Focused on an induction center in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, The Institute is a cinematic probe investigating the mythology and practice of “nonchalance” in our modern-day urban landscape. This evening will align the inquisitive interests of the Exploratorium and Games of Nonchalance as we encourage visitors to look closer and discover the seams that hold together our perception of reality.
The Institute (2013, 90 min., video), Director Spencer McCall
Welcome to the Jejune Institute, a mind-bending San Francisco phenomenon where 10,000 people became “inducted” without ever quite realizing what they’d signed up for. (Before the film screening, we invite audience members to become "inducted.") Was it a cult? Was it an elaborate game? Told from the participants’ perspectives, the film looks over the precipice at an emergent new art form where real-world and fictional narratives collide, creating unforeseen and often unsettling consequences. Fusing elements of counter-culture, new religious movements, and street art, The Institute invites viewers down the rabbit hole into a secret underground world teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.