the summer of 2002, after more than three years of research
and experimentation, the Exploratoriums revitalized collection
of exhibits on visual perception officially opens to the public.
SEEING showcases classic Exploratorium exhibits as well as new
visual experiences created especially for this project.
Seeing is a massive topic, spanning the kaleidoscopic range
of what we know about visionfrom the physical (the behavior
of light) to the social and philosophical (the subjectivity
of visual interpretation). The collections exhibits are
loosely gathered into groups reflecting the phenomena they illustrate:
on any of the colored areas for more on that part of the
The new and updated exhibits in the SEEING collection reflect
the spectacular gains in our understanding of the visual system
that have occurred in the years since the Museums first
vision exhibits. But just as the Exploratorium is more than
a science museum, SEEING includes exhibits that do more than
present the latest in vision science. Seeing makes it possible
for us to experience the enormous range of the visual arts,
from painting, photography, and sculpture to the latest in electronic
multimedia. Thats why the SEEING team has also been working
with staff and visiting artists, local arts organizations, and
visual artists from around the world to include exhibits that
illuminate the beauty, mystery, and wonder of seeing as well
as the science behind it.
SEEING represents a major modernization of one of the Exploratoriums
oldest and best-known groups of exhibits and illustrates the
fundamental power of visual images across times and cultures.
The collections exhibits are informed by the work of dedicated
researchers to suggest how vision works, but the visual experiences
they provide also demonstrate why humans have been fascinated
with sight for centuries.
SEEING is made possible by a grant from the National
Science Foundation, with additional support from the National
Endowment for the Arts, AT&T:
New Experiments in Art and Technology, and The LEF
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