KNOWLEDGES at Mount Wilson Observatory brings together a constellation of more than thirty contemporary Los Angeles artists whose work extends from the nexus of ideas embodied by the Observatory itself: astronomy, scientific discovery, space exploration, optics, recorded observation, philosophical questions of cosmology, the history, aesthetics and ecology of the site and its influence upon the cultural landscape of Los Angeles. KNOWLEDGES engages the public in a unique opportunity to experience Mount Wilson Observatory through the lens of contemporary art.

To wander amid the Mount Wilson Observatory grounds, one becomes aware of the unique nature of the site. Perched on a ridge in the Angeles National Forest, the Observatory experiences surprisingly constant atmospheric conditions. This is due in part to what is known in meteorology as the inversion layer, an effect where moist sea air is trapped in the desert valley. Below, the flat areas of Los Angeles may experience the combinatory effect of the inversion layer with air pollution as smog or the hazy mornings of “June gloom.” But one mile higher, the air is remarkably clear and constant, with views extending east to the Inland Empire and desert valley, north to the San Gabriel Mountains and south-west to Catalina Island and the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean. In 1904, these site-specific factors compelled George Ellery Hale to choose the location to build an astronomical observatory that would revolutionize science. Mount Wilson came to house the most advanced observational equipment of the time, including the Hale 60-inch telescope, followed by the Hooker 100-inch telescope, which was the world’s largest for over thirty years. Historic discoveries at Mount Wilson include the detection of the sun's magnetic field, the first observations of spiral galaxies, Michelson's first speed of light tests, and Hubble's early research that suggested the Big Bang and expansion of the universe. Innovative research continues to this day. Just as the Copernican revolution ushered radical perceptual changes throughout religious and secular society in the 16th century, so too has our shared consciousness been molded by discoveries of the last one hundred years. Mount Wilson Observatory is a locus from which nearly a century of such advances in astronomical exploration extend.

KNOWLEDGES at Mount Wilson Observatory presents contextual explorations of contemporary art and science - the formal parallels between which are many. Artists and

Illustration from The Seven Mysteries of Life by Guy Murchie: “If place A, for example, is a billion light-years from Earth in one direction and place B is a billion light-years off in the opposite direction, then whatever influence A had upon B at the time (a billion years ago) that we now observe coming from B had to depend on conditions at A two billion years before that, assuming A and B stayed put all that time. However, not only do we