Browsing 50 - 60 results of 116 programs for category - Popular Culture
This After Dark event examined time's many faces through activities and presentations featuring honeybees, jump-shot photography, antique timepieces, and a performance by Gamelan Sari Raras. John Cage was one of the most influential composers in modern American music. He raised fundamental questions about the nature of music, and invigorated, provoked, and perplexed audiences throughout his long career. In this lecture from 1987, excerpts of his work are played and discussed. Afterwards, Cage takes questions and shares his thoughts on subjects ranging from the origins of his impulse to make music-"Many composers hear music before they write it, but I write music in order to hear it"-to using chance to create without ego or intention. He asks why we should listen to music instead of just listening to the sounds around us, and answers: "There's no reason."
Composer and performer Pauline Oliveros has been a pioneering figure in American music for over four decades. In this intimate talk recorded at the Exploratorium on February 21, 1985, Oliveros discusses her decision to quit teaching and flee to Italy with her accordion, her appreciation of the Grateful Dead's concert sound system, and the perils of the squeezebox. She also takes audience questions and performs "Rattlesnake Mountain" live. What motivates modern navigators? That depends on who you ask. But many explain their passion for voyaging in terms of kuleana--responsibility. In this extensive talk from 1985, prolific American composer, musician, and self-proclaimed 'student' Anthony Braxton discusses many elements of his musical work. Because Braxton sees his musical output as part of larger constellations of culture, politics, and spirituality, his talk is huge in scope, and his language sometimes dizzies while it dazzles. He discusses his personal rejection of music for entertainment, and considers instead what music might do to further universal values. He also takes audience questions and plays excerpts of some of his recordings. This talk will amuse, awe, challenge, and inspire interested parties old and new. A highlight of this After Dark evening was Thee Oh Sees, one of the Bay Area’s best underground bands, who created a playful aural disorientation while playing in front of “visual music” by the late experimental filmmaker and musicologist Harry Smith.
In this gem from 1990, we get a brief peek into the flourishing mind of German-born composer/sculptor Trimpin, a MacArthur "genius" award winner and the subject of a recent feature documentary. He chronicles his unique adventures through sound and music making, takes audience questions, and stages modified versions of his musical installations in front of the live audience. For three days in February 2010, the Exploratorium showcased the innovations and outlaw aesthetics of custom computer culture. An outgrowth of the hacker community, personal computer modding was born from the need for speed and personal style. The Exploratorium TV crew caught up with Exploratorium Living Systems director, Dr. Kristina Yu, at After Dark: Sexplorations. Kristina confirmed it for us—sex is all around us, all the time. This After Dark event featured a special installation of the Cubatron by Bay Area artist and engineer Mark Lottor. A visually stunning favorite of music and art festival audiences, the Cubatron is a 3–D light sculpture made from 8–x–8-foot modular cubes, each containing 1,000 individually programmable RGB LEDs. Viewed from any direction—even underneath—the Cubatron’s thousands of programmed pixels paint exquisite arrays of color that cascade in spectacularly dynamic patterns.