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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 : Fermilab Residency - The Magnificent MicroBooNE, 2016

The Magnificent MicroBooNE: Science Through the Art of Jackson Pollock and David Smith, 2016
Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Diana Torres and Chris Kemp
Jennifer Raaf, Sam Zeller, Thomas Junk and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Special thanks to Janine Fron
Virtual Reality Installation

In (art)n's MicroBooNE VR, the recorded charge of the outgoing particles is replaced with colorful drawn lines and painted strokes in a Jackson Pollock style, as well as constructed sculpture in the style of David Smith’s Giacometti-inspired work. Both the Pollock painted brush strokes and the Smith sculptures are built up in relation to the course of the particles, illustrating their paths both two-dimensionally and three-dimensionally, while elaborating on the artful presentation of the scientific data and honoring the style of these influential presences in art history.

(art)n uses Jackson Pollock’s unique drip painting style to artistically demonstrate the 2-dimensional graphs Fermilab researchers acquire from the charge-sensing wires inside MicroBooNE. In the same way Pollock’s paint drips record his own movements of his action painting process, MicroBooNE data graphs illustrate the paths and the activities of the charged particles exiting the neutrino interaction. (art)n also uses an evolution of David Smith’s various sculpture work to artistically demonstrate the three-dimensional data graphs Fermilab researchers gain from analyzing multiple views of the two-dimensional planes.

Like Pollock, David Smith was also an American born artist who worked primarily in seclusion while expressing emotions in his work through strictly abstract ways. Combining influences of European Modernism including Cubism, Surrealism, and Constructivism, Smith is noted for essentially translating the painterly concerns of the Abstract Expressionist movement into sculpture. Traditional metal sculpture and casts required premeditation and design but Smith built his sculpture in the moment, welding metal pieces together in whatever form he currently desired. Smith considered himself more a painter than sculptor, bridging his method of work. Later Smith began exploring stainless steel sculpture with burnished textures added through sanding and his work evolved into much more minimalistic art. In the end he was known along with his fellow artist of the times Alberto Giacometti, as one of the greatest sculptors of the era. (art)n uses an evolution of David Smith’s various sculpture work to artistically demonstrate the three-dimensional data graphs Fermilab researchers gain from analyzing multiple views of the two-dimensional planes. In the same way Smith’s sculptures became more minimal over time, the three-dimensional data is interpreted from the existing two-dimensional appearing less detailed than its Jackson Pollock implied predecessor.

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