For my second museum visit (which took place right after my first one, because I’m a two birds, one stone kind of girl), I went to the San Diego Art Institute’s main gallery in Balboa Park, where they were housing their Parkeology Exhibition. It is basically an exploration of the senses and stories surrounding local urban parks and includes work from many local artists. Works are neither named nor authored (meaning most are public artifacts) as they are displayed on the walls but are explained on paper floor plans of the exhibit.
Introduction to the exhibition pasted on the wall above copies of a floor plan of the whole room
Near the introductory sign, tucked in a corner near exit doors, was a tree stump and old computer sitting next to each other. I’m not quite sure if this was an artistic piece or a poor attempt at storage, but I was intrigued by the contrast of these two pieces against each other.
Part of the exhibit or just trash?
There were 5 video stations placed along the walls that showed looping videos centered around different subjects. The one I’m watching below focused on the mechanics of trains. It reminded me of the Industrial Era, which started with steam train engines and continued through to Ford’s auto revolution.
Me watching Parkeology Session I: Untracked: Beneath the Scenes
at the San Diego Miniature Model Railroad Museum, Ren Ebel
Another sort of instance of the contrast between the natural and the mechanical I came across was with the placement of a cardboard robot in front of a nudist colony sign. I was again reminded of the robotics unit. It makes me think about the transition from humans to cyborgs and question what the new normal will be when it comes to our appearance.
Zoro Gardens Sign: Warning notice erected upon police recommendation
The last piece that stuck out to me was a large heap of cloth that hung suspended from the ceiling. The name/creator of this piece was also unclear to me from the floor plan, but I thought it spoke volumes about hoarding and waste culture. It looks like it also took a little bit of physics computations to safely and securely suspend such a heavy load in the air.
Me under the giant heap of hanging clothes
The SDAI is a pretty unique place for art and I highly recommend seeing the Parkeology exhibit, or the next thing that these artists come up with. The use of science and technology to support their art and social commentary sets the pace for a future of collaboration between the fields. I suspect the next exhibit will be equally as interesting!