The current exhibit housed at the museum is called Illumination: 21st Century Interactions with Art, Science and Technology.
The Illumination exhibit was featured from February until May 2020. After the museum temporarily closed, it was relocated online for visitors to access remotely. The exhibit was a partnership between 26 artists in the California area and seven scientific research organizations.
Art and Science
The exhibit explored the connection between art and science and strived to show visitors a new way to look at various topics in the scientific community. The creators of the exhibit hoped to educate the public about issues such as sustainability, global health and climate change. They combined various experimental mediums, such as light, sound, metal and plants, to create the artwork.
Did you Know
The Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego was initially founded in 1941 as the San Diego Business Men's Art Club. In 1950 the name was changed to the San Diego Art Institute, and three years later women were allowed membership into the organization. Just recently in 2023 the name was changed again as it merged with the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas. It is now Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego or ICA San Diego.
Technology and the Touch Screen
One of the three important themes of the art installation was Technology and the Touch Screen. Art from three artists was displayed to give visitors an experience with this concept.
One piece featured LED lights, metal, mirrors and the idea of surveillance. Another piece from this set was a magnified nano transistor, giving audiences a way to see something that is normally microscopic. A painting in this set used light and color to capture the idea of a video screen.
Global Health and Discovery
Global Health and Discovery was another big concept that the artists wanted to convey to audiences. One of the pieces aimed to emulate the idea of the brain's neurotransmitters.
Next, visitors could see the effect of cancer on DNA in a sculpture that illustrated the damage. Another piece attempted to make an allegory of the devastation of Alzheimer's Disease on the brain.
Climate Change and Sustainability
The last theme of the exhibit was Climate Change and Sustainability. Artists worked with scientists to develop artwork that made a meaningful statement about this topic.
One piece showed the impact of pollution on the environment. Another used rice to portray the struggle of getting misinformation about climate change. The final piece in this theme used a series of stills that expressed the challenge of being a consumer in today's confusing world.