Chicago New Media 1973-1992

Curated by Jon Cates with assistance from Chaz Evans and Jonathan Kinkley | November 1 - December 15, 2018

  1. Have a Nice Day II: VR Tour Through the Decades, Ellen Sandor, Chris Kemp, Diana Torres, and Azadeh Gholizadeh, (art)n, Virtual Reality Installation with Unity and Oculus Rift, 2017 Courtesy of Ellen Sandor and VGA Gallery
  2. Sonia Sheridan manipulating the Cromemco Z-2D system with EASEL software by John Dunn (Time Arts Inc.), 1982. 1 slide: col.; 35 mm. Unknown photographer. The Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology, Sonia Landy Sheridan fonds, and VGA Gallery

Although Chicago is not often thought of as an epicenter for new media art, technology, or industry, the city was home to some of the earliest and most important experiments in new media in the late 20th century. Curated by SAIC Associate Professor of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation, Jon Cates with assistance from VGA’s Director of Exhibitions and Programs Chaz Evans and Executive Director Jonathan Kinkley, Chicago New Media 1973-1992 chronicles the under-recognized story of Chicago’s contributions to new media art by artists working at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory (UIC’s EVL), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and at Midway Games and Bally from 1973-1992.

Presented in partnership with Video Game Art Gallery with support from UIC’s EVL, the exhibition at Gallery 400 features video game artifacts, new media technologies, historical photographs, game stills, playable video game consoles, and virtual reality modules to explore the rich exchange between industry and academics during this heady time.


Chicago New Media 1973-1992 receives major support from the Terra Foundation for American Art and 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 is provided by The Chicago Community Trust; the Goethe-Institut Chicago; the School of Art and Art History, College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; and by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.