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After Dark: Visualize and Sonify

Abstract image from the multimedia work Carbon Song Cycle.
After Dark: Visualize and Sonify

How can translating data into compelling sensory experiences—visual, aural, multimedia, and more—make stories of the world around us resonate more deeply? As scientists, journalists, and researchers search for inventive, inclusive ways to share their data—and artists reference data to create impactful artworks—visualization, sonification and artistic interpretation have become prominent ways to share information about our environment and beyond. Tonight, dive into projects that incorporate scientific data in different forms of storytelling. Don’t miss a site-specific performance of the multimedia work Carbon Song Cycle by composer/performer Pamela Z and media artist Christina McPhee.

Carbon Song Cycle
8:00 p.m.
Kanbar Forum
Co-presented by San Francisco Cinematheque and Shapeshifters Cinema

Experience environmental balance and imbalance through a site-specific multimedia performance created by composer/performer Pamela Z and media artist Christina McPhee, Carbon Song Cycle is a work for chamber ensemble and expanded cinema. It’s inspired by ongoing changes and upheavals in the Earth's ecosystem, and by the carbon cycle—the process through which carbon is exchanged between all terrestrial life forms and domains. To compose the music, Pamela knitted together melodic motifs inspired by scientific data on the carbon cycle and texts referencing environmental balance and imbalance. Playing on the idea of the natural exchange of elements they pass sonic material between the players and explore audio elements related to the imagery in Christina’s video material. The video is built from footage Christina shot at petroleum fields, natural gas locations, and geothermal sites around backcountry California, along with carbon-inspired drawings and images of processes involving intense heat and chemical transformations. The artists have crafted a site-specific experience that utilizes the architecture of the space to create a unique and intimate experience. The chamber ensemble features Pamela Z (voice and electronics), Dana Jessen (bassoon), Mark Clifford (percussion), Crystal Pascucci (cello), and Charith Premawardhana (viola).

This presentation of Carbon Song Cycle is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

6:30–9:30 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3
Immersive Installation by Brian Schrier

Surround-sound recordings will transport you to the Amazon. Augmented by plant life and other subtle stagecraft elements, this artwork encourages listeners to inhabit the perspective of a rainforest animal and to suspend reality, even if for a moment, through full aural immersion. The soundscapes were captured in eight channel surround sound and are presented in the exact spatial pattern as recorded. Coupling this with additional sensory components, such as dynamic lighting, temperature, humidity, and other sound-based triggers, he is able to create synesthetic environments true to their origins.

Brian Schrier has been a Bay Area artist and builder for the past decade. Inspired by the works of Bernie Krause and David Attenborough, Schrier has sought to capture the essence of the diverse rainforests of the Amazon through immersive installations that transport the viewer to these biomes through multisensory inclusion.  Schrier's work has been presented at Bally's in Lake Tahoe, permanently installed at a private residence in San Raphael and most recently at the 2023 MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference in Denver, CO.

Selections from the Science Visualization Studio
6:00–10:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1: Human Phenomenon

See the Earth and space in a new way! NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio produces visualizations, animations, and images to promote a greater understanding of Earth and Space Sciences. They work closely with scientists—within the NASA community and the broader academic research community—to create high-quality, data-backed visualizations. Tonight, dig a little deeper into some seemingly familiar aspects of the world around you by enjoying a selection of their stunning visualizations.     

Seeing Science Shorts
6:00–10:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1: Human Phenomenon
With Cinema Arts

In the Microcinema

Glimpse how science is interpreted through artists’ eyes. From hand-made paper animation to dazzling data driven designs, these short films invite you to see the world around you just a little bit differently.

Observe, Collect, Draw!
6:30–9:30 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1: Human Phenomenon

Every person we meet and every interaction we take part in can be mapped, counted, and measured—these measurements are what we call data. Artists Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec believe that by paying close attention to our personal data, we can become more creative and develop a better understanding of ourselves. Drop in for guided activities from their book Observe, Collect, Draw!, and visualize and reflect on your own data. You may be surprised by what they reveal.

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