First myth of inside and outside - CODAworx

First myth of inside and outside

Submitted by Liz Hickok

Client: San Jose ICA

Location: San Jose, CA, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $9,000

Project Team


Liz Hickok

Curator and Director of Public Programs

Christine Koppes


This site-specific photographic installation for the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art’s windows was printed on translucent vinyl in multiple panels spanning approximately 16ft x 50ft. The artwork in the Façade glowed from inside lighting at nighttime, making the artwork visible from the street and immediately available for viewing, enhancing the vibrancy of downtown San Jose and attracting viewers who might not necessarily enter the gallery during normal business hours. When viewed from inside the ICA during the daytime, shadows from palm trees moved with the wind, making the large shimmering images feel as if they were animated or projected, without any need for technology.


The piece is part of my “Ground Waters” series, in which I construct elaborate scale models of urban landscapes, flooding them with the crystal-growing chemical monoammonium phosphate. As time passes, the crystals engulf the sculptures, transforming them into otherworldly spaces.

Additional Information

I created this site-specific photographic installation for the San Jose ICA windows, as part of a show called “The Surreal Sublime”. The piece ushered viewers into a show with works that captured a range of emotions, teetering between the natural and the synthetic, seductive and dangerous, calm and chaotic.