.San Jose ICA Celebrates the Bicycle

Institute of Contemporary Art honors the art and craft of two-wheelers with 'Bike Boogie'

Some of the world’s best pinball players will converge on Santa Clara for the Stern Pro Circuit Tournament.

Over the last century, bicycling has gradually morphed from a leisure time amusement to a serious mode of transportation to a lifestyle to a culture. And, these days, in the minds of some, riding a bike has essentially become synonymous with saving the world.

It’s an immense burden to place on a lightweight contraption with two wheels, but according to a current exhibit at the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, the bicycle is up for the challenge.

In conjunction with the exhibit “On Your Left”—which explores the art and design of the bicycle—the SJICA is hosting an all-day celebration of all things bike.

The Bike Boogie will dominate the day on Saturday, Aug. 4 at the ICA’s gallery space in downtown San Jose. The institute is partnering with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition for a day of activities in which bicycles are put in fun new contexts. For instance, there’s a “bike rodeo,” where bikes substitute for buckin’ broncos as riders navigate an obstacle course.

“There’s also a bike runway,” says Marielle Mervau, the ICA’s curatorial associate and visitor engagement manager. “That’s where you can either dress up like your bike, or decorate your bike, and walk the runway, narrated by an emcee.”

There will also be free bike tune-ups, workshops in bike repair, presentations on safety in urban settings for bicyclists, and a talk about San Jose’s bicycle plan.

Bike Boogie is designed to draw visitors to the ICA’s “On Your Left” exhibition, part of a broader initiative called “New Terrains: Mobility and Migration.” The initiative brings together a variety of Silicon Valley arts organizations—the San Jose Museum of Art, Saratoga’s Montalvo Arts Center and the Tech Museum of Innovation among them—to develop programs and exhibitions about the element practice of human transportation.

The ICA’s new show is the first of those efforts. It’s a collection of sculptures, drawings and installations from a number of artists that contemplate the bicycle’s place in enhancing the human experience, including the role of the bike in the design of urban spaces and the bike’s role in memory and the passage of time.

“It’s a show that thinks about the bike as an object of craft and design,” Mervau says, “and a catalyst for a sustainable future. How can we think about the bicycle in a more reflective manner, and our relationship with the bike?”

Bike Boogie
Aug 4, 11am, Free
San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art


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