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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:

Joan Truckenbrod : Spirit Site, 2002

Traces of the powerful resonances in an empty house, deposited by the family who has grown up there, are reflected in the powerful salmon runs projected into this structure. Salmon are a powerful metaphor for the cycle of life, and embody the treasured relationships and rituals that remain invisibly as the home is emptied out. The occupants follow a trajectory to an idealized retirement home which transformed into and foreign place with “alien” life patterns.
Spirit Site is a video, multimedia installation with a handmade model house, one and one-quarter size of a doll house, that is suspended from the gallery ceiling with clothes line. Video of salmon runs are projected into this empty house, with the video imagery traveling through the open windows and door onto photos of elderly people mounted on the back wall, behind small window frames. Salmon are a powerful metaphor for the cycle of life. 

This installation was reviewed in 'ART News' by John Brunetti, February 2003, p 133.

Courtesy of Joan Truckenbrod. Featured in 'New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts'.

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