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After Dark: Listen

Photo of filmmaker Sam Green with microphone.
After Dark: Listen

Please note, tonight’s feature presentation of 32 Sounds has limited capacity, and seats are first come, first served. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., line begins at 6:00 p.m.

Shhh . . .do you hear that? Hearing is one of the first senses a new baby usually develops as a way of understanding the world. It allows us to understand complex and nuanced information about our surrounding environment. It helps us judge size, distance, and velocity. Sounds can communicate both threat and affection and evoke memories. Tonight, come celebrate our unique capacity to listen. Explore our collection of sound exhibits and then join our feature presentation of 32 Sounds (2023, 98 mins.), a meditation on the power of sound by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Sam Green. 

Image: Sam Green, from 32 Sounds 



32 Sounds
7:30 p.m.
Kanbar Forum

Live Documentary by Sam Green
Followed by a conversation and Q&A with Davia Nelson of the Kitchen Sisters

Presented by Cinema Arts

Note: Capacity is limited and seats are first come, first served. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., line begins at 6:00 p.m.  Additional Bay Area screenings can be found on 32 Sounds' official site.

Dubbed the “greatest documentary you’ve ever heard” by Rolling Stone magazine, 32 Sounds is an immersive feature film and profound sensory experience from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green, featuring original music by JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN). The film explores the elemental phenomenon of sound by weaving together 32 sound explorations into a cinematic meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world around us. This screening features immersive listening devices and live narration by Sam Green. 

Following the screening, Sam Green will be joined by Davia Nelson of the Kitchen Sisters for conversation and Q&A.

Sam Green is a New York–based Academy Award–nominated documentary filmmaker whose “live documentaries” include A Thousand Thoughts (2018, performed with the Kronos Quartet) and The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller (2012, with Yo La Tengo). Green narrates each of these films in person while musicians perform a live soundtrack. His 2004 film, The Weather Underground, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to be included in the Whitney Biennial and nominated for an Oscar.

Davia Nelson is one half of the Kitchen Sisters, award-winning radio producers and audio artists who have created hundreds of stories for NPR, other public broadcasting, and podcasts about the lives, histories, art, and rituals of people who have shaped our diverse cultural world. Nelson has been a casting director and screenwriter and does live interviews onstage for the Telluride Film Festival, City Arts and Lectures, the JCCSF, and many other organizations.


This work was commissioned by the following: Stanford Live, Stanford University; The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi; Georgia Tech Arts; Green Music Center of Sonoma State University; and Arizona Arts Live at University of Arizona. It was developed through a creative residency at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. 
It is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Resonance and Rhythm
6:30–9:30 p.m.
Gallery 2: Tinkering

Instruments by Bart Hopkin, Daniel Schmidt, and Sudhu Tewari 

Play your way through a unique gallery of handmade percussion instruments. Each design creates a different sound or tone depending on its size, shape, and construction. Find your rhythm and jam with friends—or friendly strangers!—to find resonance or dissonance in various combinations.

Sudhu Tewari is an electro-acoustic composer, improviser, and tinkerer in sound, kinetic, and interactive art. He has performed improvised music with artists including Fred Frith, Cenk Ergun, Mark Bartscher, Tadashi Usami, Gunda Gottschalk, Eric Glick Rieman, and Shelley Burgon.

Song without Words
6:00–10:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1: Human Phenomenon

Video installation by Olivia Ting
In the Microcinema

These three videos invite the viewer to experience the sonic world through the ears of a hard-of-hearing artist. Excerpted from a larger room-scale installation, each video segment challenges us with song and speech that may no longer be recognizable to typical listeners, intentionally confusing their navigation through space. At the same time, visual and haptic cues remain, mimicking clues that hat deaf and hard of hearing people use to understand the world around them.

Olivia Ting is a graphic and video designer whose fascination with moving images stems from a hearing impairment; she is deaf in one ear and has only 22% hearing in the other. Without hearing aids, she cannot hear most sounds, so her work centers on movement, through collaborative video projections with choreographers and immersive museum exhibits.

Full Spectrum Science: Sound
8:00 p.m.
Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery 6

With Ron Hipschman
What is sound? How high a pitch can you hear? Can you measure the speed of sound with a yardstick? Can two sounds add up to no sound? Join Exploratorium scientist Ron Hipschman for colorful explorations of these questions and more in this resonant presentation.

Ron Hipschman joined the Exploratorium in 1971, and since then has been an exhibit developer, author, teacher, and webcast host. He currently works on the Exploratorium’s Environmental Initiative, implementing and maintaining a collection of environmental monitoring sensors and developing visualizations for the Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery’s super-resolution media wall.

The Sounds of Life
On a continuous loop 6:00–8:00 p.m. and 9:00–10:00 p.m
Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery 6

Videos by Karen Bakker

Listen carefully to the secret sounds of the animal world. In this collection of videos created by scientist Karen Bakker, she takes you up close to five species and their fascinating sounds, and the stories of how scientists have studied them. Drawing from her book The Sounds of Life, Bakker invites you to listen for more than buzzes from bees, reflect on the depth of the “elephant dictionary,” and learn how some plants communicate health through sound—as well as how digital technologies are offering new ways for humans to hear and understand these sounds.

Karen Bakker is a Canadian scientist and author known for her work on digital transformation, environmental governance, and sustainability. She teaches at the University of British Columbia and is currently a visiting professor at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Food and drinks will be available for purchase at our Seaglass Restaurant and additional bar locations.