The iconic museum of science, art, and human perception is preparing for large crowds seeking boundlessness, creativity, and inspiration at this festival that celebrates art and science through explorations of light.
Refik Anadol’s Infinity Room, on view at the Exploratorium from June 14 – July 15
SAN FRANCISCO (May 22, 2018) – During the month of June, visitors to the Exploratorium will be able to experience Refik Anadol’s Infinity Room, a twelve-by-twelve foot room fitted with seamless doors, mirrored floors and ceilings, and four Epson laser projectors that together create the experience of standing—or floating—in an infinite digital space. This immersive artwork will be on view at the Exploratorium for an extended period (June 14-July 15), and is also one of many installations comprising the one-day event Lightplay: Festival of Light.
"As a media artist, curiosity is at every step of thinking and creating,” says Refik Anadol. “Being at the Exploratorium is very meaningful for me personally and for my studio's journey. As a team we are, of course, media artists; but we are also designers, thinkers, and scientists who use our artworks to speculate near-future scenarios that are inspired by technology and science. This is why the Exploratorium is a fantastic journey for Infinity Room's 28th presentation in the world."
The day-long Lightplay festival will be held on Saturday, June 16, from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. and is inspired by an experience familiar to many longtime Exploratorium visitors: Bob Miller’s iconic Light Walk, which leads curious seekers outside to understand the world around them through investigations of light and shadow. Visitors to Lightplay will find the museum’s indoor and outdoor space filled with immersive and innovative light artworks, and will have a chance to participate in hands-on activities that explore the phenomenon of light, both natural and human-made, digital and analog.
In the unpaid outdoor plaza in front of the Exploratorium we will feature Liminal Camera by the Optics Division (Lauren Bon, Tristan Duke, Richard Nielson). Liminal Camera is a shipping container converted into an operable, large-scale camera and film processing lab. Visitors will be allowed to step inside and learn directly from the artists about their innovative approach to photography. Other installations will include interactive and immersive film projections, 16mm film processing workshops, and inspiring light installation. The artists participating in Lightplay consider light as both medium and theme; visitors will be astonished by the various ways contemporary artists are using the camera and projection in their work. Additional featured works include Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder’s commissioned installation Obscurus Projectum, Lis Rhodes’s Light Music, and Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie’s Dot Matrix. The festival will also be the debut of a new, site-specific work from Chris Fraser, a local artist who uses the principles behind the camera obscura to engage the unseen in everyday phenomena.
“Lightplay is a festival unlike any other,” says Kathleen Maguire, co-curator of the festival and Cinema Arts coordinator at the Exploratorium. “It’s like a film festival, only you get to step inside the films—and there are a lot of contemporary artists working with light that are far outside the traditional definitions of film. The festival will pair works that explore early, analogs ways of creating light-based artworks with some of the amazing work is being done to merge technological advancements with artistic practice through Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR). We’re lucky at the Exploratorium to have access to some of the most cutting edge technology being used by artists in a way that is complex, completely authentic, and inspiring. We’re also lucky to be working with Epson, who is generously supporting the project with their projectors.”
Refik Anadol’s Infinity Room will be available to the public starting June 14 during the museum’s signature 18+ evening event After Dark. Anadol creates new realities using architecture, projected light, and a soundtrack that sonifies the visuals, which he considers research for his ongoing project "Temporary Immersive Environment Experiments." Anadol sees emerging technologies as a tool to explore the use of technology in our lives, its future potential, and how we can better use it to ask questions about the real world. Tickets to the Infinity Room will be in ten-minute intervals following a brief orientation to the space. Visitors can get tickets online or day-of, which will be distributed at 10 am (for 10-1pm) and 1pm (1-5pm). The project is sponsored by Epson, who provided the four high-performance projectors that make the experience possible.
This year’s Lightplay festival is the conclusion of a two-year engagement supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Visitors to the Festival can find many of Bob Miller’s exhibits, which use art as a way to explore natural phenomena, on the museum floor in the Bechtel Central Gallery, which explores sights, sounds, and perception itself.
CALENDAR EDITORS TAKE NOTE:
Saturday, June 16, 2018 • 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Note: Some activities and experiences have limited show times and/or limited capacity.
Observe and play in the glow of light, both natural and human-made. In this day-long festival, the transformative power of light and the human power of observation will be investigated through immersive artworks and hands-on activities. From projects using the earliest camera— the camera obscura—to experiences that rely on cutting-edge projection, this event indulges in the marvel of physics at work, while demystifying the science behind the artists’ processes.
Check back for schedule updates.
by Refik Anadol
Thursday, June 14-Sunday, July 15, 2018
Infinity Room is part of a series of Temporary Immersive Environment Experiments by Refik Anadol. Immersion is the state of consciousness where one's awareness of their physical self is transformed through an engrossing, often artificial environment, and their sense of a presence in a nonphysical world begins. In this project, the concept of infinity is used to transform the conventional cinema screen into a three-dimensional kinetic and architectural visual space.
Refik Anadol (b. 1985) is a Los Angeles–based media artist and designer born in Istanbul, Turkey. His works explore the interplay between digital and physical entities, creating a hybrid relationship between architecture and media arts. Refik’s work encompasses two major approaches: site-specific public artworks designed from data visualizations and live audio/visual performance crafted as immersive installation.
Please Note: Strobe effects are used in this artwork.
LIGHTPLAY FEATURED ARTWORKS
Liminal Camera by Optics Division
Step inside a traveling shipping container that is both a pinhole camera and darkroom. The Liminal Camera travels the country taking large-format photographs, which are processed on the flatbed truck, often using unusual processing chemistry. Join the Optics Division—Lauren Bon, Richard Nielson, and current Exploratorium Artist-in-Residence Tristan Duke—on board and learn more about their very special photography process and practice.
Light Music by Lis Rhodes
Move throughout the space and see your shadow emerge as a player in British filmmaker Lis Rhodes’ essential, expanded cinema work. Using two 16mm projectors facing off in a hazy room, Light Music reveals intersecting patterns meant to be viewed and interacted with from various points in the screening space.
Obscurus Projectum by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder
Simple, centuries-old technology reframes the recognizable San Francisco Bay in Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder’s Obscurus Projectum, which reimagines the Exploratorium’s Kanbar Forum as a large-scale camera obscura.
Dot Matrix by Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie
In this double screen 16mm projection, each film contains a flicker printing of variously sized dots. The dots were produced by “rayogramming” dot screens directly onto raw film stock in a dark room. The sound you hear is that produced by the dots themselves.
A new, site-specific work from Chris Fraser, a Bay Area artist who uses the camera obscura as a point of departure for engaging the unseen in everyday phenomena.