Sounds About Listening

San Francisco's Exploratorium has long been a model of public institutions supporting artists. Housed in the Palace of Fine Arts, built for the World's Fair in the early 1900s, this museum and learning center is an expansive site for the exhibition of educational installations related to scientific processes. The hands-on projects attract kids, while people of all generations are drawn to the large-scale art installations created by an international panoply of new media artists. Over the years, through residencies, exhibitions, and other public programs, the Exploratorium has acquired a respectable sound archive, ranging from more didactic to more creative pieces. They recently initiated the project, 'Listen: Making Sense of Sound,' which is a collection of sound art works by artists Ali Momeni, Nigel Helyer, and Michelle Nagai. All of the recordings are available online, but visitors to the Exploratorium can also listen to site-specific recordings related to the fifty-five interactive exhibits on view in their 5000-square-foot space. These pieces use sound to explore the nature of sound, including recording techniques, methods of transmission, and the processes through which we hear. Get in line, or online, to have a listen. - Angelo Moreno