Light Walk: Bob Miller & The Exploratorium
October 25, 2014 – February 5, 2015
San Francisco Public Library
The Exploratorium and San Francisco Public Library present an investigation of the work of Bob Miller (1935–2007), artist, natural philosopher, and creator of many of the museum’s most iconic exhibits about light, color, and reflection.
One of the first artists to work at the Exploratorium, Miller was invited to “come and play” one afternoon in 1970 by museum founder Frank Oppenheimer. He stayed for nearly two decades, inspiring the creation of the museum’s official AIR program in 1974 and deeply influencing the experimental culture of the institution.
Miller began taking friends outside the Exploratorium to share his discoveries about sunlight and shadow in the summer of 1975. Fascinated by the idea that light is information, he set out to examine this subtle proposition using a collection of ingeniously simple props and tools.
His fabled “Light Walks”—a singular blend of performance art and radical pedagogy—are the focal point the exhibition, which includes archival papers, letters, photographs, objects, ephemera, prototypes, and original works.
A collection of first-person accounts by colleagues and collaborators describing the diversity of his practice and impact—from the creation of Sun Painting, his first work in 1970, to how a hunch about an unknown Italian-American painter led to one of the Exploratorium’s most well-attended exhibitions in history—afford a broader context for Miller’s work.
Light Walk includes several performances and screenings inspired by Miller’s work, including Radiant Cinema, a film program curated by Cinema Arts screening at the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium on October 29, and Actual Reality, a performance by Los Angeles–based artists Lucky Dragons at the Exploratorium on November 20.