Our website does not support Internet Explorer 9! Please update your browser to continue.

A×S [ak—sis] FESTIVAL → City as Wunderkammer


In the sixteenth and- seventeenth century the term Macrocosm, as it applied to the wunderkammer, represented God and all that he created. This encompassed the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms; the changing seasons; the known continents of the earth; and the celestial sphere.


The term Microcosm was understood to be all that was created by humans. This comprised meticulously hand-crafted objects (often realized on a miniature scale); embellished natural entities as such as coral, shells, and fossils gilded with precious metals; and the production of scientific and technological tools such as the astrolabes, lenses, mirrors, and clocks.



Fulcrum Arts presents the 2018 A×S Festival, a regional celebration of art and science, based in Pasadena and surrounding communities. While often described as occupying opposite ends of the spectrum, art and science are instead understood to be powerful engines of contemporary culture. As a thematic pivoting point, A×S provides opportunities for discovering the fascinations, curiosities, and tensions ignited by pondering integrations of art and science.

This year, the A×S Festival, embraces the model of the “wunderkammer,” or “cabinet of curiosities.” Emerging in the Renaissance period, the wunderkammer is an ancestor of the modern museum. These collections stored and exhibited a wide variety of objects and artifacts, and also played a fundamental role in the development of modern science. They typically combined natural specimens, proto-scientific equipment, and objects representing multiple disciplines, and marked the intersection of science, metaphysics, and art.

“City as Wunderkammer” expands this model to embrace arts and culture on a civic scale, and reimagines the city as its own cabinet of curiosities. Often referred to as “The City of Art and Science,” Pasadena embodies many of the qualities of a wunderkammer, with an abundance of art, science, and faith-based institutions all in close proximity to one another. It is through these unique juxtapositions that we hope to foster new ways of seeing and thinking about the interrelationships between art, science, culture, community, and citizenship.

A×S Festival: City as Wunderkammer is made possible with the support of the National Endowments of the Arts, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, the City of Pasadena, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.

NEA Logo Mike Kelly Foundation Logo City of Pasadena Logo
  • Robert Crouch → Executive & Artistic Director
  • Ciara Ennis → Artistic Director
  • David Burns → Director of Artist Initiatives
  • Ian Byers Gamber → Documentation
  • Green Galactic → Public Relations
  • Pablo Leñero → Intern
  • Yann Novak → Senior Designer and Developer
  • Tanya Rubbak → Graphic Designer
  • Vardui Sharapkhanyan → Curatorial Associate
  • Geneva Skeen → Assistant Producer
  • Hilary Wilson → Annual Benefit Event Coordinator
  • Christopher Wormald → Documentation