Illuminated Frames - The Exploratorium | Kids Out and About San Francisco

Illuminated Frames - The Exploratorium

Bask in the glow of the screen with this selection of artist-made movies. Drawing inspiration from nature and optical effects, these imaginative light studies offer a landscape of visual impressions. The dimmed atmosphere of the cinema sets the perfect scene to take in this array of colorful illuminations of brilliant ideas.

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Snow Time (Vyacheslav Ivanov, 2014, 2 min.): Vyacheslav Ivanov filmed snowflakes in formation, presenting us with a lovely crystalline interlude during our winter season. Music by Aphex Twin.

Glistening Thrills (Jodie Mack, 2013, 8 min.): Jodie Mack offers us a holographic world of vibrant colors and creates a serene, glowing dreamscape emerging from darkness. Featuring compositions for bowed vibraphone by Elliot Cole.

Autumn Spectrum (Hy Hirsh, 1957, 7 min.): Hy Hirsh captures a poetic and lustrous portrait of Amsterdam through undulating rhythms of light and reflection. A jazz score by the Modern Jazz Quartet and visual superimpositions enhance the lyrical quality of this cine-poem.

Polly One (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2018, 6 min.): Kevin Jerome Everson poetically captures a solar eclipse at 99% totality in the skies of North Carolina during the August 21, 2017 solar event. In this film dedicated to his grandmother, Bertha Everson, the filmmaker calls on us to meditate on the breadth and wonder of celestial phenomena. Silent.

Recursive Lattice (J. M. Martínez, 2021, 4 min.): J. M. Martínez uses concave lenses and prisms to beautifully capture the splendor of textural elements in the Sequoia sempervirens habitat, along with the ephemeral properties of lush sunlight. Silent.

Lattice (Maria Constanza Ferreira, 2017, 3 min.): Maria Constanza Ferreira surfaces iridescent waves, geometrical gardens, and exquisite swirling forms found within a crystal’s microscopic structure. 

Lights (Marie Menken, 1964–66, 6 min.): Marie Menken’s energetic embrace of holiday lights turns a city’s decorations into a kinetic blaze of color. Light was a major focus for this avant-garde film pioneer, who transformed her Bolex camera into “an instrument for painting marvelous sculptural forms from neon and city lights.” Silent.

Polly One, 2018 is ©Kevin Jerome Everson and provided courtesy the artist; trilobite-arts DAC; Picture Palace Pictures

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The Exploratorium


Pier 15(Embarcadero at Green Street)
San Francisco, CA, 94111
United States


(415) 528-4444
Contact name: 
The Exploratorium
Email address: 
Times Vary
Free for members and donors—only a membership card and ID required for entry


All Ages Adults & kids together