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$15 General; $10 Members; Free for Lab Members; $10 Add-On Ticket for the Tactile Dome Available for Purchase Onsite
Adults Only (18+)
Note: Some programs have limited seating and will be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
Reinvent your Thursday nights at After Dark. Experience a fascinating array of unique, adult-only programs and events that change each week. Grab dinner by the Bay, play with hundreds of hands-on exhibits, crawl through our pitch-black Tactile Dome, sip cocktails, and explore.
The warm glow of the projected image invites us to in-between worlds. During this cinematic celebration, now an annual favorite, the passive act of watching turns to listening, peering, touching, and interacting as Exploratorium Cinema Arts takes over museum spaces to provide experiences—both on and off the screen—created by artists and filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond.
The Impenitent Thief
By Beige (Kent Long and Vanessa O’Neill)
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Barbro and Bernard Osher West Gallery, Black Box Theater
By using a small selection of 16mm footage, multiple projectors, and simple lens interventions, Beige seeks to defamiliarize the qualities of simple camera techniques. Footage for tonight’s work is culled from a larger performative work, a loose homage to the 18th-century Venetian painter Giambattista Tiepolo, many of whose paintings employed novel techniques and unorthodox installation sites to create dramatic representations of perspective.
Beige is the collaborative project of filmmakers Kent Long and Vanessa O'Neill. Their work explores the transformations and dimensions of layered 16mm projection with live sound performance.
Ahead of Its Showtime: Snipes and Trailers from the Academy Film Archive
7:00 p.m. | Kanbar Forum
Featuring creative use of title design, animation, live action, and voiceover, theater snipes have delivered a multitude of messages—from the siren calls of burgers grilling at the concession stand to dancing Bic lighters declaring the theater to be smoke-free. Despite their ubiquity, snipes remain an underexamined aspect of film history. Take in a tour-de-force screening of public service announcements, advertisements, and other pre-show visuals, and learn how these hugely entertaining miniatures have mapped our collective film culture, charting important patterns of the movie-going experience.
Life After Wartime: Stereo Images of Suburban Living, 1952–1962
With Kathleen Quillian
7:00 and 8:00 p.m. | Bechtel Central Gallery, Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio
Life After Wartime examines a collection of stereoscopic slides taken between 1952–1962 by the filmmaker’s great-uncle Harold Morehouse, photographer, jazz musician, and cryptanalyst. It is an intimate look at post-war life in and around our nation's capital, heightened by the "true to life" nature of stereoscopic photography captured on Kodachrome slide film. Quillian accompanies these rare and beautiful slides with a spoken storytelling that weaves her personal family history into and out of the greater cultural narrative of the time, touching on subjects including Cold War activities of the U.S. Government, suburban development, and the history of stereoscopic photography.
Kathleen Quillian is an Oakland-based artist who works in a range of moving and non-moving media. She is currently a co-director of Shapeshifters Cinema, a monthly expanded cinema series that she co-founded with Gilbert Guerrero in 2012.
Gloria and 3-D Slide Portraits
With Greta Snider
7:30 and 8:30 p.m. | Bechtel Central Gallery, Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio
Gloria explores the film noir persona of actress Gloria Grahame through handmade stereoscopic slides. A whirlpool of tensions and imminent violence—tropes that pervade the film noir genre—are concentrated in this explosive 3-D work. Gloria will be paired with select 3-D portraits crafted from hand-colored and hand-processed slide works.
Sound Design by Kiri Lewallen.
Greta Snider teaches in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University. She is particularly interested in experimental nonfiction, and exploring the boundaries between documentary and document. She has made nonfiction works in film, video, flash game, audio CD, slide show, and microfiche.
In Praise of Shadows: Live Shadow Puppetry, Opera, and Found Film Projection
With Facing West Shadow Opera
9:00 p.m. | Barbro and Bernard Osher West Gallery, Kanbar Forum
In Praise of Shadows is a handcrafted, multisensory immersion into a key moment in the evolution of the American West. Drawing inspiration from the book Walt Whitman and the Opera, the piece explores Whitman’s obsession with the traveling operas of the Wild West in the Gold Rush era. A dense and holistic visual landscape made from projected video, animation, and shadow theater is paired with live operatic voice and cello to create a unique and poetic examination of local history.
Facing West Shadow Opera is a collective of artists, filmmakers, and musicians hybridizing art forms to create unique performances, each akin to a live graphic novel with euphoria-inducing live chamber music.
By Jake Fried
6:00–10:00 p.m. (looping) | Barbro and Bernard Osher West Gallery, Mind Cinema
Marvel at Fried's psycho-emotional animations.
Brain Lapse (2015)
Down Into Nothing (2014)
Night Vision (2016)
Raw Data (2013)
Waiting Room (2012)
Jake Fried (1984) began his artistic career as a painter, but as he went through the process of layering and modifying images, he realized what truly interested him was the way the images metamorphosed in the course of making a painting and he changed tracks to become an animator. Fried works with ink and white-out, sometimes adding gouache, collage and even coffee to generate hallucinatory vistas, modifying and shooting the images over and over to create mind-bending animations that evolve at a frenzied pace. He currently teaches at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Loop Your Loop: Scratch Animation Workshop
7:00–10:00 p.m. | East Gallery
Become a maverick of direct animation at this hands-on workshop. Use nails, dental tools, sandpaper, paint, and other tools to transform a 16mm film loop into a 5 second animated film. Paint on the celluloid, scratch into the emulsion, and let your creativity take over—while learning a little about analog filmmaking along the way. See your creations projected immediately and take your tiny motion picture home with you.
Run by a highly skilled, dedicated team of volunteers, Explorables workshops mix classic activities with open-ended investigations, encouraging participants to follow their hunches to aha moments of scientific insight.
By Pamela Z
6:00–10:00 p.m. | Barbro and Bernard Osher West Gallery, TRBQ
Suitcase is part of an installation work Baggage Allowance that focuses on the concept of baggage in both literal and metaphorical permutations. The installation, which is one component of a larger work that also includes a live performance and an interactive browser-based work (baggageallowance.tv), investigates baggage not only in the context of travel, but also the sense of emotional attachment to physical things and memories.
Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she processes her voice in real time to create dense, complex sonic layers.
Reversal Symmetry I and Reversal Symmetry II
By Glen Cheriton
6:00–10:00 p.m. | Crossroads
Two rectangular prisms offer a theoretical glimpse into time reversal symmetry, a concept where the entropic formula allows for motion to work in reverse. These two videos use simple materials, like water and black ink, to create a visual representation of a realized demonstration of this improbable process.
Glen Cheriton was born and raised in Palo Alto, California, where he witnessed the ever-faster-growing tech industry of Silicon Valley. He uses the camera as both a tool of artistic expression and an instrument of scientific observation. Unlike a scientist, he neither seeks nor offers answers, preferring thoughts, meditations, and ruminations instead.
By Chris Fraser
6:00–10:00 p.m. | Bechtel Central Gallery
“Our bodies are often invisible to us. But in rare circumstance we are called again into the pleasure of being. The Giant Mirror mimics the body, compliments it, amplifies its faculties, presses at its limitations.”
Technologies as diverse as the reflector telescope and slide projector rely on a nuanced arrangement of a few basic elements—light, lens, and mirror. Using a halogen lightbulb and the Exploratorium’s Giant Mirror, Chris Fraser arranged these elements in a way that addresses the physical situation of each viewer: their height and position in the room, how quickly they walk, and the peculiarity of their gait.
Chris Fraser designs and builds interactive artworks that animate the subtle, yet extraordinary, qualities of light present in the world around us. Using a simple set of tools—light, drywall, lumber, and paint—he builds architectural spaces that pique visitors‘ curiosity and speculation about natural phenomena.
By Eunoics Light Club
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Bechtel Central Gallery
“We come from another dimension to provide you with visual pleasure. Please sit in the chairs to rejuvenate your terrestrial mind-body. If the visual pleasure provided does not satisfy, look through the lenses and inspect the stochastic bursts of light, complex machines, and iridescent beings that constitute the technological innards of our octagonal space craft.”
—Eunoics Light Club
Eunoics Light Club is a group of enthusiasts progressing the tradition and technique of light ephemera showcases. Members Julie Crossman, Danilo Markov, and Rob Wilson take original inspiration from similar spectacles at rock concert halls and planetariums, while focusing on the pedagogy of technique.
Horse of a Different Color
By Michael Brown
6:00–10:00 p.m. | Bechtel Central Gallery
Eadweard Muybridge's iconic photographic motion studies of running horses (ca. 1870s) were in essence the birth of modern cinema. Inspired by these images, artist Michael Brown incorporated them into his long-running series entitled Unsupported Transit. Using current technology and light-emitting diodes, Brown animates Muybridge's imagery with shadows, reflections, and light.
Michael Brown is an artist inspired by science and technology. His work ranges from permanent installations on the library at the London School of Economics to temporary installations at Burning Man.
By JD Beltran and Scott Minneman
6:00–10:00 p.m. | East Gallery
Liminous is a blending of the words liminal and luminous. The word liminal is defined as “of or relating to a transitional process,” or “occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.” The word luminous is defined as “full of light; bright or shining, especially in the dark.” Together, those words describe the body of work exhibited here and created by JD Beltran and Scott Minneman from 2012 to 2016. The pieces explore, expand, and blur the boundaries of cinema, time, light, lens, memory, and journeys—as well as the familiar, iconic forms of the snowglobe and the crystal ball.
Motion Picture Player
By Michael Rudnick
6:00–10:00 p.m. | Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery
The artist, Michael Rudnick, utilizes a continuous loop of film through a viewer, similar to a movie projector, to present images in a unique and fascinating manner. In a conventional movie, the frames of the film are displayed at a precise speed, creating the sensation of a continuous scene. In this exhibit, the speed is controlled by the user and individual frames have no direct relationship with one another. The impression given is of images dissolving into each other.
This archived Artist-in-Residence exhibit returns to the floor with its original design and label for tonight’s program.
Film and video maker Michael Rudnick is a former Exploratorium Artist In Residence. His moving images have appeared in sculpture, installation, and perception exhibits in addition to traditional media. As a Cinema Artist in Residence, Rudnick created a series of high- and low-tide studies along the shore, multiple time-lapse videos from the roof of Pier 15, and a longer-form meditation on time and tide along the Embarcadero.
Barbro and Bernard Osher West Gallery
Take an excursion through total darkness in our Tactile Dome. Crawl, slide, and bump your way through the pitch-dark Dome using your sense of touch as your only guide through its chambers and mazes.
Please Note: Due to the nature of this experience, certain restrictions apply. Guests who are afraid of the dark; claustrophobic; have back, neck, or knee injuries; or are in their third trimester of pregnancy should not participate. Guests wearing casts are prohibited. Also, please wear comfortable clothes.
Learn more about the Tactile Dome.