Beta Space: Patty Chang and David Kelley

  • On a table lay two objects: one a cement piece with a coin and round rock sticking out of it and the other the plastic lid of a container with words handwritten on it.

    Patty Chang and David Kelley, (Stray Dog) Hydrophobia, 2023. Courtesy of the artists. 

    Exhibition Celebration: Friday, November 1, 6–9pm
    Member Reception: Friday, November 1, 6–7pm

    Beta Space: Patty Chang and David Kelley premieres a multimedia exploration of the dynamic entanglements between humans, animals, minerals, and machines. Using deep sea mining as a point of departure, Chang and Kelley’s project encourages us to think expansively and critically about the loops—of scientific discovery, resource extraction, and technological development—that connect us with places uninhabited by humans.

    Holding together these loops, Chang and Kelley’s project facilitates a broad conversation about how we relate to such sites as we navigate multiple climate crises. Taking the form of an open laboratory, the exhibition weaves together footage and objects related to the International Seabed Authority’s recent and ongoing convenings in Kingston, Jamaica; the HMS Challenger collection at the Natural History Museum in London; and marine research centers from across the globe.

    This exhibition is the eighth iteration of the Museum’s “Beta Space” series, an ongoing program that commissions artists opportunities to experiment with and share new ideas, materials, and modes of working. Recent Beta Space artists include Trevor Paglen (2021), Pae White (2020), and Victor Cartagena (2017).


    Beta Space: Patty Chang and David Kelley is made possible by the SJMA Exhibitions Fund, with generous support from Wanda Kownacki.

    Operations and programs at the San José Museum of Art are made possible by principal support from SJMA’s Board of Trustees, a Cultural Affairs Grant from the City of San José, and the Lipman Family Foundation; by lead support from the Adobe Foundation, Toby and Barry Fernald, Brook Hartzell and Tad Freese, the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation, Tammy and Tom Kiely, Kimberly and Patrick Lin, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Skyline Foundation, and the SJMA Director's Council and Council of 100; and with significant endowment support from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the San José Museum of Art Endowment Fund established by the Knight Foundation at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.