“Art museum” might not be the first term that comes to mind when thinking of the Exploratorium. However, the Exploratorium accurately describes itself as “a museum of science, art, and human perception.” Many of the exhibits are actually interactive, multimedia art exhibits. And since art intersects with science so well (think the science of color; the chemical properties of paint; the effects of perspective), it’s actually the perfect place for viewing art and for getting inspired for your own art projects.
It’s also a place of great opportunity for artists: they encourage applications for artist residencies of varying lengths. Here is just a bit of information from the “artist opportunities” page of their website:
“We are looking for artists to conduct research and create work in a variety of media - sculpture, film, video, performance, photography, sound, and installation - to potentially, but not necessarily, augment our large-scale thematically-based exhibitions. These projects take the form of both self-directed and project-based residencies.”
One of the special art exhibits currently at the Exploratorium is Reflections. Reflections is the work of New York-based interactive artist Daniel Rozin, who “creates installations and sculptures that have the unique ability to change and respond to the presence and point of view of the viewer. In many cases ‘you’ are the content of the piece and in others you are invited to take an active role in its creation.”
This fascinating, interactive exhibit demonstrates many ways of seeing ourselves and our surroundings. One of my favorite pieces in the exhibit is the “snow mirror.” As you stand in front of the transparent silk screen in a darkened room, “snowflakes” begin to fall and gather on your image, as if you were building a values study with white chalk on black paper, yet constantly moving… too hard to explain! You just have to experience it. But don’t wait too long; the last day to see Rozin’s Reflections is September 20.
Go for the inspiration, and who knows-- you may come away with enough ideas to apply for an Exploratorium residency yourself!