After Dark: Question Your Perception

Thursday, July 15, 2021 • 6:00–10:00 p.m. PT

Not a member yet? Join us and get free admission all year long!

Adults Only (18+)

Note: The Tactile Dome is currently closed.

Can an artificial hand feel like part of your body? How do you know you’re really paying attention to what’s going on in front of you? Tonight at After Dark, we spotlight exhibits that probe the nature of human perception. Consider the ways we see color, the powerful role of attention in determining what we see (and what we don’t see), and fascinating optical illusions whose disorienting patterns help scientists better understand how our visual systems work.

Please note: Food and drinks will be available to purchase in our Seaglass Restaurant and enjoy there or outdoors in Gallery 5 during After Dark. 

Just for Tonight

DJ Marc Stretch from Hip Hop for Change
Phyllis T Wattis Studio
6:30–7:45 and 8:15–9:30 p.m.

Get ready to dance your way through the night as DJs from Hip Hop for Change set the vibe and keep the party moving all night! Tonight we feature Marc Stretch, one half of the Heavyweight Crates crew and the founder of the Futureshock First Friday monthly party in Oakland. He’s known for his unconventional remix-style party-rocking pedigree. He has traveled the world with his sound and opened for some of the biggest names in Hip Hop.

Hip Hop for Change is an Oakland-based nonprofit that uses grassroots activism to educate people about socioeconomic injustices and advocate solutions through hip-hop culture. 

Towards a Holographic Panoptics of the Mind
Exploratorium Artist-in-Residence Tristan Duke in conversation with writer Lawrence Weschler around Duke’s new work, Aperture Lucida.
Kanbar Forum
8:00 p.m.

At first the thing presents itself as a thick black monolith, hovering in midair at the heart of a gleaming white cube of a room—or wait, not a monolith, two monoliths perpendicularly wedged, the one fast against the other.  And nested there, four feet out from where the dense black plinths intersect, floats an amorphous immaterial globe of light, which seems to bob in rhythm with each step the visitor takes toward it, or rather toward the crowd of other visitors already gathered round it, drop-jawed before the stupefying apparition.  But go ahead, join them, and in fact summon up the gumption to step between them so as to lean your head into the ball of light, at which point, like magic, the entire black edifice will simply disappear.

Welcome to Aperture Lucida, the latest creation of the young Southern California artist and inventor, Tristan Duke, product of over two years’ work as artist in residence alongside fellow materials wizards at the  Exploratorium. The piece veritably brims with surprising implications, which Lawrence Weschler, the author of Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, will assist Mr. Duke in teasing out.

The Exploratorium is pleased to partner with Arts Letters & Numbers in presenting this public discussion as part of SunShip: The Arc That Makes The Flood Possible, the Arts Letters & Numbers exhibition in the CITYX Venice Italian Virtual Pavilion of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale.

Exemplary Exhibits: 

Head outside to Gallery 5 to have an Alice in Wonderland-like experience in the Distorted Room.

How quickly can your brain adapt to a skewed view? Test yourself at Hoop Nightmares.

Is it you that’s spinning—or the world around you? Get some perspective in Silage Beach.

Challenging human perception is at the root of many fan-favorite Exploratorium exhibits. You can find many more perception-probing exhibits in Gallery 3.

Curious about what to expect during your visit? Check out our current safety protocols and guidelines.