Angel Columns, my first exhibit developed for the Exploratorium. An expansion of the familiar Face Vase illusion, i had the columns lathed out of wood by the Haas Wood and Ivory Works, a hundred and something year old latheing operation in downtown S.F. There are now many fiberglas replicas in museums all over the world.
Angel Columns, aka 'Tween Angels, Space Angels, Angel Caryatids.
Mocking up the original version.
One fellow lathed these columns (then they were split in half). He said that after finishing the first column, he had to go home and soak in the bathtub for two hours.
When the columns were removed from their familiar place in the Palace of Fine Arts (the columns utilized the outlines of the angels on the rotunda of the PFA), Teacher Institute staff created their impromptu replica.
Artwork for Angel Columns coffee mug.
Angel Columns t-shirt.
It was recently pointed out to me that one of the contestants on American Idol was spotted wearing a customized Angels Columns t-shirt!

Digital mock-up for proposed Elvis Sighting columns.
Talking Face to Vase, aka Face to Vase Conversation, to Talking Heads. An eccentrically shaped revolving version of the Face/Vase illusion.
Face to Vase Conversation. An eccentric shape is spun, revealing two faces having a conversation.
Another exhibit that has been reproduced around the world.

Another Figure/Ground Illusion.
Still Life. When viewed fro afar, this appears to be a standard still life construction, but upon close observation, the background shapes are closer then the foreground ones. Putting your hand between the layers creates a disconcerting effect.
Still Life Illusion.

Most commonly asked question at the Exploratorium is "Where are the bathrooms." This sign hung over an archway, with the women's bathrooms to the left and the men's to the right. Both genders complained that the arrows pointed only to the other genders side.
Particle Accelerator. A large plexiglas sphere with a ball bearing inside. By carefully timing your wiggling of the sphere, you can get the ball bearing to accelerate faster and faster around the sphere, the sound getting higher pitched the faster the ball goes. This exhibits how, be it on a swing set or a scientific particle accelerator, one can achieve great energies with small well-timed pulses.
Particle Accelerator. A large plexiglas sphere with a ball bearing inside. By carefully timing your wiggling of the sphere, you can get the ball bearing to accelerate faster and faster around the sphere, the sound getting higher pitched the faster the ball goes. This exhibits how, be it on a swing set or a scientific particle accelerator, one can achieve great energies with small well-timed pulses.
Particle Accelerator. A large plexiglas sphere with a ball bearing inside. By carefully timing your wiggling of the sphere, you can get the ball bearing to accelerate faster and faster around the sphere, the sound getting higher pitched the faster the ball goes. This exhibits how, be it on a swing set or a scientific particle accelerator, one can achieve great energies with small well-timed pulses.
Particle Accelerator. A large plexiglas sphere with a ball bearing inside. By carefully timing your wiggling of the sphere, you can get the ball bearing to accelerate faster and faster around the sphere, the sound getting higher pitched the faster the ball goes. This exhibits how, be it on a swing set or a scientific particle accelerator, one can achieve great energies with small well-timed pulses.
Particle Accelerator. A large plexiglas sphere with a ball bearing inside. By carefully timing your wiggling of the sphere, you can get the ball bearing to accelerate faster and faster around the sphere, the sound getting higher pitched the faster the ball goes. This exhibits how, be it on a swing set or a scientific particle accelerator, one can achieve great energies with small well-timed pulses.
Particle Accelerator. A large plexiglas sphere with a ball bearing inside. By carefully timing your wiggling of the sphere, you can get the ball bearing to accelerate faster and faster around the sphere, the sound getting higher pitched the faster the ball goes. This exhibits how, be it on a swing set or a scientific particle accelerator, one can achieve great energies with small well-timed pulses.
Pinbell Machine. The visitor launches a ball with the plunger, and the ball clanks musically off various objects you put in its path. Inspired by the work of John Cage, this exhibit resides in many museums around the world.
Pinbell Machine. The visitor launches a ball with the plunger, and the ball clanks musically off various objects you put in its path. Inspired by the work of John Cage, this exhibit resides in many museums around the world.
Bat Marimba. Always a hit when we do mobile exhibitions on the Science of Baseball, the Bat Marimba shows the visitor that the "Sweet Spot" of a bat is the best place to hit the ball ("node" or place of least vibration, but the worst place to make music. Bats of various sizes shows that there's always a sweet spot on any length bat.
Demonstrating the Bat Marimba and the Sweet Spot at an exhibition of Science of Baseball at Oakland Coliseum during a A's/Yankees game.
Demonstrating the Bat Marimba and the Sweet Spot at an exhibition of Science of Baseball at AT&T during a Giants game. We have done numerous exhibitions at ballparks.
Demonstrating the Bat Marimba and the Sweet Spot at an exhibition of Science of Baseball at AT&T during a Giants game. We have done numerous exhibitions at ballparks.
Bat Marimba and the Sweet Spot at a Science of Baseball exhibition at the Exploratorium.
Bat Marimba plans.
Place that Face. An exhibit for the Exploratorium Memory Show, one looks at mug shots of actual criminals and then tries to use blocks to reconstruct the face from memory.
Various Memory exhibits for the Exploratorium Memory Show, showing the importance of hair, top, and bottom of faces as factors in facial recognition.
Symbols Wall. Various iconic symbols, from religious to corporate to caricature placed on the giant green doors in the Exploratorium's Palace of Fine Arts. The visitor observes how symbols are such an important part of our understanding, often containing very deep or complex ideas in a simple form.
Symbols Wall. Various iconic symbols, from religious to corporate to caricature placed on the giant green doors in the Exploratorium's Palace of Fine Arts. The visitor observes how symbols are such an important part of our understanding, often containing very deep or complex ideas in a simple form.
Evolution of a Symbol. A kiosk investigating the power of symbols, showing how the swastika, which was originally a buddhist symbol and embraced by southwest Indian tribes, became associated with unspeakable horror and revulsion by the Nazi regime of World War 2.
Trace a Face. A variation of an opaque projector allows one to trace the projected face of a friend, concentrating on facial features and how we interpret them. This was part of the Memory exhibition.
Animal Speak. A chart showing how people from different cultures interpret the sounds animals make. For instance, Hungarian pigs go "Rawhr rawhr."
Parallel Universe. Thin vertical mirror strips are placed in the orientation of a Fresnel Lens. Stand up close and you will see yourself reflected in all the mirrors at once. Step back and walk by the mirrors while being aware of your peripheral vision. You will see yourself streaking at you and then passing you by. Now in a collection in Switzerland at the Technorama Museum.
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