top of page

Jon Paden - Artist, Researcher

Jon Paden is an Artist Researcher based out of San Diego, CA. Jon’s current research explores the understanding of how our SELF has shifted, blended and is integrating with information technology systems. The aim of the research is to develop an architectural substructure for expanding how electronic self and biological self have become reciprocal systems. This is accomplished through tools of Augmented and Virtual reality.

He received a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, OH and MFA from Univ. of California San Diego. Jon’s artwork crosses artistic boundaries, covering a myriad of materials, techniques, and traditions including wood, glass, steel and more recently technology driven new media. He grew up in South Carolina where he developed his love for art in a fine and performing arts high school, the Fine Arts Center.

His talent as an artist/engineer and now researcher has seen him develop work with and for numerous artists and institutions including The Cincinnati Art Museum, University of Washington, Pilchuck Glass School, Contemporary Art Center, The Art Academy of Cincinnati, and The Smithsonian Institute National Museum of the American Indian. Jon has worked with artists Rick Bartow, Gay Outlaw, Whitfield Lovell, Nancy Blair, and many more as project manager, structural engineer, installation coordinator and collaborator.


Jon’s artworks are complex with a focus on psychological response. He often combines drawing, woodcarving, and sculpting with diverse approaches in new electronic media. Programming and algorithms play a crucial role in the autonomy of the artworks.


In 2012 he worked with Artist Rick Bartow to complete the work, “We Were Always Here”, a site specific permanent installation at the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Art in Washington DC.

Jon’s passion for art has taken him through Greece, Scotland, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, across the United States, Taiwan, and recently to Japan where he researched Zomen masks which influenced the work InMemori, an Augmented Reality experience that explored as memorial the digital footprint of his recently deceased loved ones.

Recently his work Dadum further explored these notions with ways to build and interact with his memories of his father who passed away 2006. 

In Dadum Jon explores sculptures that incorporate memories of his father and how memory is changing with new methods in digital embodiment. This exhibition showcases new techniques in digital reconstructions, AI processes, and nostalgia.

This work employs new methods in virtual creation and recreation of physical bodies and memories. Dadum is built upon the memories and artifacts left behind from Jon’s deceased father Douglas Paden(55-06). The exhibition will showcase forays into virtual embodiment and explore themes of our social self through our information body. Jon’s research here at UCSD has focused on the changes in our notions selfhood as we expand our soma into a greater digital bodies. Incorporating Visual 3d, Virtual and Augmented Reality Interfaces.

bottom of page