Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10 (The power of ten at the Exploratorium)

The date 10/10/10 will only come around once, and one way to honor it is to see "The Powers of Ten," a film by Ray and Charles Eames at the Exploratorium. The Eames' pioneered innovative technologies, such as molded plywood, the fiberglass, plastic resin chairs and the wire mesh chairs designed for Herman Miller. Charles and Ray would soon channel Charles' interest in photography into the production of short films.

From their first film, the unfinished Traveling Boy (1950), to the extraordinary Powers of Ten (1977), their cinematic work was an outlet for ideas, a vehicle for experimentation and education.


The film depicts the relative scale of the Universe in factors of ten (see also logarithmic scale and order of magnitude). The film is an adaptation of the 1957 book Cosmic View by Kees Boeke, and more recently is the basis of a new book version. Both adaptations, film and book, follow the form of the Boeke original, adding color and photography to the black and white drawings employed by Boeke in his seminal work.  A simple word search at the Library of Congress brought up 256 items, testifying to the continuing importance of the their work

Exploratorium @ The Palace of Fine Arts
3601 Lyon Street. San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 561-0360 - general information
(415) 561-0362 - Tactile Dome reservations
http://www.exploratorium.edu/
Open Tuesday—Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
http://www.loc.gov
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powers_of_Ten
The mathematical importance of 10/10/10 (or not, YMMV): http://lotsasplainin.blogspot.com/

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