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Travel through a wonderland made of discarded cardboard

The expansive exhibit hopes to inspire visitors to create, and shows that art and STEM aren't so distinct.

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James Martin
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1 of 8 James Martin/CNET

Cardboard caverns

The "Welcome to WildCard" exhibit at San Francisco's Exploratorium museum uses plain brown cardboard to replicate a host of things, includingcaves complete with hanging bats and stalactites. The show runs from June 17 to Sept. 4.

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A complex undertaking

The installation required about 600 hours of labor, according to Jesse "Roadkill" Wilson, one of the seven artists from the Cardboard Institute of Technology collective who put the show together. 

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Exit onto Tweet Street

The exhibit has fun with a few recent memes. This "Hot Covfefe" sign mocks a recent Twitter post by President Donald Trump.

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Science meets art

"We realize that a lot of artists and a lot of scientists start in the same place – which is about observation, about noticing your world," says Robyn Higdon, the Exploratorium's director of museum experience. The museum works to bridge the perceived gap between art and science. 

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Reuse versus the landfill

Plastic wrappers falling from a trash truck contrast harshly with the clean, creative and repurposed vibe of the overall installation. This small tableau makes a big statement, says Exploratorium Director of Museum Experience Robyn Higdon: Disrupt the waste stream, and reuse materials when you can.

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Plain brown town

An entire village of cardboard. 

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Corrugated monument

"Cardhenge" is a play on Stonehenge. 

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Rivery road trip

One of the central themes of "Welcome to WildCard" is water. The exhibit reimagines Route 66 as a river, carrying travelers past various sights, such as motels and natural attractions. 

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