Events at the Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building in Washington DC
“Suspended Spring” AR cherry blossoms by Tamiko Thiel
March 20-April 30, 2022
For the first time in Washington, D.C., experience the poetic beauty of swirling cherry blossoms anywhere, anytime. Timed with the start of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, this augmented reality (AR) artwork from acclaimed digital artist Tamiko Thiel (Japanese American, working in Germany) will be available across the DC region through the free AR app, ARpoise. Download and look through your smartphone’s or tablet’s screen to see your surroundings transformed into a meditative experience honoring the exquisite and fleeting beauty of spring’s cherry blossoms, accompanied by a meditative variation of the Japanese folksong “Sakura.” Thiel’s related work ReWildAR, created with her collaborator /p, is currently on view in the ‘Futures that Unite’ hall. This augmented reality experience turns the building into a growing future wildflower meadow, envisioning the future city as a thriving ecosystem for nature. From Thiel: “In April 2020, the Nantesbuch Foundation commissioned 100 artists to create works dealing with nature during the first COVID lockdown. I was isolated in my apartment, watching the spring foliage and flowers burst into life all around me. In Japanese culture “sakura”—cherry blossoms—symbolize the ephemeral beauty of spring, and indeed of life itself. Suspended Spring, with its swirl of cherry blossoms that follow you wherever you go, captures my feeling of wanting to slow down time, hold onto that fleeting moment. Wanting to draw it out as endlessly as I drew out the music to the folk song ‘Sakura.’”
FUTURES Play Lab: FUTURES x Oracle: Water, Water Everywhere. . .
April 4- May 2, 2022
Only 2% of the world’s water is available as fresh water—with a growing population, what sustainable actions can we take to preserve the future of water? Together, FUTURES and Oracle have designed an immersive VR experience that follows the water journey. From storm drains to ocean evaporation, visitors will follow the water cycle and take specific action steps at each part of the journey to understand their role in water conversation for the future. Recent UNESCO research estimates that over two billion people lack direct access to water, which is necessary for every facet of human life. Whether it’s for cleaning and cooking out of the tap, packaged for consumption, or used at an industrial scale—water is a finite resource, not an endless supply. This immersive VR experience will center the visitor at different points of the water life cycle, in different scenarios of how water flows through our daily lives. By tracking these movements, visitors can see ways in which they can make individual and collective choices to have a positive impact on water sustainability. How can we ensure that future generations have permanent and reliable access to clean water?
Future Fitness Night
April 7, 2022 6:30-7:30pm
“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” —Unknown” Calling all fitness enthusiasts! Grab your exercise mat, a bottle of water, and a friend because we’re headed into the future of fitness! In celebration of World Health Day, we’re inviting you to treat your body and mind with the ingredients they need to be ready for tomorrow. Join us for a one-hour evening fitness experience that will help you to reimagine your future workout sessions as a one-stop-wellness-shop by combining cardio kickboxing, sound bathing, and yoga. This participatory evening fitness session will begin with an engaging community discussion about the future of fitness and flow into a meditative sound bath to release tension and stress. Next, you’ll heat-up with a live demo of hybrid cardio kickboxing and conclude with a vinyasa yoga “cool down” workout.? The future of fitness can allow for you to get all your key fitness needs met in one session. We should be able to incorporate a variety of physical and mental wellness practices into our workout routines that accommodate all bodies. So let’s get moving!??? Modified exercise options will be provided to accommodate fitness enthusiasts of all levels. Free, with RSVP required. We recommend bringing a mat, towel, and a water bottle. “Future Fitness Night” will be best enjoyed by ages 12+.
Fridays@FUTURES: Full Circle Tour
April 8, 2022 5:30-7pm
Make FUTURES your favorite Friday fun destination. Start your weekend off right with a generous helping of fun and surprising brain snacks. Explore the entire exhibition until 7 PM and keep coming back each week for a new and interesting take on FUTURES through special tours, pop-up experiences, guest speakers, and more. This week: Join us for a tour exploring a full circle of innovative ideas found in the Arts + Industries Building throughout its history. Combining archival images of exhibitions past with the FUTURES exhibition now, we’ll consider how we are only the latest in a long line of future makers. From the Spirit of Saint Louis to a flying taxi and the moon rock to mycelium bricks, follow threads of innovation with us. Free, drop in.
Tell Me More: Doing Nothing with AI
April 14, 2022 6:30-7:30pm
“Work smarter not harder.” – Allen F. ?Morgenstern?
How much time have you spent frantically scrolling through your work email while waiting for your shared ride into work? What if instead, you took a moment to reflect on upcoming obligations and imagine how you’d like your day to look. Some may view taking a moment to sit in your daydreams as a “waste of time”, but Austrian artist Emanuel Gollob is joining AIB on stage to show you how his robotic arm installation can help us reimagine that perspective.?
In honor of National Robotics Week (April 2–10), Gollub introduces us to “Doing Nothing with AI,” a featured object in AIB’s FUTURES exhibition promoting the unassumed effectiveness behind “doing nothing”. Studies show the positive touch points between daydreaming, creativity and problem solving. “Doing Nothing with AI” amplifies these findings by combining live EEG-measurements and adaptive robotic choreography to highlight the power of a wandering mind.?
Tell Me More invites you to explore the creation and function of the groundbreaking inventions like “Doing Nothing with AI” with moderator and Science Communicator, Emily Graslie.? We are pulling back the curtains to help you take a part in the discovery of how to step back from the rush and see what new futures form.?
Free, with RSVP required.
Fridays@FUTURES: Draw the FUTURES
April 15, 2022 5:30-7pm
Make FUTURES your favorite Friday fun destination. Start your weekend off right with a generous helping of fun and surprising brain snacks. Explore the entire exhibition until 7 PM and keep coming back each week for a new and interesting take on FUTURES through special tours, pop-up experiences, guest speakers, and more.
This week: Drawing encourages us to slow down, look closely, and envision the future. We invite you to stop by the FUTURES That Inspire Hall to borrow materials and select a drawing challenge. No prior drawing or art experience needed. All ages are welcome.
Earth Days @ FUTURES: A Sustainability Celebration
April 22-24, 2022
It’s Earth Day, and we’re leading the scene to keep it green for Earth Days @ FUTURES: A Sustainability Celebration all weekend. We’ll renew, reduce, recycle and reinspire our love for the world and its living ecosystems. Let’s explore how we can meet its (and our) needs today, tomorrow, and for generations to come. From fun pop-up seed stands to book swaps to expert talks to a future food marketplace, Earth Days @ FUTURES: A Sustainability Celebration invites you to take action and get hopeful for the planet.
How can we make sure we have enough food to feed the coming generations? What could the future of transportation look like, and how will it impact the environment? Will cities eventually need to be powered by the sun, wind, and water to protect the Earth??We’ll look at the future of food, climate, energy, transportation, and so much more as key ingredients to achieving a sustainable FUTURES.?
Friday night (on Earth Day proper) join us for a drop-in special Fridays@Futures 5:30–7 PM that celebrates all things sustainable. Tour the exhibition with a fun, friendly expert, and learn surprising new facts about ideas to tackle big challenges.
On Saturday and Sunday 10 AM–4 PM, you can get a taste of tomorrow at our FUTURES Food Market or get moving at our energy-efficient silent disco. You can also contribute to our community biodegradable living art wall or enjoy tours of the FUTURES exhibition to discover what’s pushing the future of sustainability forward. Or maybe you’ll decide to immerse yourself in our morning sound bath or get your hands dirty at our bike maintenance station.?
WIYRSP: Energizing our FUTURES?
April 23, 2022 4-7pm
It’s Earth Day, and we’re leading the scene to keep it green for Earth Days @ FUTURES: A Sustainability Celebration all weekend. What would a more sustainable world powered by renewable energy look like? To answer this question, join us for We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Panel(WIYRSP), an audience-guided panel experience directed by the people that influence our futures the most, YOU. Audience members will be invited to collectively decide our panel’s discussion content in real-time while exploring the future of energy. We’ll bring the experts, you bring the talking points!
WIYRSP: Future of Transportation
April 24, 2022 4-7pm
As a special featured event during AIB’s Sustainable FUTURES Weekend, we will gather a team of experts and innovators to help us imagine the next generation of transportation and explore how it will lead us toward a sustainable future.?
*Photo credit: The Smithsonian’s Arts + Industries Building, Ron Blunt. Courtesy Smithsonian.
For more information about the Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building, visit https://aib.si.edu.