From the Depths to the Shallows with Cris Benton

Friday Aug 22 2014   6:00 PM
Nature Gallery  296 State St., Los Altos, CA  map

Meet artist Cris Benton, geologist Naomi Marks, and science communicator Nicole Kurtz in this evening reception intended for adults hosted by Helix and Nature Gallery. At Helix, Naomi and Nicole discuss their work on Expedition 345 at Hess Deep Rift sampling the rapidly-formed rocks of the oceanic crust, offering insight into the geological processes that form the structure of the Earth itself. At Nature Gallery, Cris will present a much-overlooked part of the San Francisco Bay: the salt evaporation ponds of the South Bay. Using a kite to fly a radio-controlled camera up to three hundred feet, he has photographed these marshlands as they are slowly restored to their natural state following a century of industrial salt production, and they are a kaleidoscope of colors, textures, and patterns not discernible from the ground. His book Saltscapes will be available for purchase. Start at either venue—we will switch places mid-evening so you can attend the other talk. Along the way, enjoy drinks and refreshments and meet others interested in the intersection of art, science, and technology. A collaboration of Helix by Exploratorium and Silicon Valley Nexus.

$10 contribution requested; for more information visit

Cris BentonCris Benton is a retired professor of architecture and former department chair at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was engaged in teaching and research in the Building Science Laboratory as well as a program of post-occupancy building case studies. His kite aerial photography in the South Bay began during a sabbatical year spent as artist in residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and it has continued under special use permits from the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The resulting images documenting the salt ponds have been shown at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Exploratorium, and the Coyote Point Museum, as well as conferences and art galleries. Benton’s aerial images have been used by over one hundred nonprofit agencies.