Fog Bridge by Fujiko Nakaya
April 17 – September 16, 2013
The first in a series of Over the Water commissioned annual works, Fujiko Nakaya’s Fog Bridge —ephemeral and other-worldly—magically envelops a 150 foot long pedestrian bridge, which crosses the open bay between Piers 15 and 17. Eight hundred high-pressure nozzles lining the bridge will create an immersive environment that enshrouds participants in mist. The work will be lit at night, to stunning effect. Although Nakaya’s fog environments have been presented around the world, this is her first project in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region famous for its dramatic fog.
DAYLAY by Lucky Dragons
April 17, 2013 – April 17, 2014
Lucky Dragons (Luke Fischbeck and Sarah Rara) are a visual and performing arts duo from Los Angeles that harness technology, collaboration, and spontaneity to create uniquely ephemeral experiences that often blur the line between audience and performer. At opening, Lucky Dragons will debut DAYLAY, a dynamic light and sound installation inside a 14-foot circular opening in the pier above the water, just outside the main entrance of the museum. On-site microphones record ambient sound during daylight hours and then play them back during dark hours, delayed by 12 hours. LED lights reflecting off the water gradually grow brighter and brighter over the course of the night. 8PM will sound and look like 8AM. 12AM like 12PM. DAYLAY is the first of the duo’s experiments concerning the world of night at our new home, set to unfold throughout the summer and fall with related nocturnal performances, events, and interventions.
The Shaping Grows and Other Works by Semiconductor
April 17–September 30, 2013
In the Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio
This mini-retrospective of work by internationally renowned British-based media artists and Exploratorium Artists-in-Residence Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) explores the material nature of our world and how we experience it.
The Shaping Grows (2011) animates geological events and formations to provide a window into the intricate makeup of the physical world. Seismic data of recent earthquake activity from around the world is converted into a sound-scape of the Earth in a state of flux. The Shaping Grows was originally commissioned by Swarovski for the Digital Crystal exhibition at the Design Museum, London.
Three other short films will also be screened. 20Hz (2011) creates complex aural and visual patterns from a geo-magnetic storm and was co-commissioned by Arts Santa Monica and Lighthouse, supported by the British Council. Black Rain (2009) traces the journey of twin satellites and was originally commissioned by Animasivo Mexico City. Magnetic Movie (2007) reveals the secret lives of invisible magnetic fields, and was an Animate Projects commission for Channel 4 in association with Arts Council England.
Invisible by Night by Lynette Wallworth
April 17–September 2, 2013
In the Black Box Gallery
Renowned Australian artist and Exploratorium Artist-in-Residence Lynette Wallworth created Invisible by Night to harmonize with the other meditations on mind and society that fill the museum's new West Gallery. This interactive multimedia installation, the first in the Exploratorium’s new Black Box Art Gallery, incorporates sight and sound in dynamic and thought-provoking ways. In this piece, guests interact with a gauzy image through a foggy window, creating an ephemeral but deep connection. Invisible by Night makes it evident how enmeshed and implicated we are in human webs of desire, grief, empathy, and longing.
The Changing Face of What is Normal: Mental Health
April 17, 2013–April 2014
In the West Gallery
What is “normal” or “abnormal,” and how do these concepts change over time? How do we—as individuals and as a society—perceive, define, respond to, and interact with those deemed abnormal, whether in body, mind, or behavior? The Changing Face of What is Normal uses our constantly evolving understanding of mental health as a lens through which we perceive others and ourselves.
The exhibition has three sections. One area houses a selection of personal items belonging to patients of New York’s Willard Psychiatric Center. Ranging from the banal to the precious, these items were brought by patients when they were admitted and tell powerful stories of their owners’ lives before they were institutionalized. Also included in this space are photographs of the patients’ effects by Jon Crispin and poetry by psychiatrist and poet Karen Miller.
The Willard suitcases are juxtaposed against an area devoted to the history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (known as the DSM), which is used by psychiatric professionals to diagnose cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disorders. The area also includes videotaped interviews with clinicians and patients speaking about their experiences and describing the difficulty of categorizing human behavior. (The exhibition’s opening coincides with the release of the 5th edition of the DSM.)
The third element in the exhibition is Restraint, an interactive installation exploring the many ways thought and behavior are restrained. Visitors can experience what it was like to lie in the Utica Crib, a 19th century cage-like wooden contraption used to calm some patients, and view and comment on the ways people and cultures constrain their own impulses.
Question Bridge: Black Males
April 17, 2013-April 2014
“Question Bridge: Black Males” is a project that critically explores challenging issues within the Black male community by instigating a trans-media conversation among black men across the geographic, economic, generational, educational and social strata of American society. Question Bridge provides a safe setting for necessary, honest expression and healing dialogue on themes that divide, unite and puzzle black males in the United States. Question Bridge originated in 1996, when artist Chris Johnson was looking for a way to use media art to generate a meaningful conversation around class and generational divisions within San Diego’s African American community. Mediated through the lens of a video camera, ten members of the black community were given a format to openly express their deeply felt beliefs and values through candid question and answer exchanges. None of the questions or answers were prompted. Over the past four years, Johnson, along with Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair, have traveled the nation collecting questions and answers from over 150 Black men in eleven cities. The resulting video project contains of over 1,500 exchanges. By focusing on exchanges within this extended community, surprising insights and new possibilities for witnessing our common humanity emerge.
Words We have Learned Since 9-11
April 17, 2013 – TBD
This participatory photo installation opened for the first time in the Southern United States at the Museum of Mobile on September 11 in conjunction with their exhibition of artifacts from Ground Zero, World Trade Center. A second fall exhibit at Unit 24 Gallery in London followed it during the Frieze Art Fair. Campbell’s project invites visitors to the exhibition to be photographed with “words” they have learned since 9-11, and those photos become part of the on-going Words project. Since it’s beginning Words We Have Learned Since 9-11 has been exhibited across the globe.
Long Social Modified Bench
September 2013 – April 2014
Newly Commissioned Work, 2013
“For me, the concept of sculpture is closely linked with communication”...“I want to show that the work isn’t anything on its own, it is only what the public informs it with. The viewers’ role brings the piece to the center of attention.” - Jeppe Hein
Based in Denmark and Berlin, artist Jeppe Hein reconfigures the standard-issue park bench to inspire new forms of social engagement and communication. Turning the bench into forms that suggest complex yet whimsical play structures, they radically re-engineer how we interact with one another in public space. The Exploratorium has commissioned Hein to create a series of six site-specific Social Modified Benches to animate the public promenade of the Embarcadero in front of Pier 17. His work reminds us of how social behavior is often shaped by art and design, and vice versa.
Ben Levy (of LEVYDance Company)
October 4, 2013 - January 5, 2014
In the Black Box Gallery
Benjamin Levy, San Francisco-based dancer, choreographer, and founding artistic director of LEVYdance, began working as an Exploratorium Artist-in-Residence in 2011 to develop a participatory work for the West Gallery's Black Box. An immersive installation exploring choreography, group dynamics, collaboration, and social boundaries, the project is Levy's first work in a museum setting, and the scope of interaction it prompts between visitors presents compelling conceptual and practical challenges. Levy has been working extensively with staff artists and scientists, media developers, engineers, and the public to develop and deepen this installation.
Benjamin Levy is a choreographer, dancer, and artistic director recognized for cutting-edge interdisciplinary works that explore the nuance and drama of human intimacy.