An Overview of Artworks in Every Gallery
When the Exploratorium re-opens its doors at Pier 15 on the San Francisco downtown waterfront, the museum will debut scores of new art projects both inside and outside the building. Expansive outdoor space, state-of-the-art facilities, and wide-ranging themes of investigation allow for great possibilities in the arts.
More than 40 new art projects will be on view at opening. These projects take many forms from large-scale immersive installations to site-specific interventions to soon-to-be classic exhibits. Works include a large scale fog environment, a fold-out guide to the atmosphere, a giant circular hole over the water that sonically comes alive at night, a giant Douglas Fir tree tipped on its side, and a Bay history library. These projects have largely been developed by artists working closely with Exploratorium staff as collaborators and Artists-in-Residence.
CENTER FOR ART & INQUIRY
The newly established Center for Art & Inquiry serves as an R&D center for the arts within the larger learning laboratory of the Exploratorium. The CAI will lead the Exploratorium’s arts strategy and direction, expanding the museum’s focus on art as a medium for exploration, inquiry and discovery. Working with program directors from across the museum as well as a council of national advisors, the Center oversees the museum’s long running Artist-in-Residence Program, hosts research fellows, and initiates special projects to advance work at the intersection of art and interdisciplinary learning.
In addition to the formation of the CAI, the Exploratorium’s expanded work in the arts includes the new Over the Water program (for the annual commissioning of large scale, temporary works in the outdoor spaces at Pier 15); the Black Box gallery space designed especially for media installations; the Forum, a cabaret style theater equipped with a Meyer sound system perfect for our Cinema Arts programming; and Ways of Knowing, a conversation on the creative process featuring compelling artists and other interdisciplinary pioneers.
This expanded work in the arts at re-opening is made possible by a generous grant from Sakurako and William Fisher.
OVER THE WATER
The Exploratorium’s new location on a major civic promenade with 1.5 acres of outdoor space has inspired Over the Water, a rotating program of large scale artworks for the public realm. Each year a curator of international renown will work with the Exploratorium in the selection of an artist to develop a project for the Exploratorium’s dynamic site on the edge of the city and the bay. For the first project, the Exploratorium is working with architecture and design curator Henry Urbach, Director of the Philip Johnson Glass House, to realize a project with Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya. For the next project in 2014 the Exploratorium has engaged curator Nato Thompson, Chief Curator at Creative Time in New York.
Fog Bridge (April 17 – September 16, 2013)
Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya’s lifelong artistic investigation engages the element of water. Working as part of the legendary group Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), in 1970 she enshrouded the Pepsi Pavilion at the Osaka Expo in vaporous fog, becoming the first artist to create a sculptural fog environment. Since that first project Nakaya has created fog gardens, fog falls and fog geysers all over the world. Fog Bridge is her first project in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region famous for its dramatic fog, and will heighten public awareness of the region’s dynamic weather and bay ecology for an international public.
Fog Bridge will stretch across the 150-foot-long pedestrian bridge that spans the water between Piers 15 and 17. One thousand high-pressure nozzles lining the bridge will create an immersive environment that shrouds participants in mist and puts their own sensorium, perception, and surroundings at the center of their experience. The work will be stunningly lit for the night.
Nakaya collaborated with Thomas Mee, a Los Angeles based engineer in the development of her first fog installation in 1970. Mee had originally developed techniques for generating chemical based artificial fog for agricultural contexts (to protect orchards from frost). Through their collaboration Mee figured out a system for generating water-based artificial fog. The company he founded, Mee Industries, is now operated by his three children. Nakaya has been collaborating with them for the last 40 years.
OUTDOOR GALLERY AND FREE CIVIC SPACE
The Exploratorium's Outdoor Gallery will include a ticketed area as well as free civic space around Piers 15 and 17. Works in these areas will encourage observation and interaction with natural and urban phenomena.
Long Social Modified Bench (September 2013 – April 2014)
Newly Commissioned Work, 2013
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.
Aeolian Harp (Historic Work Re-Designed for Site, 2013. Permanent installation.)
Doug Hollis’s Aeolian Harp straddles a wind tunnel created by Piers 15 and 17 on the Exploratorium’s new site, responding to the delicate zephyrs and howling gusts blowing in from San Francisco Bay – an acoustic reflection of the forces acting on the edge of the city and the water. This wind activated sonic work plays the dynamics of the site. The sounds produced by the wind blowing across the choir of strings are transmitted mechano-acoustically to speakers. The harp is the culmination of a series of investigations into the nature of resonating strings and the ways in which this resonance can be transmitted and amplified through non-electronic means. It will be on permanent view. The first version of Doug Hollis large-scale wind harp was mounted on the roof of the Exploratorium’s original home in 1976. Working as an Artist-in-Residence alongside the museum’s founder, the noted physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer, Hollis developed a fascination with sound sculpture and landscape that has persisted throughout his career.
Since its inception in 1974, the Exploratorium’s Artist-in-Residence Program has grown to include hundreds of artists and performers. The museum works with individuals and artist groups who are drawn to collaboration, interested in interdisciplinary dialogue, and open to developing new working methods. Projects have taken countless forms, such as multimedia performances, theatrical productions, animated filmmaking, immersive installations, walking tours, and online projects. The program allows for artists to embed within the unique culture of the institution, affords access to a dynamic and diverse staff, and provides opportunities for cross-pollination with a broad public. While the museum allows room for variance, residencies typically unfold over two years and include both an exploratory and project development phase.
Harrell Fletcher, Artist-in-Residence
The Best Things In Museums are the Windows (July 18-21, 2013)
In July of 2013, Portland-based artist Harrell Fletcher will develop an ambitious four-day trek that follows a line of sight from the Exploratorium’s new location to the summit of Mt. Diablo in the East Bay. The path will be seeded with Exploratorium-esque inquiry-based experiences along the way created by small teams of Exploratorium staff and neighborhood collaborators. Like much of his work, this project reflects Harrell’s interest in artful investigation, collaboration, and informal learning. By carrying the ethos of the museum into everyday environments, Fletcher’s project furthers the connections between the Exploratorium and its surrounding community.
Lucky Dragons, Artists-in-Residence
DAYLAY (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.
Meara O’Reilly, Artist-in-Residence
Chladni Singing, (Exhibit to debut Summer 2013; permanent exhibition)
Meara O’Reilly is a sound artist and instrument builder based in San Francisco. She is currently in the final stages of developing Chaldni Singing, an interactive exhibit that enables visitors to draw extraordinary geometric patterns in sand with their voices. Additionally, and in partnership with the Center for Art and Inquiry, she has developed a blog exploring auditory illusions called Illusion Songs.
Paul Clipson, Cinema Artist-in-Residence
Light Year, 16mm film (to debut at opening)
Newly commissioned work, 2013
The Exploratorium has commissioned San Francisco-based filmmaker Paul Clipson to create an abstract 16mm film study of the area surrounding the museum’s new home on the Embarcadero. The film will showcase Clipson's extraordinary treatment of the complex systems in the urban and natural landscape, from the ephemeral rhythms of light and water to the rigid order of crosswalks and skyscrapers. Clipson’s work generally involves live collaborative performances with sound artists and musicians. For this film, an original soundtrack will be written and performed by composer Tashi Wada. Clipson’s works have been exhibited and performed both nationally and internationally at such festivals as the New York Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. See an article about Clipson’s work here.
David Cerf, Cinema Artist-in-Residence
Dave Cerf is a filmmaker, musician, sound artist, and software designer based in San Francisco. Cerf’s residency will result in two commissioned sound works. Testing the limits of the state-of-the-art Meyer Constellation sound system housed in the Exploratorium’s Forum, he will create a unique and dynamic soundscape Cerf will also create a new soundtrack for a work he selects from the Exploratorium’s Cinema Arts collection, which includes hundreds of 16mm films. After exploring the range of works that form the collection, Cerf will select a piece and will compose a new soundtrack for it that will debut during a live performance in fall 2013.
Michael Rudnick, Cinema-Artist-in-Residence
Newly commissioned work, 2013
Filmmaker Michael Rudnick has presented more than 100 works at around the world in venues including the San Francisco Cinematheque, SFMOMA, the Centre Pompidou, the Cannes Film Festival, and Anthology Film Archives. Rudnick has created a series of high- and low-tide studies along the shore, multiple time-lapse videos from the roof of the Exploratorium’s new home at Pier 15, and a longer form meditation on time and tide along the Embarcadero.
Sam Green, Cinema Artist-in-Residence
Newly commissioned work, 2013
Sam Green is a filmmaker whose recent work explores the potential of live performance as a way to expand the documentary beyond traditional viewing experiences. A collaboration with cinematographer Andy Black, Fog City, is a cinematic study of Bay Area fog. The work takes a poetical view of this complex natural phenomena that for many months each year defines the psychogeography of the region. Green’s previous live documentaries, The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller and Utopia in Four Acts, were showcased at such places as the San Francisco International Film Festival, The Kitchen (NYC), and the Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston). In 2004, Green’s feature-length documentary, The Weather Underground, received an Academy Award nomination in addition to premiering at the Sundance Film Festival and being featured in the Whitney Biennial.
CINEMA ARTS PROGRAM
The Exploratorium’s The Cinema Arts Program was founded as a pathway to learning within the context of the immersive and transformative language of film. Although often experienced within the confines of a light and sound controlled theater, the screenings work in tandem with many of the activities and exhibitions designed for the museum's floor, by showing works that mirror overall thematic investigations. The Film Collection, a composite of 16mm film and digital work, serves the museum’s general public, targeted audiences, staff and arts research projects, invited classes as well as serving beyond the Bay Area with screenings in London, Singapore, Minnesota, Texas, North Carolina and New York, giving insight into the potential value of alternative films in science museum environments.
Semiconductor, The Shaping Grows
In the Webcast Studio
Work scheduled to debut April 2013 - September 30th, 2013
The Cinema Arts and Moving Images departments of the Exploratorium have collaborated to present a newly commissioned work by British-based media artists and Exploratorium Artists-in-Residence Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt). Through moving image works Semiconductor explores the material nature of our world and how we experience it, questioning our place in the physical universe. In addition to "The Shaping Grows", the Exploratorium will also exhibit three short films by Semiconductor in the Webcast Studio: "20Hz" (2011); "Black Rain" (2009); and "Magnetic Movie" (2007).
ARTWORKS IN CONNECTOR GALLERIES
As visitors travel between the museum’s main galleries they will encounter art at every turn.
Simply Smashing (Newly Commissioned Work, 2013)
Cummins is creating a site-specific version of her incredible Simply Smashing installation for the main entrance wall of the Exploratorium. A 20-foot-long wall of approximately 900 water-filled wine glasses that become optical devices from which to turn the world upside down, Simply Smashing is an elegant and playful meditation on perception and fragility.
Scrapple is an audiovisual installation in which everyday objects placed on a table are interpreted as sound-producing marks in an “active score.” The Scrapple system scans a table surface as if it were a kind of music notation, producing music in real-time from any objects lying there. The installation makes use of a variety of playful forms; in particular, long flexible curves allow for the creation of variable melodies, while an assemblage of cloth shapes and small objects yield ever-changing rhythms. Video projections on the Scrapple table transform the surface into a simple augmented reality, in which the objects placed by users are elaborated through luminous and explanatory graphics. The 2-meter long table produces a 4-second audio loop, allowing participants to experiment freely with tangible, interactive audiovisual composition. In the Scrapple installation, the table is the score.
Sweepers Clock, 2009 (work on loan from artist)
Marteen Baas combines theater, art, film, and design in Sweeper’s Clock to make a 12-hour-long movie in which two performers replicate an analogue clock by sweeping two piles of rubbish (one for the hour hand, one for the minute hand) to indicate the time.
Machine with Concrete, 1992 (work on loan from artist)
Legendary kinetic and mechanical sculptor Arthur Ganson has lent us one of his simplest and most potent works for our galleries: Machine with Concrete. A motor is connected to a block of concrete. The gear reductions mean the final gear will make one revolution in roughly 13.7 billion years. The machine runs uninterrupted even though the final gear is embedded in concrete, and cannot rotate. See a video of Machine with Concrete here.
Captured inside a large round window, hundreds of black rings travel randomly left and right along more than 50 horizontal strings. Closer examination reveals that the strings are driven at each end by small motors and that the rings that seem to pass through each other are actually bouncing against one another. Pe Lang's Moving Object is an example of his interest in creating simple systems that result in wildly complex pattern generation. Moving Objects is a site-specific piece partially supported by SwissNex San Francisco.
BERNARD AND BARBRO OSHER WEST GALLERY
The West Gallery is a stage on which to explore human psychology, and socio-cultural phenomena. Topics range from internal cognitive experiences such as attention and emotion to more external social behaviors such as communication, negotiation and people-reading. The West Gallery also houses the new Black Box, a controlled light and sound environment for the presentation of work in a range of formats.
The Changing Face of What is Normal: Mental Health
April 17, 2013-April 13, 2014
The first in a series of installations and public programs that will be embedded in the West Gallery. The Changing Face of What is Normal: Mental Health explores how have we have defined, categorized, and treated people who fall outside of a professional or societal conception of what constitutes normal mental health and activity. The exhibition will be divided into three parts: an exhibition of the personal effects of patients from Willard State Hospital, a decommissioned mental institution; an exhibit that coincides with the release of its latest edition of the controversial Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5th edition featuring poignant videotaped interviews with both clinicians and clients speaking about their experiences and commenting on the difficulty of categorizing human behavior; and Restraint, an interactive installation that displays—and lets visitors interact with—a late 19th century Utica Crib, a restraining device used to confine and calm patients in American mental health institutions. Read the full press release here.
The Black Box, an 800 square-foot "gallery within a gallery," provides a dedicated space for a rotating program of immersive installations focusing on human behavior and social interaction. The environment provides guest artists with a controlled light and sound environment for the presentation of work in a range of formats, including film, video, photography, sculpture, and interactive media.
Invisible by Night
April 17, 2013-September 29, 2013
Lynette Wallworth’s Invisible by Night inaugurates the West Gallery’s Black Box media space. This quietly interactive video installation responds to the visitor's touch and projects a life-sized woman whose eternal pacing can be interrupted by the viewer. Invisible by Night builds gestural mirroring into its interactive structure to create powerful emotional connections with the viewer. The piece signals our neglect of “histories of site” through our more immediate lack of compassion for those who suffer amongst us. Its attention to the transient beauty of compassion and interaction traverses boundaries of urban community and history.
Ben Levy (of LEVYDance Company)
(October 4, 2013 - January 5, 2014)
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.
Other exhibits of note in the West Gallery
Balinese mask maker Anom Suryawan was commissioned to created three masks to anchor an interactive exhibit called Communicating Emotions with your Body, at which visitors explore ways of expressing emotions through posture and movement. The Exploratorium also purchased five of the artist’s existing masks for visitors to use at the exhibit. In addition to being a mask maker, Ida Bagus Anom Suryawan is a masked dancer and shadow puppeteer from Mas, Ubud, Bali in Indonesia. His family has lived at the same compound for about 500 years, carrying on these traditional Balinese arts. He learned mask making and masked dancing from his uncle and the art of shadow puppetry from his father; both his uncle and father are well-known artists in Bali, and actively carrying on these traditions at sacred ceremonies is deeply important to him and his family.
Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair
Question Bridge: Black Males
April 17, 2013-April 2014
Question Bridge: Black Males is an innovative transmedia art project that facilitates a dialogue between a critical mass of Black men from diverse and contending backgrounds; and creates a platform for them to represent and redefine Black male identity in America. The core methodology is this: on video, a black man asks a significant question of another black man they feel estranged from; on video, a black man representing that difference records his answer. These question answer exchanges create a Question Bridge, a media based forum for necessary, honest expression and healing dialogue on themes that divide, unite, and puzzle black males in the United States.
Simultaneously, the project powerfully exposes the incredible diversity of thought, character, and identity within the Black American Male demographic; breaking traditional monochromatic views on black male identity. Participants’ generous and vulnerable contributions provides audiences the opportunity to witness complex, whole, and authentic images of black men; not commonly available in American media. Five integrated components form the project—a video art installation, a robust interactive website, a curriculum for high school students, community engagement, and a documentary film. This multiplatform approach allows many entry points for the public to engage with and observe the complicated and often unspoken questions and concerns of Black men. Executive Producers are Delroy Lindo, Deborah Willis and Jesse Williams.
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.
The East Gallery engages visitors in the living world immediately around them, providing opportunities to see, feel, and explore life at different scales.
Michael Brown (with Evan Shively)
The Tree Experience
Developed by artist Michael Brown in collaboration with reclaimed wood specialist Evan Shively, The Tree Experience has been created with a 330-year-old Coastal Douglas Fir tree that has been split down the center to reveal its rings immersing visitors in a fascinating study of dendrochronology. The wood of the tree will create the walls of an intimate, contemplative space with a center bench. The enormous, lacy root structure compels visitors to appreciate - the complexity and sheer enormity of this grand, once-living organism.
After spending several weeks in the Exploratorium’s biology laboratory, illustrator Lucy Conklin will produce a number of original works that capture the inner workings of the facility. Beyond hand-rendered ‘portraits’ of the many organisms cultured in the lab, Conklin will capture the process and practices of staff biologists.
Still Life (on loan from the Fisher Collection)
In the celebrated film Still Life (2001), an impossibly beautiful bowl of fruit decays at an accelerated pace via time-lapse editing, transforming a timeless scene into a visceral memento mori. The work will be placed in close proximity to Energy From Death, a floor exhibit concerning decay and the transfer of energy from one species to another.
Marine Wall – “Stories from the Sea”
Curated by Cinema Arts
The ocean supports an incredible diversity of life, both in the water and along the shore. these cinematic observations offer visual immersion in a range of oceanic narratives—from the microscopic lives of plankton to the complex relationships between humans and the world beneath the waves.
Baby Squid, Born Like Stars
by Steve Haddock and Brad Seibel (2006, 6 min)
A beautiful and meditative discovery of a squid—Gonatus onyx—giving birth to thousands of young.
Ray: A Life Underwater
by Amanda Bluglass (2011, 7 min)
An affectionate portrait of a 75-year-old man’s deep-sea diving career and his collection of antiquated diving gear. Exploratorium Cinema Arts commissioned this seven-minute edit of Bluglass’s film.
by Nannette van Antwerp (2011, 5 minutes)
Filmed off the coasts of the Pacific Rim, including the Bay Area, this short captures a world of microscopic drifting organisms known as plankton.
by Sharon Shattuck and Flora Lichtman (2011, 4 minutes)
This whimsical animation uses paper cutouts to tell the moving story of what happens after a dead whale sinks to the ocean floor.
Life By the Tide
by Joshua Cassidy (2009, 7 minutes)
Using time-lapse and other techniques, this film captures the hypnotic and normally invisible movements of the creatures exposed at low tide on the Pacific coast.
FISHER BAY OBSERVATORY GALLERY
This indoor and outdoor exhibition space features spectacular views of the bay and urban San Francisco, and uses these views as an entry point for investigations of the variety, history, and dynamics of the landscape. Exhibits and artworks in the Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery engage with the environment from the multiple perspectives of physical and geographic sciences, ecology, history, and contemporary experience.
The Atmosphere: A Guide
The Atmosphere: A Guide is a poster-essay depicting various human influences on the sky and their accumulated traces, whether chemical, narrative, spatial, or political. Visually referencing the Cloud Code Chart, another interpretive aid for looking up, the Guide's visualizes some ways that humans literally and figuratively occupy the present, past, and future atmosphere, organized from sea level to the exosphere. Amy Balkin is a San Francisco artist whose recent work is concerned with how humans create, interact with, and impact the social and material landscapes we inhabit. Balkin was a featured artist at dOCUMENTA (13), presenting documentation from her ongoing project Public Smog.
Utilizing resources from the Prelinger Library and Film Archive specializing in social geography, local ephemera and media, the library space in the Observatory will consist of six specifically designed atlases, facsimile books and media concentrating on the natural and infrastructural history of the Bay Area.
Bay Lexicon is a series of flashcards and published writings to be used on a walk from Fort Point to Hunter’s Point along the San Francisco waterfront. This series of images, words and ideas provokes travelers to observe and question the layered dynamics of the ecological and cultural aspects of place.
Rebecca Cummins and Woody Sullivan
Oculus Observer and Instrument Benches
A visual artist and astronomer collaborate to create cosmological spaces within the Observatory and surrounding terrace. The Oculus table/sun observer moves within the room using aspects of the local landscape to position the light from the Bay Observatory oculus to “read time.” Six “instrument benches” on the terrace and within the Bay Observatory are sited/calculated to mark time throughout the day and seasons.
A companion view of the Bay Observatory Oculus, Heliorama is a walk in space in which a time-lapse view of the sky is projected in the round.
SF Cultural Maps
Working with Exploratorium exhibit developers and new media specialists, Fischer is creating a series of urban use visualizations utilizing census data and available information derived from Flickr, Twitter and various transportation systems.
Using a traditional box camera this optical device suggests a survey camera though with operable parts for altering the view.
Fog City is a filmic study of San Francisco fog from the human perspective of meteorologists, writers, locals and workers whose psychology is shaped by this unpredictable and ephemeral landscape that often engulfs the Bay Area. Fog City will be realized as a unique film/performance with related talks and programs.
Timelapse Archive is a collection of video studies of the invisible landscapes of San Francisco’s urban and natural conditions including sky, tides, shipping, public spaces and more.
Water Waves (1993/ restored and re-orchestrated 2013, 26-minute cycle) Water Waves - Time Horizon, a multi-monitor video installation, is a visual study of the power and beauty of water phenomena ranging from tiny ripples of raindrop rings to streaming standing waves in rivers to ocean swells and thunderous shore breaks. Filmed on the north shores of Hawaiian islands, Water Waves allows the viewer to observe a wave in all stages of its evolution simultaneously. Thus, the installation also plays with our perception of time and space. The piece was originally created in 1993 for the Exploratorium, where Zdravič was an artist in residence. In its present seven-channel reincarnation, restored and remastered in HD, Water Waves features a remixed soundtrack and a complete re-orchestration of its sequences.
SOUTH GALLERY (The Tinkering Studio™)
The South Gallery is a public workshop area where visitors can engage in "learning by making" right across from where our exhibits are being built. The core of this space is The Tinkering Studio™, a focused area where visitors can engage in more in-depth projects and meet makers from around the world.
The Tinkerers' Clock
A large-scale kinetic clock built around a column in the South Gallery. Mechanical “makers,” small moving figures activated by visitors through hand-crank devices will “work” throughout the body of the clock, seeming to tinker with and build the clock’s structure. On the hour, the clock’s giant numbers, assisted by mechanical “makers,” will swing out to complete the clock face, displaying the current time. Then the clock face will fold back in and the “makers” will go back to work for another 60 minutes until it’s time to strike the hour again.
Play a free game on a transparent pinball machine with visible mechanical and electromagnetic parts. Visible Pinball serves as a striking introduction to our classic electricity and magnetism exhibit collection.
Rolling Through the Bay
Made with over 100,000 toothpicks over the course of 35 years, this sculpture of San Francisco features multiple ping-pong ball runs that allow you to "tour" the sights in different parts of the city.
Go back to Exploratorium Arts Press Kit table of contents