Exploratorium: Home

West Gallery: Curators’ Statement

West Gallery: Curators’ Statement

The experiences in the West Gallery focus on cognition, emotion, social behavior, and the interplay between science, society, art, and culture.

We all perceive the world, remember the past, look forward to the future, and communicate with each other—and both scientists and artists investigate how and why we do so. In the West Gallery, you can explore how your mind works and learn about the scientific study of human behavior through exhibits on emotion, language, memory, and pattern recognition. 

The space is also home to Science of Sharing, a project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop exhibits that let you experiment with cooperation, competition, and strategies for sharing resources. Here, you're the exhibit; the mechanisms presented here are just tools through which you can play with and reflect on your experiences.

The gallery is also a venue for dynamic temporary exhibitions; the first is The Changing Face of What Is Normal, a collection of artifacts and experiences exploring the evolving nature of normality and the lives of those affected by mental illness. In addition, the Black Box offers a state-of-the-art immersive environment for large, media-based exhibitions by visiting artists. The gallery also features works by past and present Exploratorium artists-in-residence.

Pamela Winfrey, Curator
Hugh McDonald, Associate Curator