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In this commissioned artwork from Oakland-based artist Chris Fraser, the museum’s historic Pier 15 Bulkhead is the site of a large-scale light study that subtly traces the movement of the Sun. Fraser uses the idea that there is an equivalency between light and pictures as a departure point for the work. Having worked extensively with pinhead and pinspeck cameras and camera obscuras, Fraser became inspired by one of the essential Exploratorium staff artists, Bob Miller.
Through his essential exhibits seen throughout the museum, such as Sophisticated Shadows and Sun Painting, as well as his transformative light walks, Bob Miller encouraged deep observation of natural light and a consideration of light as art. In his research, Chris Fraser uncovered that he and Miller shared an artistic philosophy, which inspired his creation of this work. The effect is one in which viewers can indulge in the simple pleasure of light and find themseves surrounded by 1,000 tiny Suns.
Chris Fraser uses the camera obscura and the notion of “architectures of passage” as initial points of departure, pursuing an experience of light, shadow, and movement that calls attention to the unseen forces in everyday phenomena Using simple tools and materials, he invites viewers to speculate about how technology alters and amplifies one’s senses and visceral experience of being in the world, as well as the ways that humans relate to each other.