Technology Takes a Front Seat This October

By Michael Berick

los angeles attractions

Explore the Orbit Pavilion at The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. PHOTO COURTESY NASA/JPL-CALTECH

October is often full of surprises, and technology brings a surprising twist to two new exhibits opening this month.

You can experience a high-tech musical adventure when you venture into the Orbit Pavilion. Located on the Celebration Lawn of the Huntington Gardens (1151 Oxford Road, San Marino;, this large nautilus-shell-shaped aluminum sculptural installation is a unique collaboration between NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Huntington.

From Oct. 29-Feb. 27, each time a satellite flies above it, a sound will emanate from one of the 28 speakers mounted inside the Pavilion. The sounds range from a crashing wave to a croaking frog. This “satellite symphony,” which is making its West Coast premiere, will never sound the same twice, creating a one-of-a-kind aural experience that will get you thinking about music and outer space in new ways. The Huntington is open from noon-4:30 p.m. Mon. and Wed.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sat. and Sun. Admission is $23-$25 adults, $19-$21 ages 12-18, $10 ages 4-11.

The influence of pop culture on technology is at the heart of “Interactive! The Exhibition,” which opens Oct. 22 at the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum (40 Presidential Dr., Simi Valley; This highly hands-on exhibit examines how TV, movies, books and the arts have affected technology and, consequently, the ways we live, work and play.

“Interactive!” has four themed areas: “How We Work,” “How We Play,” “How We Move” and “How We Live.” They include hands-on experiences such as gaming (including Virtual Reality Gaming by Oculus Rift) and 3D printing stations. You also can check out remote control drones, robots (look out for R2-D2 from “Star Wars”) and other cool movie memorabilia such as a T-800 endoskeleton from “The Terminator,” a full-size alien from the “Alien” films and Marty McFly’s hoverboard. This exhibition reveals how science fiction has become reality. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and runs through April 16. Admission is $21 adults, $15 ages 11-17, $10 ages 3-10.

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