San Francisco’s Exploratorium Presents Inflatable, an Exhibition of Gigantic Air-filled Artworks (Sponsor)
Explore, play, and wonder at gigantic, fantastical, artworks at Inflatable — a new summer exhibition at the Exploratorium, San Francisco’s iconic museum of art, science, and human perception.
Curated by Christopher Jobson, founder and editor-in-chief of Colossal, Inflatable features artwork by Tasmanian environmental artist Amanda Parer, balloon sculptor Jason Hackenwerth, interactive artist and educator Jimmy Kuehnle, technology-inspired designer Shih Chieh Huang, and Rhode Island collective Pneuhaus. Massive air-filled, human-like figures will fill the museum from floor to ceiling, along with dynamic sculptures of otherworldly organisms, a forest of cushiony columns, an inflatable insect-eye room, and more. Even visitors familiar with the Exploratorium will see the space in a new way.
Rated the #1 Museum in San Francisco on TripAdvisor, the Exploratorium is more than a museum. Visitors of all ages can step inside a tornado, turn upside down in a giant curved mirror, walk on a fog bridge, and explore more than 650 hands-on exhibits. The museum offers all of this plus unique programs, discussions, and events; a café and restaurant; two stores; and more at its beautiful San Francisco waterfront location on the historic Embarcadero.
Located between the historic Ferry Building and Pier 39, the Exploratorium is a short distance from any of these popular attractions: Fisherman’s Wharf, the Alcatraz ferries, and downtown.
- Daily Summer Hours (May 26–September 3), 10am–5pm (All ages)
- After Dark Thursday Evenings, 6–10pm (Ages 18+)
- Friday Evening Extended Hours (July 6–August 31), 10am–9pm (All Ages)
Entry to Inflatable is included with museum admission.
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Colossal is thrilled to announce the summer show, Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, a museum dedicated to science, art and human perception. Led by our founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Colossal has worked closely with the Exploratorium team to curate the museum’s summer 2018 exhibition. Inflatable brings together artists from around the world who work in the mediums of textiles, technology, and air.
Jason Hackenwerth (previously), renowned for his massive balloon sculptures that often simulate the universal biology of living things, will be building an inflated sculpture comprised of thousands of hand-tied balloons. Cauldron Veil will be built in front of the public at the Exploratorium in the days before the exhibition opening, and hoisted up to the ceiling where it will be suspended over visitors.
Tasmania-based artist Amanda Parer (previously) examines the relationships between humans and our natural surroundings in her large-scale white inflatable sculptures. Parer’s series, Fantastic Planet, includes two enormous humanoid figures that will be hard to miss as they tower over gallery walls.
Jimmy Kuehlne taps into interactivity, wonder, and humor in his diverse range of artworks. For Inflatable, he’ll be building a forest of glowing air-filled columns that invite museum-goers to explore his art from within. The Cleveland-based artist describes the spirit of his creations: “If I can make something that you can’t quite put in a category, then maybe there’s going to be a short circuit and you’ll have a genuine interaction.”
Inflatable visitors will also have the chance to step inside a fly’s eye as built by Rhode Island-based design collective Pneuhaus. Compound Camera is a uniquely functional geodesic dome that turns the world upside down and inside out using 109 inflated spherical camera obscuras.
Technology, electronics, and everyday materials collide in Taiwanese artist Shih Chieh Huang‘s responsive sculptures. Huang, who is based in New York, will be installing Guardian of the Disphotic, a fleet of interconnected sculptures that move and breathe in response to their environment.
The Exploratorium is a unique public learning laboratory with a mission to create inquiry-based experiences that transform learning worldwide. Centrally located on San Francisco’s waterfront Embarcadero, the Exploratorium is filled with hundreds of explore-for-yourself exhibits. These interactive stations will be on view alongside Inflatable. We’re also developing public programming and family-friendly evening events specifically for the summer show—stay tuned! Inflatable opens on May 26 and is open through September 3, 2018. Find out more and plan your visit on the Exploratorium website.
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The Des Moines Art Center’s recent exhibit, Drawing in Space, highlighted four artists working in the medium of tape. The show included Numen/For Use (previously), an artist collective based in Vienna and Zagreb. Their interactive sculpture, called simply “Tape,” is made exclusively of clear packing tape, suspended within the art center’s I.M. Pei-designed architecture. Museum visitors are encouraged to explore the piece from the inside out—as long as they wear socks and move through the structure in a clockwise direction. Numen’s exhibit at the Art Center closed on January 21st, and we’re looking forward to seeing where it appears next. Previous iterations have been built in Paris, Frankfurt, and Vienna. See more of Numen/For Use’s work on their website and Facebook.
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Photographer Stefan Draschan visits museums around Europe to see not just the artwork but the people observing the artwork. In his series People Matching Artworks he patiently waits for museum-goers who unintentionally coordinate with the art they’re observing, and snaps a candid photo of the coincidence. You can follow the tumblr for this project, as well as a behind-the-scenes tumblr, and find links to Draschan’s other observational collections on his website. (via Kottke)
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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's newest tech tool allows any smartphone user to gain access to the artworks hidden behind their archive doors, a collection so large that it would stretch 121.3 miles if you placed each artwork end-to-end. With only 5% of this collection on view, the museum decided to create Send Me SFMOMA, a texting service that delivers an artwork to your phone based on a sent emoji or phrase. For example, the first emoji I decided to text was a goat, for which they return Takuma Nakahira's 2008 Untitled image of—you guessed it, a goat.
To participate, text the number 572-51 the words “send me” followed by either a keyword (such as a color, emotion, or type of art) or an emoji. A quick response will bring your phone an image of an artwork from SFMOMA’s vast collection, in addition to a caption containing the artist, artwork title, and year. Within the first four days of the program over 3,000 artworks were generated, a larger number than the amount of works currently on view.
The system isn’t perfect, more of my inquiries came back with an error message than an artwork, however the intrigue of seeing a piece that has been tucked away from the public is quite addicting. I especially loved seeing what some of my most used emojis resulted in, such as the single eye which brought Tomoko Sawada's Early Days (1996) to my inbox. (via Hyperallergic)
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Built between 1883 and 1885, Casa Vicens is the very first home designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. During most of the Barcelona home’s 130-year-old history it served as a private residence, but thanks to a 2014 purchase by MoraBanc and a massive two-year renovation, the 19th-century building will be repurposed as a cultural center opening this October.
Casa Vicens was originally commissioned by the tile manufacturer Manuel Vicens i Montaner as a summer home, but sold in 1899 to the Jover family who owned the house for more than a century. The restoration of Casa Vicens began in April 2015, led by architects José Antonio Martínez Lapeña and Elías Torres, of Martínez Lapeña-Torres Arquitectes, and David García of Daw Office. The new museum will display many of Gaudís original designs while hosting both permanent and rotating exhibitions within its grand interior.
The building itself stands as an early example of the architect’s Neo-Mudéjar architecture, and is one of eight UNESCO World Human Heritage Site in Barcelona. Casa Vicens completes the Gaudí Route, a series of more than a dozen buildings designed by the architect including the breathtaking La Sagrada Familia. (via Dezeen and Hyperallergic)
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.