Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Light Walk: Bob Miller and the Exploratorium

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Exploratorium’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program the museum presents an investigation of the work of Bob Miller (1935-2007), a self-titled “natural philosopher” and author of many of the museum's most iconic exhibits about light, color, and shadow.

Drawn from Exploratorium archives and first-person accounts of Miller's life and work, Light Walk will include papers, letters, photographs, and objects, as well as public programs such as performances and film experiences.

The Exhibit will be available for viewing from Saturday, 10/25/14 - Thursday, 2/05/15 on the 4th floor of the San Francisco Public Library in the Art, Music and Recreation Center.

The Exhibit opening will be celebrated with a very special film program Radiant Cinema: Reflections on Light and Shadow. The film program shows on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 6:30-7:30 and will be preceded by an opening reception.

Bob Miller was a natural philosopher and poet of light. His unlimited imagination, playful insights, and questioning nature combined in powerful ways to influence the way those around him saw the world. His investigations into light and shadow acted as a physical and philosophical matrix on which to muse and discover, both at the Exploratorium and far beyond the museum walls.

Miller's wondrous methods of inquiry are the inspiration for Radiant Cinema, a program that incorporates light not only as a medium, but as a tool to weave abstractions and coherence. Some films take direct inspiration from Miller while others simply embody the type of radiance and mystery he saw in everyday reflections. The cinematic environment gives us the chance to consider the light coming from the projector as a wonder in itself; a portal to discovery.

Films that will be shown include:
Looking at the Light (2014, 3 min, video, color, sound) by David Barker.   This work-in-progress captures the light artist Bob Miller at home philosophizing and at play toward the later part of his life.

Lightwalk (1993, 3 min, 16mm, B&W, sound) by Michael Walsh.  Lightwalk is a cinematic ode to Bob Miller shot one summer afternoon at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and the Marin Headlands. "Amazing effects stream past our retinas while we are busily distracted by our lives. Using in-camera effects, this film attempts to capture everyday images we might overlook."  —Michael Walsh

Stately Mansions Did Decree (1999, 6 min, 16mm, color, silent) by Stan Brakhage.  Stan Brakhage’s spectacular hand-painted Stately Mansions Did Decree fills the screen with flickering shards of red and orange that present a universe ablaze with energy.

Glistening Thrills (2013, 8m, 16mm, color, sound) by Jodie Mack.  A shiny otherworld of holographic reverie pairs dollar store gift-bags and a haunting vibraphone soundtrack to create an effervescent melancholy in three parts. Featuring compositions by Elliot Cole.

Selected Bibliography compiled by San Francisco Public Library librarians:

Park, David
Call Number: 535 P219f 1999

Zajonc, Arthur
Call Number: 535.02 Z13c

Johnston, Sean F.
Call Number: Ref 535.22 J647h (in library use only)

Gross, Michael
Call Number: 571.455 G9143L

Johnsen, Sonke
Call Number: 571.455 J629o

Eckstut, Joann and Eckstut, Arielle
Call Number: 535.6 Ec59s

Edited by William Duckworth and Richard Fleming.
Call Number: 780.973 So841

Donna M. Stein..
Call Number: 709.04 W648s 

Hilde Hein ; foreword by Philip Morrison.
Call Number: 069.95 H364e

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