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Natural Connection: The Environment and You Presented by General Motors

Still image from a multimedia performance that includes a silhouetted figure and the sea floor.
Natural Connection: The Environment and You Presented by General Motors

How can you connect with the natural world? In celebration of the West Coast premiere of The Great Animal Orchestra, join us for an all-ages festival featuring hands-on activities, performances, and artworks that invite us to observe, listen to, and act in community with the environment. Learn about native Bay Area flora species, reflect on the local landscapes through drawing and poetry, and meet local organizations that are thinking about ways to create positive change and live in relationship with the natural world. Don’t miss live multimedia performances of Infinitely Yours by Vancouver-based artist Miwa Matreyek. Using her signature technique of vibrant, layered projections that she then interacts with while performing in silhouette, her visual storytelling is a compelling examination of climate change that appeals to audiences of any age.

Photo by Keida Mascaro courtesy of Miwa Matreyek

Infinitely Yours
1:00 and 2:30 p.m.
Kanbar Forum
With Miwa Matreyek

Immerse yourself in an emotional, dream-like meditation on climate catastrophe and the Anthropocene, the period of time, which constitutes a distinct geological age, when human activities have had a significant environmental impact on Earth.

In Infinitely Yours Miwa Matreyek shape-shifts to express the impact humans have on the environment from various perspectives. From traversing landscapes overflowing with trash to joining a school of fish caught in a trawling net, Miwa’s performance invites you to experience an emotionally impactful illustration of familiar headlines. She also asks you to reflect on what it might mean for all of us—humans, other life, and the Earth itself—to be living in this changing world.

Miwa Matreyek is an animator, director, designer, and performer based in Vancouver who has a background in animation by way of collage. She creates live performances where she interacts with her animations as a shadow silhouette. Her productions are cinematic and theatrical, fantastical and tangible, illusionistic and physical.

Photo by Keida Mascaro courtesy of Miwa Matreyek

Sound Garden
11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Gallery 5: Outdoor Exhibits
With Sudhu Tewari

Meander through a garden of wind-powered sound sculptures by artist Sudhu Tewari. You’ll discover several instruments that convert wind energy into acoustic energy and make sounds created by changes in atmospheric pressure. Take a meditative moment and listen to music composed by the wind.
Sudhu Tewari is an electroacoustic composer, improviser, and tinkerer in sound, kinetic, and interactive art. He has performed improvised music in various configurations with the likes of Fred Frith, Cenk Ergun, Mark Bartscher, Tadashi Usami, Gunda Gottschalk, Eric Glick Rieman, and Shelley Burgon.

Nature Journaling
Osher Gallery 1: Human Phenomenon
With Fiona Gillogly


Take a moment to slow down, pay attention, and explore the myriad wonders of the natural world through nature journaling. Expressed through drawing and writing, it is a fun and powerful practice that helps you notice more of the natural world’s wonder and beauty that is around you. Join naturalist and nature journaler Fiona Gillogly who will share methods of inquiry. You’ll uncover new details and understanding of seemingly familiar nature items, the tools of the trade, and simple ways to add this practice to your life and share it with others. And, you’ll be able to try your hand at it as we supply the necessary tools and a selection of familiar flora and fruit to inspire.

Born and raised in Northern California, Fiona Clare Gillogly, age 19, is an avid birder, artist, nature journaler, and nature advocate. She has taught classes and given talks on birding and nature journaling for many organizations, including Audubon California, the Exploratorium, Environment for the Americas/World Migratory Bird Day, the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, and the Point Reyes Birding Festival. 

The Use Less Car
10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Created by Eric Schmidt


Step inside a pedal-powered “car” and truly feel how much power automobiles require. The Use Less Car is crafted from a 1971 VW Bug that has been fitted to operate without fossil fuel or electricity and is powered exclusively by people. The driver and passenger must pedal with all their might to propel the 900 lb. car into motion. In creating this car, which moves “uselessly” slow, Eric Schmidt invites you to reflect on how much energy—which ultimately has deep impacts on the environment—is expended in the operation of a regular ole “useful” car and to think about how your own transportation choices affect the natural world.

Tataki Zome
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1: Human Phenomenon
With the Explainers


Also known as flower pounding or leaf bashing, Tataki zome is the Japanese art of transferring the botanical dyes that naturally occur in flowers and leaves by pressing them onto a fabric surface. Try your hand at this beautiful art form and create your own piece to take home.

Sustainability: Fishing for Answers
12:30, 1:00, and 1:30 p.m.
Gallery 2: Tinkering
With Science from Scientists


Does anyone own the fish in the ocean? There are natural resources that many species need to survive but most of them are limited. How do we make sure there is enough to go around? Join Science from Scientists educators to think through these questions using an interactive fishing game exploring the concepts of sustainability and the tragedy of the commons. First, you’ll fish quietly on your own and discover the impact your decisions have on others. Then, you’ll collaborate with others to use what you learned to propose more sustainable practices.

Science from Scientists’ mission is to teach and inspire the next generation to identify and solve real-world problems by improving STEM literacy. Their educators have advanced STEM degrees and offer curricula to schools and sites for informal learning using state and national frameworks for hands-on inquiry-based lessons.

Youth Vs Apocalypse
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1: Human Phenomenon


Youth Vs Apocalypse is a diverse group of young climate justice activists working together to lift the voices of youth, in particular youth of color and working class youth. Their collective action aims to fight for a livable climate and an equitable, sustainable, and just world. Learn about the ways they engage young community leaders to advocate for concrete change, a livable planet, and climate justice. 

Storytime Science for Kids: What’s That Sound?
Noon and 2:00 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3, Classroom 1606


Celebrate summer with a science-themed storybook read-aloud followed by a related activity geared toward young children (and their grown-ups). Come hear a story, get hands-on, and learn something new with the Exploratorium’s own Vivian Altmann!