• Beverly Rayner, The remembering of dreams, 1994. Photographs, beeswax, wood, nails, paint, and shellac, 26 x   26 x 2 1/2 inches. Collection of San José Museum of Art. Museum purchase with funds contributed by the Council of 100, 1996.20. Image courtesy of San José Museum of Art. Photo: Douglas Sandberg.

  • 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.

  • Three rows of 8 tall rectangular objects. These copper objects look like plates printers use and are covered in tiny indecipherable rows that look to have letters or characters on them. They are also partially stained black, as though ink was rolled over them.

    Chryssa. Plaque, 1965. Bronze-plated copper, 14 1/2 x 15 x 1/2 inches. Collection of San José Museum of Art. Gift of the Lipman Family Foundation, 2017.17.03. © Estate of Chryssa. Image courtesy of San José Museum of Art. Photo: Douglas Sandberg.

  • An installation that appears to be multiple shopping experiences in one. Everything is the same uniform rusty brown: college dorm furniture is on a riser; shelves filled with housewares; postcard rack; crafting supplies; and more.

    Stephanie Syjuco. The International Orange Commemorative Store (A Proposition), 2012. Mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Collection of San José Museum of Art. Commissioned by the FOR-SITE Foundation as part of the exhibition International Orange and on the occasion of the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75 Year Anniversary. Gift of the artist and the Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, 2013.04. Image courtesy of San José Museum of Art.

    The landscape of memory has shifted dramatically over the course of the Digital Age, marked by the ease and speed at which we can record, store, and share information. Through digital technologies, almost anyone can participate in the production of memory at any time. Yet the ever-growing digital archive has substantial financial and ecological impacts that we must address. 

    Encode/Store/Retrieve draws together artworks primarily from SJMA’s collection to explore low-tech forms of memory production from the past sixty years. The sculptures, paintings, photographs, installations, and works on paper brought together here are organized into thematic groupings that reference the key processes underlying cognitive and computational models of memory—encoding, storage, and retrieval. Bridging conversations about digital, biological, institutional, and ecological memory, the artists in this exhibition provide us strategies to grapple with the emerging issues of our growing digital archive.

    Featured artists include Wallace Berman, Val Britton, Jim Campbell, Enrique Chagoya, Chryssa, Binh Danh, Steven Deo, Bruce Hasson, Xandra Ibarra, Dinh Q. Lê, Darlene Nguyen-Ely, Margaret Nielsen, Harold Paris, Beverly Rayner, Analia Saban, Katherine Sherwood, Rose B. Simpson, Stephanie Syjuco, Stella Waitzkin, Xiaoze Xie, and more.


    Encode/Store/Retrieve is made possible by the SJMA Exhibitions Fund, with lead support from Knight Foundation.

    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, Sally Lucas, 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.


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    January 8, 2024

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