After Dark: Time

Thursday, June 4, 2015 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.

Exploratorium, Pier 15

$15 General; $10 Members; Free for Lab Members

Adults Only (18+)

Note: A ticket to Thursday evening adult-only hours does not guarantee admission to special programs with limited seating. Tickets for limited-capacity programs will be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.

As springtime ebbs and the summer solstice approaches, Exploratorium After Dark considers Time. Come experiment with and experience time—stopped, slow, quick, slow, quick, detectable, and undetectable—through enticing exhibits, suspenseful artworks and installations, and special performances and presentations, including a discussion of the 10,000-year clock with Alexander Rose, Executive Director of the Long Now Foundation, a relatively quick exploration of the theory of relativity with Exploratorium staffer Ron Hipschman, and music from the high-tempo percussion-based band Mission Delirium.



Time Marches On with Mission Delirium
7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 p.m.  |  Roaming on the hour in the North, South, and Central Galleries
Revel in Mission Delirium’s sound of earth-shaking drums and face-melting brass. Watch Mission Delirium display time through their time signatures, rhythm, and tempo. Let your hair down, get delirious, and shake your ass!

Relatively Relative with Ron Hipschman
7:30 p.m.  |  Kanbar Forum
You know what time is because of your daily experience, but what seems constant and unchanging is not. In 1905, Albert Einstein threw a monkey wrench in our perception of time and space. Join us as we examine a few of these quirks on a conceptual non-mathematical level. Yes, you CAN age slower than your twin!

10,000 Year Clock with Alexander Rose
8:00 p.m.  |  Bay Observatory Gallery
How do you make sure that your 10,000-year clock stays accurate? With a solar synchronizer, of course! Come get an introduction and update on the 10,000 Year Clock with the project’s manager, Alexander Rose, Executive Director of the Long Now Foundation.

Solar Synchronizer with Alexander Rose
6:30–9:30 p.m.  |  Bay Observatory Gallery
Every sunny noon, a prism directs sunlight down the shaft and slightly heats up this ingenious mechanical device. That synchronizing signal is transmitted by rods further down to the clock’s innards, where the imperceptible variations in the length of the day as the Earth wobbles on its axis will be compensated so that the clock can keep its noon on true solar noon. In that way the clock is self-adjusting, and keeps good time over centuries.

A Stitch in Time with Paul Nosa
6:30–9:30 p.m.  |  North Gallery
Think of any scenario. Put it into five words or less. Now watch as artist Paul Nosa interprets your words and uses a sewing machine to draw the resulting image on fabric.

How Many Saturdays? by Exploratorium staff
6:30–9:30 p.m.  |  Central Gallery
Lowell Robinson and Aaron Kline share a sneak peek of a timely new app, How Many Saturdays?, exploring the fleeting and subjective nature of time in our lives. Grab an iPad, jump in, and confront the not-so-grim reaper as you find out just how much you have (left) to live for.

Telling Time with Trees with Eric King
6:30–9:30 p.m.  |  East Gallery
he story of a tree is permanently built into its structure. Rings, bark, roots, and branches; each element helps us explore a tree’s biology and history. Learn to see the trees that surround you every day in a whole new way by discovering how their physical makeup tells the passage of time.

Telescopes Are Time Machines with Amateur Astronomers
6:30–9:30 p.m.  |  Bay Observatory Terrace
Join the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers to look through a telescope—and into the past. See the moon as it was, soaring around us and through our galaxy, approximately 1.2 seconds ago!

Cutting Ice Into One by Maz Kattuah
6:00–10:00 p.m.  |  North Gallery
Imagine a big block of ice suspended in the air. Now imagine a wire wrapped around the middle of that ice block, and hung from it, a motorcycle. Chill out with other skeptics and watch the motorcycle fall to the floor as the wire very slowly cuts through the ice, but bear witness—the ice block remains one whole piece! This enigmatic sculpture, originally inspired by the work of local artist Art Grant, suggests the inexorable passage of time as the ice is gradually divided and then refreezes after the wire moves through it.

Sun Reflecting on the Ocean (10 Seconds), 2015, by Glen Cheriton
6:00–10:00 p.m.  |  East Gallery
This exposure of an entire roll of film translates length of time into length of space.

“A photograph is often considered to be a singular, frozen moment of time. However, within every photograph lies a duration of time, since, scientifically, time is understood as infinitely divisible and can never be reduced to a single point.”—Glen Cheriton 


Chain Reaction with Tinkering Studio staff
6:30–9:30 p.m.  |  South Gallery, Tinkering Studio
Come to our table and make something happen. Create a chain reaction and get a close look at what we experience every day: the relationship between cause and effect. The trick is that the sequence of events you build has to set off the next participant’s contraption. In the end we’ll have a continuous chain reaction that goes from start to finish seamlessly, with each section contributed by a different person.

Message in a Bottle with Field Trip Explainers
6:30–9:30 p.m.  |  West Gallery
Communicate with beings from the past and the future—your wise predecessors of 15 minutes past, and successors of 15 minutes future. 


About Time by Owen Crump
6:00–10:00 p.m. (1962, 53 min., looping)  |  West Gallery, Mind Cinema
About Time is a vintage educational film produced by Bell Labs and Jack Warner. Using influences such as Frank Capra and Walt Disney, they weave fantastical story about time using lavish sets, animation, and an all-knowing host, Dr. Research. Though infused with narrative elements and religious undertones, About Time is based on a surprising breadth of facts and current research of the day and even features physicist Richard Feynman. This blast from the past will take you back to science films of the classroom, but without the uncomfortable desks.

Ikarus by Chuck Hudina
6:00–10:00 p.m. (1973, 2 min., looping)  |  Central Corridor
Ikarus captures a slow-motion dive at 3,000 frams per second.

La Jetée by Chris Marker
9:00 p.m.  |  Kanbar Forum
One of Cinema Arts first purchases for its collection, La Jetée (1962, 28 min, 16mm), winner of the Jean Vigo Prize for best short film, is a seminal black-and-white science fiction film by Chris Marker. Telling the story of a man sent back in time through his own memories and constructed almost entirely from still photos, this exhilarating tale recounts a post-nuclear war experiment in time travel.

Preceded the The Timekeeper (2014, 6 min.) by Katherine Wells. The time that ends up on your smartphone—and that synchronizes GPS, military operations, financial transactions, and internet communications—originates in a set of atomic clocks on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory. Dr. Demetrios Matsakis, Chief Scientist for USNO's Time Services, gives a tour.

Whether it’s how life makes use of death, how speed can appear to slow something down, or how we can visualize a single point in time, each of these exhibits offers a way for you to explore the nature of time.

South Gallery
Animation Station
Tinkering Clock

Central Gallery Corridor
Capturing Moments in Time
Machine with Concrete
Olvera Clock
Sweepers Clock
Time to Think

East Gallery
Big Wood
Energy from Death
Live Chicken Embryo
Population Cycles
Still Life
Watch Mushrooms Grow

Bay Observatory Gallery
History of the Sky
Sky Theater
Solar Time
Tidal Ribbon
Time Shift

Buying tickets in advance is strongly recommended; door sales are limited. Tickets for limited-capacity programs will be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.

Experience life After Dark, an evening series exclusively for adults that mixes cocktails, conversation, and playful, innovative science and art events.

Not a theater, cabaret, or gallery, After Dark contains aspects of all three. Each evening showcases a different topic—from music to sex to electricity—but all include a cash bar and film screenings, plus an opportunity to play with our hundreds of hands-on exhibits. Join us and mingle with inventive scientists, artists, musicians, programmers, and designers. Enjoy live performances, provocative films, interesting music, cutting-edge technology, unexpected extravaganzas, and more, depending on each evening's lineup. And all night long, delicious nibbles and outrageous bay views are available at the SeaGlass restaurant. Leave the kids at home and meet friends or take a date. Where else can you find an intellectually stimulating playground for adults?

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