Exploratorium home Exploratorium home Explo.tv
Browse programs by:
Watch celebrated artist Alexa Meade transform a live model into a seemingly two-dimensional tableau. Reversing the tradition of trompe l’oeil, the Renaissance painting technique in which objects appear real, Alexa Meade painstakingly applies acrylic paint onto actual people and objects, creating illusions of seamless, two-dimensional portraits. Unified by bold brushwork reminiscent of mid-20th-century painting styles, her subjects appear flattened, as if painted on canvas, even when viewed from different angles. Meade’s work invites a deep exploration into the nature of perception, the role of photography in viewing ephemeral artworks, and the sudden intimacy of portraiture.

For thousands of years, Indian women have created these elaborate geometric designs using a variety of natural materials—flowers, spices, sand, and natural pigment—to mark auspicious occasions, celebrations, and milestones.

In May of 2012, Tibetan monks and nuns visited the Exploratorium with their exhibition "The World of Your Senses." Master Painter Jampa Choedak created a painting using thangka techniques while in residence.

Join Exploratorium educator Ken Finn as he unlocks the mystery behind the black sand (a.k.a. magnetite) at Ocean Beach. This piece explores the origin of magnetite in the Sierra Nevada mountains, its journey down the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers to the Bay, and the interesting physical properties of this mineral, plus some fun things you can do with it.

This After Dark event, which explored the science behind slowing down, included artist Joe Mangrum, who created a sand mandala on the floor of the museum. In this timelapse video, shot over 8 hours, you can see the full arc of the work.

Slow motion footage of Pyrograph, a work by Earl "Dodger" Stirling that has been described as a cross between Dante's Inferno and the Foucault Pendulum. Like a fiery version of the Exploratorium's classic Drawing Board exhibit, Pyrograph swings a pendulum across a sandy, flaming cauldron and traces out oscillating patterns in colorful fire.

Aeolian Landscape is an exhibit in which a miniature wind-swept desert landscape is recreated by an electric fan and finely ground sand that mimics the process of wind picking up and depositing small particles. Visitors can change the direction of the fan, influencing the shape of the dunes.

The two Mars Rovers are alive and well after surviving their second Martian winter. Come and see photos of discoveries they made during their third year on Mars, with Exploratorium Senior Scientist Paul Doherty.

Join Exploratorium physicists Paul Doherty and Stephanie Chasteen as they examine the past, present, and future of climate change. Watch as Paul and Stephanie demonstrate how you can look at a slice of climate from the past, what a sediment core might look like, and the secrets hidden in an ice balloon!

An clip of the Aeolian Landscape exhibit by artist Ned Kahn. Blowing air sculpts sand into an ever-changing landscape.