Head to the de Yound Musuem for “Uncanny Valley” | Image: Stephanie Dinkins, “Conversations with Bina48,” 2014–present. Video still. Courtesy of the artist

Each month, we’re highlighting new art exhibitions all across in the Bay Area. Check out this month’s selections below.

Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI
The de Young Museum | February 22, 2020 – October 25, 2020

In today’s AI-driven world, increasingly organized and shaped by algorithms that track, collect, and evaluate our data, the question of what it means to be human has shifted. Uncanny Valley is the first major exhibition to unpack this question through a lens of contemporary art and propose new ways of thinking about intelligence, nature, and artifice.


Dawoud Bey, “Mary Parker and Caela Cowan, Birmingham, AL,” from the series “The Birmingham Project,” 2012; Rennie Collection, Vancouver; © Dawoud Bey

Dawoud Bey | An American Project
SF MOMA | Opening February 15, 2020

Since the beginning of his career, Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953) has used his camera to depict communities and histories that have largely remained underrepresented or even unseen. This full-scale retrospective highlights the artist’s commitment over the course of his four-decade career to portraying the black subject and African-American history in a manner that is at once direct and poetic, and immediate and symbolic. The exhibition includes his tender and perceptive early portraits of Harlem residents, large-scale color Polaroids, and a series of collaborative word and image portraits of high school students, among others.


Sonya Rapoport, “Koch II,” 1972–74. Spray acrylic and graphite on canvas; 72 × 96 inches. Estate of Sonya Rapoport.

Sonya Rapoport: Biorhythm
Friday, February 7, 2020–Sunday, July 5, 2020

In 1984 artist Sonya Rapoport imagined a future fantasy world in which we consult computers to assess how we feel. Using data gathered at her 1983 interactive performance at WORKS/San José, Rapoport created a fictional computer program that could dictate participants’ moods. Computer Says I Feel . . . (1984) was the third phase of the multiyear project Biorhythm (1980–86), for which she collected and analyzed personal data through both self-assessment and technology-based calculation. Using then-popular biorhythm computers to measure and plot users’ emotional, physical, and intellectual states and comparing the data to personal accounts—including verbal statements made by performance participants and her own diarylike pictorial collages made daily over the course of a year—Rapoport charted the correlation between computed and personal assessment. Her Biorhythm project questions the reflex that cultural theorist Jeanne Randolph described: our primary assumption about technology being that it works.

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