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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:

Barbara Sykes : Circle 9 Sunrise, 1976

Barbara Sykes, Tom DeFanti, and Drew Browning
Image processor and a PDP1145 with ZGrass language

A real-time performance on digital and analog computers with Michael Sterling on Moog synthesizer during the second Electronic Visualization Event, EVE II, in 1976. EVE I and EVE II were the first events of their kind in the world as computer artists and electronic musicians performed their technological and artistic abilities together live before audiences of a thousand people during each evening’s performance. These performances were held in an electronic sculptural and acoustic environment within a four-story rotunda with multi-monitor displays, an inflatable structure that housed a large-screen video projector and four channels of sound at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle Campus.

Circle 9 Sunrise was part of the second Electronic Visualization Event, EVE II, in 1976.

Courtesy of Barbara Sykes. Special thanks to the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago. Featured in 'New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts'.

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