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AxS Festival 2014 to Mix Art and Science in Pasadena, 9/19-10/5

AxS Festival 2014 to Mix Art and Science in Pasadena, 9/19-10/5

Pasadena Arts Council (PAC) is proud to announce AxS Festival 2014 | Curiosity, in diverse venues throughout the greater Pasadena area from Friday, September 19, 2014, through Sunday, October 5, 2014.

AxS [ak-sis], produced by Pasadena Arts Council in partnership with numerous Pasadena arts and science institutions, is a two-week+ citywide festival spanning three weekends that explores the nexus of artistic and scientific inquiry, promoting experimentation and cross-fertilization between these disciplines. Programming is saturated with innovative visual art, theatre, dance, music, photography, history, science, literature, film, and architecture. The 2014 theme, Curiosity, was inspired by the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)-built Mars Rover, "Curiosity," which is currently exploring the Martian surface some 50 million miles above us. The goal for the festival is to create audience experiences that bridge the boundary between art and science. Many events are free. A schedule of events is on the AxS website. For additional information, visit

"The interplay between human curiosity, scientific investigation, and artistic risk-taking reflects a cultural zeitgeist that not only defines Pasadena as the City of Art and Science, but also illuminates the richness, diversity, and sheer innovation of human aspiration and achievement in the 21st century," says Terry LeMoncheck, PAC Executive Director, "Art and science are united in the AxS Festival - both are powerful engines of contemporary culture."

Across 17 days of events, AxS Festival 2014 | Curiosity will engage audiences in dynamic, multidisciplinary programming that explores the intersection of art and science. This will be the sixth AxS Festival presented by PAC over the past 10 years. The Curiosity theme celebrates the mission of the Mars Rover, developed at NASA/JPL; the theme also elegantly lends itself to the integral role of curiosity in the artistic process and in scientific investigation/discovery.

2014 Event & Exhibition Highlights
A selection of AxS Festival 2014 highlights are listed below. Subject matter ranges from discussions about artistic pursuits, which merge physics, chemistry, and computer science with uncanny philosophical practices, and an exhibition featuring objects that explore astronomy, space, zoology, physics, history, and the beauty of knowledge. Approximately 150 artists will be involved in this year's festival. For the complete event and exhibition schedule, please visit the festival website here.

Art + Architecture:
Fri. 9/19/14 - Sun. 10/5/14
SPHAERAE (450 W. Colorado St., Pasadena)
A curated series, showcasing interdisciplinary artists, housed in a luminous inflatable structure, designed by Dutch architect Cocky Eek. SPHAERAE consists of five semi-transparent bubbles of different sizes, which, together, form a multi-dome construction designed for immersive, synesthetic experience. This will be the North American premiere of the large-scale temporary public artwork, which was developed in partnership with Synergetica Lab in Amsterdam and the Artscience Interfaculty program in The Hague. Programming at the temporary public art site will feature sound works, video screenings, and artist talks. SPHAERAE will be on view for the duration of AxS Festival 2014. The inside of the structure will be accessible during programming hours. The project is an AxS 2014 commission. More info: here.

Sat. 9/27/14 (noon-10:00pm) & Thu. 10/2/14 (8:00-10:00pm) The Machine Project Field Guide to the Gamble House: Open House The Gamble House (4 Westmoreland Pl., Pasadena) Free programming at the Gamble House, which invites Machine Project artists to explore the Pasadena Arts and Crafts masterpiece by architects Greene & Greene. The history, aesthetics, and craftsmanship of the Gamble House will be subtly transformed and revealed through experimental tours, participatory nap concerts, a tableau vivant, puppets, dance, séances, and a secret Swedish-Japanese fusion restaurant+! Curated by Machine Project's Mark Allen. The Machine Project Field Guide to the Gamble House is an AxS 2014 commission. More info: here (9/27) and here (10/2).

Art + Science:
Fri. 9/19/14 (7:30pm)
10,000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid by Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand | Lucky Dragons
SPHAERAE (450 W. Colorado St., Pasadena)
A performance by Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand, 10,000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid features large-scale projections of laser optics and molecular interactions within soap bubble clusters for a mind-boggling non-linear immersive environment. The evening begins with a performance by experimental music group Lucky Dragons. Admission is $15. More info: here.

Sun. 9/21/14 - Sun. 10/5/14 (dates & times vary)
Hyper-Rainforest SPHAERAE (450 W. Colorado St., Pasadena) ?
This monumental sound art piece, in durational and spatial terms, was created from original environmental field recordings done between 1990 and 2010 at multiple locations of tropical, sub-tropical, and cold rainforests. The immersive concert experience creates a sonic hyper-reality of sound and music, taking participants on a virtual trip to a rainforest. By award-winning artist Francisco López, recognized internationally as one of the major figures of the sound art and experimental music scene. Admission is free. More info: here.

Fri. 10/3/14 - Sun. 1/18/15
Art Center College of Design/Williamson Gallery (1700 Lida St., Pasadena)
Curated by Stephen Nowlin, this free exhibition features objects that explore astronomy, space, zoology, physics, history, and the beauty of knowledge. REALSPACE refers to the world, as it exists, without embellishments from human mythologies, lore, and orthodoxies of belief. Featuring works by Rebeca Mendez, Jennifer Steinkamp, Dan Goods, David Delgado, James Griffith, Santiago V. Lombeyda, Adam W. Brown, Robert Root-Bernstein, and others. With science artifacts including imagery from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, DNA data imagery, and historical science literature and video. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00pm and Fridays from noon to 9:00pm. More info: here.??

Music + Science:
Sat. 9/20/14 (7:30pm)
Solunaris: William Basinski & Richard Chartier with Yann Novak & Steve Roden
SPHAERAE (450 W. Colorado St., Pasadena)
Three pieces of audio/visual programming, showcasing sound art, light, and space, with a special audio piece by sonic pilots William Basinski and Richard Chartier, that superimposes the Sun with the waxing and waning Moon. Basinski & Chartier's live performance version of Solunaris was especially created for the SPHAERAE and is being premiered at AxS Festival 2014. Yann Novak and Steve Roden will also each perform. Admission is $15. More info: here.

Sat. 9/20/14 (7:30pm) - Sun 9/21/14 (4:00pm)
Taking Flight: Music Inspired by Flight
Altadena Community Church (943 E. Altadena Dr., Altadena)
A free choral program performed by the Pasadena Master Chorale, inspired by actual flight and soaring beyond one's confines. Featuring Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine, by Eric Whitacre, and Curiosity, composed by Reena Esmail. More info: here (9/20) and here (9/21).

Mon. 9/29/14 (7:00pm)
An Evening of Pasadena-Inspired Astronomy and Music
Carnegie Observatories (813 Santa Barbara St., Pasadena)
A free talk by Juna Kollmeir and Andrew Benson on curiosity and science in Pasadena as well as discovery in astronomy. The evening, held outside on the grass, will conclude with a Pasadena Conservatory of Music chamber ensemble performance of Hand in Hand at the Edge of the Sky, commissioned from composer Matthew Brown and inspired by a recent visit to Mt. Wilson. Composed for a chamber ensemble of 8-10 musicians, this new piece is a vibrant example of the unique artistic and scientific creativity/synergy that is a hallmark of Pasadena. More info: here.

Sat. 10/4/14 (7:30pm)
Sol Path with Synergetica Screening
SPHAERAE (450 W. Colorado Street, Pasadena)
Sol Path is a new music work by composer/cognitive scientist Bruno Louchouarn featuring a live performance by viola soloist Brett Deubner and immersive multi-media by designer Adam Larsen. The work is inspired by the path of one Martian day using data from the Rover. Curated by Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand, the Synergetica Screening will feature a series of multi-sensory performances and installations in the context of synthetic biology with pieces by Paul Prudence, Bas van Koolwijk, Jet Smits, Francisco López, and Martijn van Boven. Founded in 2006 in The Netherlands, Synergetica is an art-science laboratory that investigates photonics, fluid dynamics, acoustics, quantum chemistry, and psychophysics. Admission is $15. Sol Path is an AxS 2014 commission. More info: here.

Theatre + Science:
Mon. 9/29/14 (7:00pm) Copenhagen
A Noise Within (3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena)
A free staged reading of Michael Frayn's Tony-award-winning play, Copenhagen, which soars at the intersection of art and science. Based around an event that occurred in Copenhagen in 1941, the play is about a meeting between the physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. Directed by Robertson Dean. Performed by A Noise Within resident company. Noted Caltech physicist and television commentator Sean Carroll will also offer an engaging, pre-show mini-lecture on the origins of the universe to help make quantum physics understandable to the rest of us! More info: here.

Thu. 10/2/14 (7:30pm)
Properties of Silence
Pasadena Playhouse (39 South El Molino Ave.)?
A play, directed by Theresa Chavez and inspired by feminist poet Sor Juana's most significant poem, "Primero Sueño (First Dream)," which explores the intellectual potential of human beings. Presented by About Productions. More info: here.

Art + Science + Kids:
Sun. 9/21/14 (10:00am-5:00pm)
The Art and Science of Flight - Interactive Fun For Kids
Kidspace Children's Museum (480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena)
Kicking off The Art and Science of Flight exhibit, this special day of play will feature a giant cardboard "Space City" in the central courtyard. Visitors are also invited to make and fly their very own gliders, whirligigs, and other flying contraptions. The day will also feature an amazing rocket demonstration. The Art and Science of Flight is an exhibition that will run from Friday, September 19 through Sunday, October 5. This special interactive program is designed to explore the art and science of flight in order to stimulate and inspire curiosity in kids and grownups alike. Investigate Sir Isaac Newton's Third Law with stomp rockets, explore Bernoulli's principle with paper airplanes, and revisit the origins of flight while making a custom kite. Admission is $11 (adults & children); infants are free. More info: here.

Sun. 10/5/14 (noon-4:00pm) The Machine Project Field Guide to the Gamble House: Family Day
The Gamble House (4 Westmoreland Pl., Pasadena)
A special family day (free to kids 17 and under) at the Gamble House, with special family-friendly programming curated by Machine Project's Mark Allen, will feature experimental tours, participatory nap concerts, a tableau vivant, puppets, dance, séances, and a secret Swedish-Japanese fusion restaurant+! The Machine Project Field Guide to the Gamble House is an AxS 2014 commission. More info: here.

AxS Conversation Series -
Additionally, local NPR station 89.3 KPCC will host an informational AxS Conversation Series, at the Crawford Family Forum (474 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena). This AxS 2014 commissioned series will include conversations on curiosity, a special community cinema screening, and more. Watch for information here.

Curiosity - Curiosity is the prime motivational engine of invention, in both art and science, and perhaps the single most important trait that makes greatness of achievement in these fields possible. Presented every two years, AxS is a proving ground where ideas, scientific theories, and leading-edge technologies converge with artistic innovation across a multidisciplinary platform of architecture, new media, visual art, music, theatre, dance, educational programs, and provocative conversation. The AxS Festival is a response to our contemporary cultural condition - a concentrated exploration designed to ignite and inspire the imagination of audiences and participants alike. Additionally, this year's AxS theme has been artfully chosen to coincide with the second anniversary of the JPL rover "Curiosity's" mission to discover more about Mars and, in the process, help scientists dig more deeply into the origins of our solar system and our own planet.

Art + Science in Pasadena - Pasadena has always been a city of art and science, the two intertwined with its identity like strands of DNA. Few cities, if any, are better characterized by the impact of art and science or able to replicate Pasadena's extraordinary blend of institutions engaged in the two explorations. These intellectual and institutional assets define the city as a place where ideas and creativity abound. Within this context, the AxS Festival embodies the integration of intuition and reason, as well as emotion and intellect, and the fusion of creativity and technique. It further commemorates, in Pasadena, a textured conversation between the sciences and the humanities that has long been emblematic of the city's history, and is equally fused with its future. Read more here.

Metro - Go Metro and save 10% on all ticketed SPHAERAE events. All Tap Card users, MTA Employees, and LA County Employees will receive a 10% discount on all AxS Festival 2014 performances at SPHAERAE. Use the discount code "gometroaxs" to purchase tickets online at For more details, click here. The AxS Festival is located throughout Pasadena with many venues accessible from the Metro Gold Line via the Del Mar Station, Memorial Park Station, or Lake Station. For best route or more info, visit the Metro Trip Planner or call (323) Go Metro or (323-466-3876).

Pasadena Arts Council - Pasadena Arts Council (PAC) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that provides resources, programs and services to artists, arts and cultural organizations, audiences, young people, and visitors to Pasadena. The agency offers an independent voice for promoting a vibrant cultural community by facilitating, empowering, and advocating for the arts. PAC was founded in 1964, the first organization of its kind in California, and helped establish the model for community-based support of artists and cultural institutions now prevalent throughout the nation. Over the years, PAC has responded to the evolving nature of the arts community in Pasadena and its changing population, offering programs and services anchored in collaborating, resource sharing, convening, and outreach.

PAC has organized, presented, and promoted five previous AxS Festivals, each of which explored a different theme through visual art exhibitions and public art installations, theatre, music, spoken word, dance, film, and public conversations. The themes have been: The Universe (2001), The Tender Land (2004), Skin (2007), Origins (2009), and Fire and Water (2011). Each festival theme considers profound questions of the human experience to resonate with current issues and to capitalize on Pasadena's assets in the arts and sciences.

For more information about the AxS Festival 2014, visit, or go to Pasadena Arts Council -, or find AxS on Facebook: and Twitter:

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