Events: Emergence (2013) at San Francisco’s Pier 15

Behind the Scenes: Emergence (2013) Obscura and Exploratorium from Obscura Digital on Vimeo.

If you happen to be in San Francisco tonight (April 18) try to make it to the Exploratorium in its brand new home at the historic Pier 15 on the Embarcadero. To celebrate the grand opening of the beloved science, the creative technology firm Obscura Digital was tapped to transform the building’s façade into a dynamic visual event this evening.

Dubbed Emergence, the event will take viewers on a rich visual journey with real-life visualizations showing a mind-blowing range of natural phenomena, transforming the building into a window on the world around us.

Obscura designed and built 10 miniatures replicas of the Exploratoriums’s façade (in sizes all the way down to microscopic) to hold experiments that cover everything from fluid dynamics and microorganisms to crystallization and time-lapse growth, which were then recorded in high definition video. The images will then be projected back on to the building’s surface for a stunning optical illusion.

A mock-up of the fluid dynamics cloud tank. Image courtesy Obscura Digital.

In addition to the visual component of the exhibit, Obscura musicians arranged and composed unique and non-digital sounds to create harmonics that elevate the experience into a dynamic, multimedia experience.

“By creating real, physical replicas of the building to contain phenomena, we were able to capture an infinite resolution of interactive complexities,” says Garth Williams, Obscura’s Creative Director for Emergence. “The fluids, particles and organisms navigate through the negative spaces, react to surfaces and behave in a way that computers will never replicate.”

It’s a joyous celebration of the world around us that reminds us that even in the digital age, the natural world still has the power to engage, amaze and inspire us.

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