Charles is an artist and exhibit developer at the Exploratorium who has been making thought-provoking, beautiful and sometimes whimsical experiences for visitors for the past 15 years. His work presents actual physical phenomena – often of striking visual beauty – that draw people into a careful noticing and interaction. He seeks to provoke a sense of delight and wonder and reward extended observation. Frequently this involves developing an apparatus to recreate and/or highlight some natural phenomenon observed in the world – the swirl of fog blowing over a hill, the formation of ice on a puddle, or flow of water and foam on the beach as a wave drains away. These things often go un-noticed until pointed out; the mundane can very often be sublime except that we are not in the practice of seeing it.
Science (especially the field of non-equilibrium pattern formation) serves as a deep resource for creative ideas and Charles frequently collaborates with scientists to recreate lab experiments. Through these collaborations, Charles has discovered a strong correlation between his process and that of the scientific experimentalist. Both build apparatus; scientists to probe the limits of their collective understanding and Charles to probe the boundaries of beauty, delight, and wonder.