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California Academy of Sciences

Color of Life

This semi-permanent exhibition helped hundreds of thousands of people see the colors of nature in a whole new way.

Two exhibits, the Color Visualizer and Bee Vision, address different aspects of color.

In Bee Vision, users can move a camera in front of a small meadow of scientifically-accurate flower models, revealing patterns on the flowers which are normally only visible to insects such as honey bees. The Color Visualizer is a massive light, sound and media machine which helps users explore hundreds of surprising stories about animal and plant coloration.

Neither exhibit is meant to be about technology, so the intent was to hide as much of their complex software and networking as possible. Bee Vision uses computer vision, industrial cameras and invisible dyes typically used for document security–but the user does not need to interact with any kind of interface. It is always on and ready to be of use.

The Color Visualizer is built with vibration sensors, a Blink-based HTML/CSS/WebGL rendering engine, a CMS and a realtime generative audio/visual synthesizer–but hopefully manages to make much of this irrelevant to users, so that they can be free to play, read, watch and listen.

My contributions:
management, fabrication/assembly, software development, automation systems and installation

Tellart designed the exhibition in close partnership with California Academy of Sciences Exhibits Studio, and with the support of fabrication partners Octo PD, Lassen Hines, Group Delphi, and Dallas Swindle.

Photography: Tellart

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