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New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts captures the spirit of women working in digital media arts and education in the Midwest. These pioneers made essential contributions to the international technological revolution, helping to catalyze what we now think of as the age of digital and social media.

Our Herstory Screening Room features works that emerged from seminal events that took place at the University of Illinois and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1980s-2000s, in a fertile environment combining social feminist change, artistic energy, and technological innovation. While women artists in Chicago, marginalized in traditional venues, built a network of independent galleries and exhibit spaces to house and highlight their work, interdisciplinary Renaissance Teams at the University of Illinois developed advanced academic computing communities that created a bridge to the humanities and forged new partnerships between the artist and the scientific environment. Behind this revolution lay a history of social change, artistic innovation, women’s civic leadership, and breakthroughs in science and technology.

Please enjoy a curated video art selection of featured works that were included in New Media Futures:

Ellen Sandor & (art)n : Visualizing in a New Light, 2020

“The arts are the salt of the earth; as salt relates to food, the arts relate to technology.”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Viewed through the lens of today’s challenges, (art)n and Ellen Sandor’s inspiring works remain timely and relevant. Throughout her career, Ellen has worked with incredible groups of gifted artists, scientists, technologists, and thinkers, resulting in intense collaborations, often integrating other artforms with computer graphics, medicine and science. The immersive content presented here was merged into a totally new medium of PHSColograms, addressing complex topics from AIDS and Polio viruses, to breast cancer and autism.

Ellen’s work is groundbreaking, as the imagery her team has selected emphatically transcends the virtual and literal, the screen and the mind, the image and the observer with creativity and compassion. What she and her team share with us in this exhibition is the fulfillment of the possibility that the arts have to educate and influence other areas of science and medicine, with the courage and sensitivity to explore issues from an entirely new direction. They take us back into the essence of a gallery, perhaps not physically, but have managed to recreate a space for all of us to enter. Like a traditional exhibition, their incredible work engages, informs and entertains us. By merging virtual art into a true experience, they challenge and inspire us all to Visualize in a New Light."

James M. Lynch, Executive Director
Caren Helene Rudman, Curator
The Art Center Highland Park

Herstory Lightening Talks:



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