our ongoing research and development, both on and off the museum floor. In partnership with key staff, many of whom are artists themselves, outside artists explore themes including:

  • human cognition & social behavior
  • physics and perception
  • ecologies of place
  • living systems
  • making as thinking

The Exploratorium currently engages outside artists in a multitude of ways:

Over the Water

An annual program of large-scale temporary works for the outdoor space of Pier 15.

Artist-in-Residence Program

The Exploratorium’s groundbreaking, process-oriented, cross-pollinating program. Each year we invite two artists—one emerging and a second in mid-career—to develop new projects and proposals.

Cinema Arts

Now in its thirtieth year, our pioneering Cinema Arts program presents weekly screenings of cinematic gems for intergenerational audiences. Special events combine film with live performance in the Exploratorium’s new Forum, and cinema artists-in-residence create experiences found throughout the museum.

Black Box

An 800-square-foot gallery space with controlled light and sound for media installations and special exhibitions located in our West Gallery.


Explore distant realms of musical possibility with Resonance, a new evening series at the Exploratorium. Contemporary musicians and sound artists will perform new works and discuss their ideas, techniques, and inspirations with radio host and pianist Sarah Cahill.


Soundscapes is a series of listening experiences designed for the Kanbar Forum, the Exploratorium’s new multidisciplinary performance space.