Synthetically Natural: A Code Kitchen art show

For the past year, members of the San Diego studio have been co-organizing a meetup devoted to bringing art + code to the masses. Code Kitchen was born at INST-INT 2016, when JC and Alex met Jason Alderman, another enthusiastic San Diegan. From its inception in a dim Minneapolis bar, Code Kitchen has since grown into a full-fledged group with bi-weekly workshops and gatherings. Members include first-time programmers, professional developers, plus artists, architects, and members of San Diego’s Fab Lab!


Synthetically Natural

This December, Code Kitchen organized its very first art show. Ten exhibitors created works inspired by the theme of “Synthetically Natural”. The event was graciously hosted at Konrad+King’s design studio in Normal Heights.

Colin Wageman and Barry Lockwood's piece uses plants as a musical instrument.Robyn Oliver's "Time Was So Much Slower Then" changes time and scale as the viewer interacts with the pieceHannah Johansen and Devon Murphy's "I Can See You", a synthetic organism designed to horrify viewers

"Roomination" by Laura Dudek and Peri Smith, synchronizes light to music in an enclosed, meditative space

"SEED" by Arcy Douglass, a constantly-changing generative piece inspired by land art

JC Nesci's piece uses mundane computer usage screen captures as a canvas for glitching and visual distortion, inspired by E.M. Forster's novella "The Machine Stops".


Guests & passersby filtered in through the opened garage-style doors. The show's works incorporated diverse materials and techniques. Exhibitors incorporated electronics, software, animation, sculpture, and sound.


Visitors enjoying the snacks and the worksMariano Munoz's "Please Do Not Water" animates lights as the viewer touches a papercraft plant"Indoor Birding" by Jason Alderman and Alex Olivier animates birds and bird song local to the San Diego areaKyle Stewart's "Algodone Rings", inspired by the Algodones dunes in Southern CaliforniaColin & Barry's piece uses the capacitive changes produced when viewers stroke plants. Depending on the frequency of the touch, the gestures generate different types of sounds.


The show was a huge success, and Colin, JC, and Alex are looking forward to co-organizing more events in the future!