jonCates’ exhibition Chicago New Media 1973–1992 was first held at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Gallery 400 in the fall of 2018. The exhibition illuminates the largely untold story of Chicago's role in the Media Art hystories and genealogies of New Media, Art, and Games. Including an exhibition, international symposium, public programs, and scholarly catalog, the project renders an important view onto the artists and organizations who contribute to Digital Art and technologies during the most recent turn of the century. Chicago New Media chronicles the under-recognized stories of Chicago’s contributions to New Media Art by those working at and attending the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory (UIC’s EVL), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and at Midway Games and Bally. With video game artifacts, new media technologies, historical photographs, game stills, playable game consoles, and virtual reality modules, the exhibition highlights the rich exchange between industry and academics during these heady times.
Chicago New Media now travels, as an official part of the the 2019 Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. The first officially selected program for the 2019 Festival, Chicago New Media is included alongside other international exhibitions including the Japanese Media Art Chronicle and The World in 24 Hours. Ars Electronica Festival, the world’s most important and influential event of its kind, celebrates its 40th anniversary with “Out of the Box – The Midlife Crisis of the Digital Revolution”. Ars Electronica gathers “the pioneers and groundbreakers of four decades of digital revolution as well as award-winning artists, leading scientists and influential contemporary developers in Linz. Together they trace the lines of digital development, identify where we stand today and outline how things will continue.” Chicago New Media curator jonCates officially presents his research during the Ars Electronica History Summit with Ars Electronica Director Gerfried Stocker; ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe Chairman and CEO Peter Weibel, and other notable participants.
The touring presentation of the exhibition is generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Austrian-American Partnership Fund of the U.S. Embassy in Austria.
The Chicago New Media exhibition, public program and catalog was organized in partnership with University of Illinois at Chicago's Gallery 400 with support from Electronic Visualization Laboratory. Chicago New Media 1973–1992 is part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago's art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Additional generous support for this project is made possible by The Chicago Community Trust, the Goethe-Institut Chicago and the Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was curated by SAIC Associate Professor of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation, jonCates with assistance from VGA’s Director of Exhibitions and Programs Chaz Evans and Executive Director Jonathan Kinkley.
VGA Gallery is generously supported by The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, individuals, and private and corporate foundations.