MAX 2019: A Space Festival Brings An Arts-Meets-Science Fueled Odyssey Of Space Exploration To San Francisco

MAX 2019: A Space Festival Brings An Arts-Meets-Science Fueled Odyssey Of Space Exploration To San Francisco

MAX (Media Art and Exploration)-where science and live arts converge-is proud to announce that it will present MAX 2019: A Space Festival in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium, Z Space, as well as a pre-festival event at the San Francisco Playhouse. The festival is organized around three principles: Immersion, Education and Live Performance.

The event will present 16 programs over the course of 3 days at the California Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium and Z Space

Programming by Venue


  • MAX Festival Opening Night Kick off at After Dark!
  • Space Travel Sci Fi Style
    • Date: May 16
    • Art: Visual/Film
    • Science: Space Exploration
    • Artist: Sarah Hotchkiss
  • Heisenberg
    • Date: May 16 -18
    • Art: Augmented Reality
    • Science: Physics, Uncertainty and Chaos
    • Artist: Janani Balasubramanian
  • Robots as our Partners: Pas des Deux with Alice Sheppard
    • Date: May 16 & 18
    • Art: Dance
    • Science: Roboticist Alex Reben, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Sasha Samochine
    • Artists: Alice Shepherd and artist-engineer Alex Reben
  • Kronos Eclipse
    • Date: May 17
    • Art: Music Composition/Music Performance
    • Science: Sonics and Solar Eclipses
    • Artist: Kronos Quartet
  • Intergalactic Travel Bureau
    • Dates: May 16 & 18
    • Art: Performance
    • Science: UX - The Real Details of Space Travel
    • Artist: Jana Grcevich
  • Spacewoman of the Underground
    • Dates: May 16 -18
    • Art: Performance Art
    • Science: Exploration/Ham Radio
    • Artist: Christine Zuercher
  • Everything Beautiful is Far Away
    • Dates: May 16-18
    • Art: Digital/Visual Arts + Poetry
    • Science: Engineering
    • Artists: Engineer: Xin Liu Poet: Abigail Wender
  • Space Travel Sci Fi Style (repeat presentation)
    • Date: May 17
    • Art: Visual/Film
    • Science: Space Exploration
    • Artist: Sarah Hotchkiss

California Academy of Sciences

  • MAX Constellations
    • Star Stories: Told throughout the day, plus live broadcast recording
      • Artists: Sally Katz (curator); Robin Dahlberg & Josée Schryer (teaching artists) and Lakota Youth
      • Science: Astronomy
      • Art: Spoken Word/Lakota Nation Creation Myths & Interactive Exhibits
      • Date: May 17 &18
    • Star Stories: The Podcast- Live Recording/Audio installation with Boys And Girls Club Of SF and Notes for Notes with teaching artists TJ Guardino and Gerardo Escalante
      • Date: May 17
      • Art: Lakota Youth will record individual Star Stories
      • Science: Spoken Word/Lakota Nation Creation Myths
    • Outta This World Poetry Slam
      • Date: May 17
      • Art: Lit/Poetry
      • Scientist mentors/judges: Dr. Penny Boston NAI, Dr. Sanjoy Som
      • Organizer: Youth Speaks
    • Mapping Microbes: The Search for ET
      • Date: May 17
      • Art: Dimensionality Phenomena Unveiled
      • Science: Biology, Astrobiology and the Microbiome with Dr. Shannon Bennett, Chief of Science, California Academy of Sciences

Note: Star Stories and Star Stories Podcast is in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of the Rosebud Reservation and the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco

Z Space

  • The Outer Space
    • Dates: May 17-18
    • Art: Music Performance
    • Science: Space Travel (as a journey through one's inner life)
    • Artist: Ethan Lipton
  • Extraterrestrial - A Drag Invasion
    • Date: May 17
    • Director: Tye Olson
    • Art: Drag Performances
    • Artists:
      • Lady Camden: Baby Spice's cousin, Garbage Spice
      • Amoura Teese: Latinx-Chola Dancing Diva
      • Venus Soleil: Glitter Obsessed, Melanin Grunge Doll
      • Frida Mont: The Skinniest Latina Sensation
      • Lindsay Slowhands: The Party Gurl with the Most Polished Trash from 1999
  • MAXchats
    • Date: May 18
    • A convening of performers, artists and scientists
    • Participants: TBA
  • MAX Lounge: Installations and Refreshment
    • Universal Threads and Headphones
      • Dates: May 17-18 throughout the day
      • Art: Fashion and Design
      • Science: Astrophysics and Augmented Reality
      • Artists: Andrea Lauer and Janna Levin (scientist)
    • The Final Frontier
      • Date: May 18
      • Art: Cabaret/ Live Painting/Closing Night Party
      • Science: Paintings by children from Houston Hospital return from a space trip aboard Blue Origin rocket and are re-assembled
      • Brecht Forensics: DNA Cocktails by Sister Sylvester

Note: there will also be pre-festival reading at SF Playhouse on Thursday, May 16, featuring The Overview Effect, a play about the New Space Age

About MAX
MAX produces and presents groundbreaking work by collaborative artists, engineers, and technologists to ignite the imagination around the light-speed advances of our time. MAX strives to engage community engagement around these changes and further an informed democracy.

About the California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth. Based in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and education-all under one living roof.

About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is a portal to the astonishing scientific phenomena that animate our world and shape our actions. We create extraordinary learning experiences that ignite curiosity, upend perceptions, and inspire brave leaps forward. Since 1969, the Exploratorium's museum in San Francisco has been home to a renowned collection of exhibits that draw together science, art, and human perception, and that have changed the way science is taught. Our award-winning programs provide a forum for the public to engage with artists, scientists, policymakers, educators, and tinkerers to explore the world around them. We celebrate diversity of thought, inspired investigation, and collaboration across all boundaries.

About Z Space
Z Space empowers artistic risk, collaboration and camaraderie amongst artists, audience and staff in the service of creating, developing and presenting new work.

Operating two venues in San Francisco's historic Mission District, a main stage and a black box theater, Z Space host's new works from a variety of performance disciplines year-round. Keystone initiatives include New Work, a development program that supports artists and ensembles from conception to realization of unique works, Word for Word, a resident theatre company that transforms works of literature verbatim to the stage, and Youth Arts, an arts education program promoting literacy and engaging students' creativity.

We foster opportunities around the nation for these works and we engage diverse audiences through direct interactions with the process, the projects, and the artists.

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