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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:

Copper Giloth : Zgrass Paint Demo, 1980

"I was the first art student to graduate in 1980. . .Tom DeFanti and I had an interactive drawing installation [at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in the summer of 1980] that allowed visitors to explore my drawing process where I used reflections and rotations of a simple object to create landscapes. In the museum, there was a video game-like console where a visitor could draw a simple object. My program would make versions of the object using rotations and reflec- tions of it and then allow the user to build a more complicated image. On the walls of the gallery were a series of my drawings printed on paper with a plotter that were created from the same program. This software was developed with two fellow graduate students, Dan Sadowski and Patty Harrison, and it was the kind of collaboration that was happening all the time at EVL." 

Copper Giloth in 'New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts'

Courtesy of Copper Giloth.
Special thanks to the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago.

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