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Cinema Arts

cinema arts
Cinema Arts

Established in 1983, the Cinema Arts program at the Exploratorium has defied expectations by focusing on artist-made and independent cinema at the crossroads of art and science.

Approaching movies as an active viewing experience, staff in the Cinema Arts Program view the projection screen as a portal to investigation. We engage with filmmakers who create works that inspire the imagination and instigate conversation. Animation, documentary, poetic observations, and abstract visuals serve a broad spectrum of curious audiences while blending the methods and aesthetics of artists and scientists. 

Through our programming, we aim to provide an opportunity for visitors to explore the compelling people, places, and ideas that extend through the museum and beyond. Our collection of films and events offer a rich resource for public audiences, and also provide an important research collection for both our teaching programs and exhibit development teams.

Cinema Arts’ 40th Anniversary

In addition to organizing weekly screenings, the Cinema Arts Program collects a variety of moving image works. The 16mm film collection holds approximately 650 titles, ranging from historic documents (Trip Down Market Street (1906)) to decessioned ephemeral films rescued from local libraries to films by artists specially commissioned to create new works (including filmmakers such as Paul Clipson, Christian Bruno, Natalija Veckic, Michael Rudnick, and Gustavo Vasquez). The Cinema Arts Program also collects contemporary digital works.

Cinema arts program staff travel nationally and internationally generating programs, speaking to audiences, and sharing their unique perspective on how to develop innovative programming in relationship to cross-disciplinary themes.

History and Collection

A black and white image showing a calm body of water with boats and city skyline reflected in the still surface.
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