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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:

Lyn Blumenthal & Kate Horsfield : Joan Mitchell : 1974 An Interview

As featured in 'New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts'. Courtesy of the artists and Video Data Bank, SAIC. 

Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) was a "second generation" abstract expressionist painter and printmaker. She was an essential member of the American Abstract expressionist movement, and one of the few female painters to gain critical and public acclaim in the era. Born in Chicago, Mitchell spent much of the 1950s in New York, living on St. Mark’s Place on the Lower East Side, and was deeply involved with the the New York School. While other members of the School moved painting toward cool, formalist images, Mitchell persisted in maintaining the basis of her style in action painting, and achieved paintings of great emotional and intellectual intensity. During the '60s, Mitchell moved to France, where she lived until her death in 1992.

Mitchell's larger-than-life personality is at the forefront in this interview with Lyn Blumenthal. When asked if she returned to Chicago after her fellowship, Mitchell laughs. "Oh no, I left Chicago with a man in the middle of the night in a station wagon."

A historical interview originally recorded in 1974 and re-edited in 2004 with support from the Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Fund.

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