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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:

Maxine Brown & EVL : I-WAY, 1995

I-WAY (Information Wide Area Year) was a year-long effort that culminated in major demonstrations at the IEEE/ACM Supercomputing (SC) 1995 conference in San Diego. I-WAY interconnected a dozen advanced networking testbeds, 17 supercomputer centers, 5 virtual-reality research sites, and over 60 applications groups to create an extremely diverse wide-area environment in which to explore advanced applications, providing a glimpse of the future of advanced scientific and engineering computing. Principal organizers were Rick Stevens (Argonne National Laboratory), Larry Smarr (NCSA/UIUC), and Tom DeFanti and Maxine Brown (University of Illinois Chicago).

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