Exploratorium Fog Festival

Saturday, September 28, 2013 | 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Exploratorium, Pier 15

Celebrate the enigmatic and ever-changing nature of fog and explore the science behind what is one of San Francisco’s most salient meteorological phenomena at the Exploratorium’s first-ever Fog Festival.

Events include:

12:00 and 2:00 p.m.
Fog Films in the Kanbar Forum
with filmmaker Simon Christen in person

In describing the work of artist Fujiko Nakaya—creator of the Exploratorium’s Fog Bridge—writer Yuji Morioka noted that she has “achieved . . . an alchemy of natural aesthetics.” From capturing the dynamism of fog to musing on how weather maps itself onto the soul of a city, these films distill and reconsider the curious mix of natural phenomena found in our native landscapes. Films include Adrift (Simon Christen, 2013), Fog (Mark McGowan, 1977), Moods of the City (Westwood Video and Film Club of San Francisco, 1972), You! (Michael Rudnick, 2006), Hand Held Day (Gary Beydler, 1975) and Unseen Sea (Simon Christen, 2010). Simon Christen will be in attendance to discuss his dramatic timelapse films of the Bay Area.


1:00–1:45 p.m.
Kiri No Oto (The Sound of Fog)
EN Performance adjacent to Fog Bridge

EN is the sonically atmospheric duo of San Francisco based multi-instrumentalists James Devane and Maxwell August Croy. The pair utilize a wide range of instrumentation—notably koto, guitar, organ, and percussion—to explore layered systems of synchronization, melody, and texture. Their lush and lofty music has been released on labels such as Root Strata, Students of Decay, Constellation Tatsu, and Ghostly International. EN will perform outdoors, creating a fleeting soundtrack for the fog just next to Nakaya’s Fog Bridge. http://ennnnnnn.com


2:30–4:00 p.m.
Bay Observatory Mezzanine
Fog Fall with Exploratorium Exhibit Developer and Artist Charles Sowers

Like the fog sweeping over Twin Peaks, Exploratorium exhibits evolve slowly over time in our Exhibit Development Shop. Fog Fall, a lush cascade of fog designed by the talented Charles Sowers, is an exhibit prototype that makes visible the complex interactions of ambient air currents and viewer movement. Investigate this work-in-progress and chat informally with Charles about what it’s like to transform a foggy idea into a fully functional exhibit for the museum floor.


3:00–3:30 p.m.
Special appearance by artist Fujiko Nakaya at the Fog Bridge

In 1970 Tokyo-based artist Fujiko Nakaya was the first artist ever to create sculpture out of the ephemeral medium of fog. Since then, Nakaya has developed projects around the world, but never before in San Francisco, a city famous for its fog. The Exploratorium reopened this April at Piers 15/17 with Fog Bridge, a site-specific fog installation by Nakaya, the inaugural work of our new Over the Water program. The artist will be meeting visitors and signing catalogs that provide further insight into her fascinating history.


3:30–5:00 p.m.
Conversations about Landscape
Fog City: The Talk Show in Bay Observatory

Director Sam Green has been exploring the intersection between cinema, performance, and public programs for several years. In this latest iteration of his form-blending practice, Green will present a live talk show on the subject of fog and San Francisco, using materials and several of the subjects from his documentary film project Fog City. From behind Frank Oppenheimer’s desk (which was dug out of storage specifically for this event), Green will interview a number of guests whose lives intersect with fog in interesting ways as well as people with witty and insightful things to say on the subject. Guests will include writer Rebecca Solnit, internet fog video sensation Simon Christen, Karl the Fog, and others. This talk show will involve a live studio audience, a sidekick, live music, and many of the other trappings of The Tonight Show. Co-sponsored by the Oakland Museum of California.