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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:

Donna J. Cox & NCSA : Etruscan Venus, 1988

"The Venus image had become iconic and rep resented much more than a digital art sculpture. The Venus and derivative characters covered magazines and newspapers. The idea of the supercomputer Venus expanded to become an analog to the Paleolithic Venus de Willendorf. Both the prehistoric Venus and the supercomputer Venus were created by artists motivated to formulate worldviews and solve mysteries of the universe. The new postmodern Venus rep- resented a new kind of collaborative art/science making and functioned in culture in similar ways to bring insight and predictability. The Venus evolved into an icon that represented women in various situations."

Courtesy of Donna J. Cox NCSA, University of Illinois. Featured in 'New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts'.

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