The MAX Festival 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019 • 10:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Included with museum admission and free for Daytime members and After Dark members.

Join us for the inaugural MAX (Media, Arts, Exploration) Festival at the Exploratorium as we celebrate humanity’s modern frontier: space. Illuminating scientific exploration through artistic expression and shared experiences, the MAX Festival has gathered local and international artists who explore the new space age.

Spacewoman of the Underground
With Christine Zuecher

10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Gallery 4

Wearing a handmade spacesuit and wielding tools for excavation, Christine Zuercher performs an attempt to dig a hole to the other side of the planet. Adjacent to her dig is a ham radio where she receives transmissions from all parts of the globe. Watch recordings of the actual dig, look for artifacts in the exhumed dirt that came from beneath the earth, tune into the radio transmissions to experience the voice of the unknown, and write a letter to the planet Mars. Come celebrate the human urge to explore—and interrogate the instinct to exploit.

Christine Zuercher received a BFA from the University of Dayton and an MFA from East Carolina University. Her research is on shortwave radio, the Space Race, and transmission technologies with a focus in interdisciplinary and alternative photographic processes.


With Xin Liu

Noon–4:00 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3, Wattis Webcast Studio

Living/Distance explores how each of us holds a relatively inconsequential, yet wholly unique place in this world. Brought to life in space, Liu’s sculpted avatar dances through the cosmos on a Blue Origin rocket. Footage of the space voyage and poet Abigail Wender’s narration of Xin’s journey of creation combine to provide an immersive and truly otherworldly experience. 

Xin Liu is an artist and engineer whose research-based projects range from performances, apparatuses, and installations to scientific experiments and academic papers. Xin is the the Arts Curator in Space Exploration Initiative in MIT Media Lab and a member of New INC in New Museum.

Abigail Wenderhas been published nationally including The Cortland Review, DMQ Review, Epiphany, Guernica / a magazine of art and politics, Kenyon Review Online, and The  Massachusetts Review,  among many others.


Intergalactic Travel Bureau
With Guerrilla Science

Noon–4:00 p.m.
Gallery 4 Demo Station

Plan your vacation to Mars! Or why not a SuperNova? The Intergalactic Travel Bureau is the farthest-reaching—and friendliest—travel agency in the universe. Enjoy a VR preview of your voyage before you go.

Guerilla Science is committed to connecting people with science in new ways and producing live experiences that entertain, inspire, challenge, and amaze.