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Striking art collaboration to be featured atop Salesforce Tower

Striking art collaboration to be featured atop Salesforce Tower

Exploratorium and Jim Campbell Studio transform water vapor data into mesmerizing artwork on display nightly from June 9-14, 2024.


Clouds appear on the Salesforce Tower as part of an art collaboration between the Exploratorium and Jim Campbell Studio.
Credit: Ron Hipschman/Exploratorium


SAN FRANCISCO (May 28, 2024) – Clouds are taking over Salesforce Tower this summer as part of an stunning art collaboration between the Exploratorium and Jim Campbell Studio. San Francisco’s beloved museum of science, art, and human perception is working with the local artist and engineer to transform water vapor data into a mesmerizing swirl of clouds that will be displayed atop the iconic tower nightly from June 9-14, 2024.

Exploratorium emeritus scientist Ron Hipschman compiled the imagery using select water vapor data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Visitors to the Exploratorium may be familiar with the version displayed on the museum’s video wall in the Fisher Bay Observatory, with the data displaying cloud cover over North America.

The NOAA data was a perfect fit for Campbell’s installation, in which the exterior of the top six floors of Salesforce Tower are softly lit with 11,000 LEDs that display low-resolution moving color imagery. Campbell was commissioned to create the large-scale, video-based art installation by the building’s owner, BXP, and has been running it ever since with BXP’s support. 

"Jim is most interested in natural flowing abstract patterns for the building's display, and the NOAA data fit the bill pretty well," said Hipschman, who downloaded 9,000 frames of black and  white data for the video. "We’re thrilled to present these works that are at the intersection of art and science."

On June 13, the Exploratorium also kicks off its summer show, ExtraOrdinary!, a new exhibition featuring incredible art made from everyday objects. Nine artists transform ordinary items like shoes, wooden blocks, LEGO pieces, cardboard, lightbulbs, and miles of string into imaginative and playful installations. Visitors can explore "exhiblets" – mini-Exploratorium exhibits – crafted in partnership with our local Community Science Workshops, and try their hand at building their  own creations. ExtraOrdinary! runs through September 8, 2024.


About the Exploratorium

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The Exploratorium is a portal to the astonishing scientific phenomena that animate our world and shape our actions. We create extraordinary learning experiences that ignite curiosity, upend perceptions, and inspire brave leaps forward. Since 1969, the Exploratorium’s museum in San Francisco has been home to a renowned collection of exhibits that draw together science, art, and human perception, and that have changed the way science is taught. Our award-winning programs provide a forum for the public to engage with artists, scientists, policymakers, educators, and tinkerers to explore the world around them. We celebrate diversity of thought, inspired investigation, and collaboration across all boundaries.

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