By Maayan Glaser-Koren

San Jose Museum of Art   July 22, 2010 through February 6, 2011

The Retro- Tech artists play a role of archaeologists. They re-examine and re-create old and new. They cast light on our consumer society and the rapid exchange of technological commodities as gadgets. They re-frame, re-use, and re-cycle the old with new technology. They bring to life forgotten vintage objects such as wooden carts, antennas, bicycles, and radio clocks by combining them with new gadgets as computers and iPods.  One example is the work of Katya Bonnenfant,  “2:57AM Onibaba Anguish from Vintage Packaging for Animation,” 2009. Her work combines animation displayed on an iPod screen, but the iPod itself is the screen of an old radio-alarm clock.




Katya Bonnenfant: 2:57AM Onibaba Anguish from “Vintage Packaging for Animation” ,

© Courtesy of the Collection of Martin Maguss + Mari Iki. Image courtesy of Haines Gallery, San Francisco

Another installation examines virtual objects and the way their economic value changes when they are projected into the physical world. Artists as Kildall Scott and Victoria Scott created imagined virtual objects in Second Life and then projected them into the physical world as paper sculptures. Those virtual objects are part of the economic exchange in Second Life. Projecting them into the real world creates a tension between the virtual commodity and the physical commodity. According to the Scott, the actual value of these intangible objects in Second Life ranges between 1.50$ to 12.00$. The idea of replicating them as physical objects that are made from high-quality print paper raises their value as commodities. (

No Matter: Paper Tiger (2008), 12″ x 4″ x 6″ Paper sculpture, Inkjet Prints using Archival Paper

Second Life Installation at Ars Virtua (2008), Simulated World Installation.

The Retro-Tech space as part of SJ01 embodies endless opportunities where artists can combine art and technology. This is a collection of talented artists who take technology into its next level without “forgetting” where technology started.

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