» » »

After Dark: Nonsense Machines

another horse

Leave your common sense at the door and indulge in a night of nonsense. In celebration of the opening of our exhibition Curious Contraptions, join us for a gathering of artists and makers who specialize in the whimsical, the foolish, and the absurd - including two performances by Maywa Denki,  foremost purveyors of nonsense machines. Get ready to get illogical!


Ume Course With Maywa Denki
7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  |  Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum

Delight in the purported nonsense machines of Maywa Denki in this charming performance by president Tosa San and his associates. Self-described as an “electronics company in a parallel world,” Maywa Denki builds an array of handmade, absurd devices that serve as the foundation for their public performances, which are a singular blend of song, dance, comedy, and art. 

Everything Matters: Molybdenum With Ron Hipschman
8:30 p.m.  |  Bechtel Gallery 3, Wattis Webcast Studio

From fortifying tanks to bringing cauliflower to market, the metal molybdenum lends its qualities to all kinds of industries and uses - but it wasn’t even declared an element until 1778. Learn about this toxic (but necessary), reactive (but easy-bonding) element at Everything Matters: Molybdenum.


Machines of Inconsequential Destruction With Cinema Arts
6:00-10:00 p.m.  |  Osher Gallery 1, Microcinema

Indulge in planned, small-scale disasters in this selection of short films that delightfully document the finest of Rube Golberg machines as they fall apart. Created with a depth of detail and perfectionist perspective that belies their ultimate functionlessness, these short films present playful and inventive feats of engineering that, ultimately, are devoid of purpose.

A Machine That Listens With Purin Phanichphant
6:30-9:30 p.m.  |  Osher Gallery 1

As we design and develop new technologies, we must not forget that machines can and should be as human as the ones interacting with them. A Machine That Listens is an interactive art piece that, rather than taking the form of an intimidating supercomputer, looks and behaves like a child learning a new language. This simple yet playful “machine” receives audio input from an audience through a built-in microphone and displays what it hears in both text and visuals found from the internet. This piece is a collaboration between Purin Phanichphant and Kevin Ho, a software engineer.

Eye to Eye With Purin Phanichphant
6:30-9:30 p.m.  |  Osher Gallery 1

If you think about it, computers are like us in many ways for starters, they have brains (processors), eyes (cameras), and ears (microphones). Eye To Eye, by Purin Phanichphant, reverses this perspective on how we perceive technology. How do machines see and sense us? How do we humans feel about being seen by them? What if machines have personalities and feelings just like we do? This piece serves as a reminder that as we design and develop new technologies, we must not forget that machines can and should be as human as the ones interacting with them. 

Noisemaking Machines with Bryan Day
6:30-9:30 p.m.  |  Osher Gallery 1

Tune in to sound objects of surprise and wonder created by inventor and sound artist Bryan Day. Prolific in his output of noisemaking machines, tonight Day shares a selection of his clever and inventive autonomous, semi-autonomous, and unconventionally played musical instruments and sound objects.

Nose Smoke Detector With Purin Phanichphant
6:30-9:30 p.m.  |  Osher Gallery 1

The Nose Smoke Detector takes the form of a human nose (though underneath the cover, it's actually a conventional,and functional, smoke detector. These conceptual design artifacts act as a constant reminders that machines are, in many ways, just like us humans.

Sound Machines With the Tinkering Studio
7:00-9:00 p.m.  | Gallery 2, Tinkering Studio

Come and play with sound and motion in the Tinkering Studio, and end up with playful rhythms and unique sound machines. Using LEGO technic pieces and sound instruments, you can explore linkage mechanisms to play various instruments such as bells, drums, and shakers. 

Thursday, 11/21/19


Website: Click to Visit


$19.95, 14.95 explO members, AD members free

Save this Event:

Google Calendar
Yahoo! Calendar
Windows Live Calendar


Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green Street)
San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: (415) 528-4444
Website: Click to Visit