A collaboration of Helix by Exploratorium and Silicon Valley Nexus
Friday, August 22, 6pm-8pm
For adults; refreshments offered
Please sign up through Silicon Valley Nexus; $10 contribution requested
Meet artist Cris Benton, geologist Naomi Marks, and science communicator Nicole Kurtz in this evening reception intended for adults hosted by Helix and Nature Gallery. At Helix, Naomi and Nicole discuss their work on Expedition 345 at Hess Deep Rift sampling the rapidly-formed rocks of the oceanic crust, offering insight into the geological processes that form the structure of the Earth itself. At Nature Gallery, Cris will present a much-overlooked part of the San Francisco Bay: the salt evaporation ponds of the South Bay. Using a kite to fly a radio-controlled camera up to three hundred feet, he has photographed these marshlands as they are slowly restored to their natural state following a century of industrial salt production, and they are a kaleidoscope of colors, textures, and patterns not discernible from the ground. Start at either venue—we will switch places mid-evening so you can attend the other talk. Along the way, enjoy drinks and refreshments and meet others interested in the intersection of art, science, and technology.
Cris Benton is a retired professor of architecture and former department chair at the University of California, Berkeley. His kite aerial photography in the South Bay began during a sabbatical year spent as artist in residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and it has continued under special use permits from the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The resulting images documenting the salt ponds have been shown at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Exploratorium, and the Coyote Point Museum, as well as conferences and art galleries.
Nicole is a science educator and was one of three education officers on Expedition 345. Nicole obtained her BFA in Medical Illustration from the Cleveland Institute of Art with a Minor in Fiber and Material Studies. Upon completion of her degree, she developed a thesis focused on the necessity of art in scientific discovery. Her techniques utilize skills of authoring, communicating, leading and designing scientific content and translating it for the lay audiences as well as the science community. On Expedition 345, she created visuals and animations as well as curricula to help science educators explain the significance of the voyage to diverse learning audiences.
Naomi is a geologist who served as a metamorphic petrologist on Expedition 345: Hess Deep Plutonic Crust, undertaken by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program in December 2012-February 2013. She is a geochemist working at Lawrence Livermore National Labs studying the effects of hydrothermal alteration in mid ocean ridge settings. Her other research projects use meteorites and lunar samples to discover more about the formation of the moon and planets.