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Technology and Art Collide at Silicon Valley's First Contemporary Art Fair

For its inaugural art fair, Silicon Valley Contemporary draws an international roster of 50 exhibitors showcasing 300 artists. The styles and mediums of the works on display will vary – large-scale robot-produced paintings by the prolific graffiti artist Katsu, a sculpture made of razor blades by South Korean monk and artist Jungsan Senim, ethereal photographs of women by Isreali photographer Yigal Ozeri – but the selection is tied together by technology’s impact on art practices around the world.

Situated in the country’s mecca of innovation (and accepting Bitcoin as a currency), the event caters to the newly minted tech titans –  the startup set and their ecosystem of supporters. But like with any art fair organized by New York’s Hamptons Expo Group, SVC will be well-attended by NorCal’s most established collectors, curious consultants, dealers, and museum directors as well as those who want to see and be seen at the “next generation art fair.”   

Paul Young, director of Los Angeles design firm Young Projects, has curated the fair’s Moving Image Experience. The presentation of works by artists using technology in their studio practice includes single-channel videos, digitial installations, and interactive projects such as Marina Abramovic Institute’s U.S. debut of the Mutual Wave Machine.

As its name suggests, the installation – anchoring one corner of the fair grounds – represents the elusive notion of ‘being on the same wavelength’ with another person. Two users, enclosed in a capsule, can experience each other’s brain waves and thoughts through audiovisual signals.

Also riveting is the work by Gary Hill, winner of SVC’s inaugural Distinguished Media Artist Award, which recognizes an impactful career in new media. Hill’s latest creation, entitled Depth Charge, projects two ghostly blue figures – one contemporary jazz guitarist Bill Frisell – onto the gallery wall, while Hill describes what he’s experiencing to his wife, who gently guides him through his “trip.”

The fair is open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, 4/11 and Saturday, 4/12 and from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, 4/13 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, 150 West San Carlos Street, San Jose. The Opening Night Preview is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, 4/10.