Welcome from the Director

  • Multiple truncated hands holding cassette tapes with various photos on the covers. They are 3 rows, each with 3 hands holding tapes—8 of them are black and white. One is red. The background is mustard yellow. There are 3 rows of letters that appear to be abbreviated words.

    Wallace Berman. Untitled, 1967. Lithograph on paper, 25 1/8 x 22 1/2 inches. Collection of San José Museum of Art. Gift of John Natsoulas, 2008.36.02. Image courtesy of San José Museum of Art. Photo: Douglas Sandberg.

  • A dark heat map with a black background and burgundy, yellow, browns, and reds to indicate data from a 2014 survey. In white letters, the map reads "Toxic Release Inventory, 2019," "Cancer Risk, 2014" with a red barometer of level, along with other information.

    Sites of PM2.5-producing facilities are layered onto a ‘heat map’ showing concentrations of PM2.5 (particulate matter) in the atmosphere, according to a 2014 survey. Forensic Architecture on view December 8, 2023–April 21, 2024 at the San José Museum of Art.

  • Live music by San Jose Jazz on First Friday. Photo by Frederick Liang.

“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...” —William Gibson, Neuromancer

Technology centers our focus this fall, as we launch new artist projects invested in the intersections of visual art and technology. We reflect on the view of humankind’s digital future imagined by William Gibson in 1984, with artists who transform our imaginations.

Supported by the Knight Foundation for digital projects in the curatorial space, experience the digital commission Chelsea Thompto: The Fog starting November 3, an interactive web experience accessible on SJMA’s website. Your relationship to the Bay Area’s famous fog, “Karl” will never be the same.

On December 8, two exhibitions open on mind-expanding topics, starting with Encode/ Store/Retrieve, an exploration of memory production though the work of Jim Campbell, Enrique Chagoya, Binh Danh, Xandra Ibarra, Analia Saban, Rose B. Simpson, Stephanie Syjuco, and others. Organized by Juan Omar Rodriguez, assistant curator, the exhibition will plumb our cognitive connections.

Forensic Architecture also opens on December 8, using cutting-edge digital technologies to investigate human rights violations. The term “forensic architecture” refers to the production and presentation of architectural evidence—relating to buildings and urban environments—and the London-based collective uses cutting-edge techniques in spatial and architectural analysis, open-source investigation, and immersive technologies. Co-organized with the Institute of Arts and Sciences at University of California, Santa Cruz, this exhibition is a part of the ongoing Visualizing Abolition series. Celebrate the openings of these two new exhibitions on December 8 at 6pm.

Join our public programs from First Fridays with a lounge atmosphere programmed by San Jose Jazz to a range of educational programs. Save the date for two other important in-person events— Thursday, October 19 is the City of San José’s Cornerstone of the Arts award at the Hammer Theatre, as SJMA’s very own Let’s Look at Art program will be awarded the Creative Impact Award and put Community Day: Día de los Muertos on October 28 on your calendar for the entire family.

All of these in-person activities give a respite to the cyber world. The Museum is a place of human connection—beyond what is enabled by technology.



S. Sayre Batton | Oshman Executive Director