arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Art +Tech

Part of San Diego's unique artistic identity

San Diego's coastal beauty constantly inspires landscape painters and nature photographers, with many showing their artwork in Balboa Park's Spanish Village Art Center or in galleries throughout ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station. But local artists are also strongly influenced by science and technology - that's no surprise, given San Diego's reputation for being a "smart city".

By: Susan Myrland

If you arrive by air, you'll see a few examples right away thanks to the San Diego International Airport's impressive art program. Above the baggage claim is Miki Iwasaki's interactive Signalscape, 592 boxes built from walnut, maple and cherry wood, embedded with energy-efficient lighting that activates when people walk by. Near the food court in Terminal 1, you'll find another Iwasaki piece, Astralgraph, installed in 2014. It combines elements of geography, geometry, cartography and navigation. Notice the metal dots representing constellations - an appropriate image for passengers traveling the skies.

If you want to discover conceptual art with science and tech overtones, one of the major sources is the University of California San Diego's groundbreaking Visual Arts Department. Located in La Jolla, UCSD encourages artistic experimentation through programs like the new undergraduate major in Speculative Design, where students imagine the future and develop solutions that blend art, science, culture and technology. To find out what's happening on campus, check the Visual Arts Department's calendar.

Science and tech influences pop up in local galleries and museums, especially the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The New Children's Museum, Fleet Science Center, San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego State University's Downtown Gallery, Quint Gallery, alternative art venue Space 4 Art, and the San Diego Art Institute. Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Art Institute has become one of the best places to find digital, video and sound art.

"There's a really interesting experimental sound art scene here," says SDAI Executive Director Ginger Shulick Porcella. "Artists are doing conceptual work but making it accessible - like Margaret Noble, Aren Skalman or Scott Nielsen. It's sound-based, but it's still an object that people can understand."

Makers, hackers and DIY crafters abound as well. Check out the recently-expanded Innovation Lab at the San Diego Central Library downtown, with rows of 3D printers and milling machines to create circuit boards. The library itself is a model of "art + tech." There's a wide variety of art throughout the building, capped by a 2,000 square foot art gallery on the top floor.

Unique art events are happening all the time in San Diego - don't be afraid to try something new. After checking larger event calendars, take a look at the Facebook pages of local galleries, bars and creative spaces. With a little investigating, you might find yourself at something truly special, like Dorkbot, a night of electronic music, digital art, craft beer and tinkering. Then you'll truly be in the heart of San Diego's contemporary art scene.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Linger Longer at The Dana on Mission Bay!

The Dana on Mission Bay
Valid: Jan 13, 2021 - ongoing

Unpack, unwind, and enjoy your stay at The Dana on Mission Bay! Our San Diego hotel packages include discounts on room rates and our Resort Fee. Choose us and choose the best hotel special offer in...

Accommodation

Rise & Dine

Paradise Point
Valid: May 4 - ongoing

Rise and Dine in America’s Finest City. Stay in any of our guestrooms, bungalows or San Diego hotel suites and start your day with a delicious breakfast. Whether you are craving traditional fare...

Accommodation

Multi Night Stay PROMO

Best Western Plus Bayside Inn
Valid: Mar 19 - ongoing

Our Multi Night Stay Promo consists of: room accommodations, complimentary breakfast "Grab & Go" and a 15% savings. Staying for 3 nights or more?.... Our multi night stay promo offers 15% off of...

Events to check out

Event

Fleet Week San Diego 2021

Nov 4 - Nov 11, 2021

Welcome to Fleet Week San Diego 2021, November 4th – 11th at the Broadway Pier and Port Pavilion, San Diego.  Experience one of San Diego’s largest Military events featuring Military...

Event

Sherman Heights Dia de los Muertos

Oct 26 - Oct 30, 2021

Embrace Mexican culture during Sherman Heights' Dia de los Muertos with a traditional celebration, official altar blessing, live performances, food and more.

Event

Oceanside Dia de los Muertos Festival

Oct 24, 2021

20th Annual Dia de los Muertos in Downtown Oceanside will be held on October 24, 2021 with altars, arts & crafts, por siempre car show, a chalk cemetery and more! 

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish