If you’ve ever driven along Route 66, the newest exhibit at San Francisco’s Exploratorium museum may ring a few bells. Riverfront casinos. Questionable motels. Cool roadside attractions. They’re all here. But they’re all made of plain brown cardboard.
“Welcome to WildCard,” which opens Saturday, reimagines the historic US highway as a river you can walk along. Houses, coffee shops and a theater made of corrugated cardboard cluster around a path of shining blue lights that represent water.
Artists from the Cardboard Institute of Technology, a collective that taps recyclables for its installations, use these metaphors of winding waterway and classic American road trip to carry visitors through a fanciful landscape where artistic license holds sway. Scale gets warped, with birds becoming giant beasts. And geography, too, gets a makeover: A papery Stonehenge travels…