A reason to travel to San Francisco this month: the new Institute of Contemporary Art


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Sitting on the dock of the Bay this fall, you can feel the creative tide turning. In San Francisco’s waterfront Dogpatch neighborhood, old port warehouses are suddenly overflowing with a new wave of art. The major force of nature at work here is artist Jeffrey Gibson, who has wrapped a massive warehouse inside and out with boundary-breaking art for the new Institute for Contemporary Arts San Francisco (ICASF), which opened October 1. 

The ICASF, a nonprofit, commissioned Gibson to cover their brand-new, factory-sized Dogpatch space with hundreds of video-art installations for its inaugural exhibition on the planet’s hottest topic: “This Burning World.” Gibson’s past installations have invoked the creative power of queer communities and evoked the All Nations Powwows of his Chocktaw and Cherokee heritage – but ICASF’s open-ended commissions make room for sudden breakthroughs on urgent topics. Instead of collecting art that mostly sits in storage like other museums, ICASF is committed to funding experimental, non-permanent exhibits that start timely conversations. 

A still image from a video shows a triangular slice of scenery on top of another image of scenery. A still from “This Burning World,” the inaugural exhibition at the ICASF © Jeffrey Gibson for the ICASF

You’re free to explore the artwork at ICASF, because there’s no admission fee or VIP-influencer guest list here. This non-commercial, non-celebrity model might seem strange – especially in San Francisco, where artists and techies have competed for space and attention since the Gold Rush. But old rivals are now creative co-conspirators in Dogpatch, where venture-capitalist arts…

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