Current Exhibition

Chicago New Media 1973-1992

November 1 - December 15th, 2018

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.

Upcoming events

Voices: Nyeema Morgan

Thursday, November 15, 6pm
Gallery 400 Lecture Room

In this artist talk, Nyeema Morgan presents her body of work that include drawings, sculpture, collage, prints, and installation. Morgan discusses her work's conceptual framework: a process of thinking and working through the nexus between the personal and the cultural and its political implications.

Nyeema Morgan is a multimedia artist. Through references to familiar cultural material, her layered works address authorship and economies of knowledge. Her works have been exhibited at The Drawing Center, CSS Galleries at BARD College, and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Morgan has been the recipient of awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Art Matters Foundation. Her work has been reviewed and featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Artforum. Morgan studied at the California College of the Arts and earned her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art.

Pixel Art Sprite Making Workshop

Saturday, November 17, 1-3pm
Gallery 400 Lecture Room

Led by VGA teaching artist Eden Unluata-Foley, this workshop gives participants the opportunity to create their own pixel art game sprites. Participants will begin by using graph paper to build the characters and then transcribe the character to an online app called Piskel App, piskelapp.com. No programming experience is required. Program is free and open to all.

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Chicago New Media Remix Night, Featuring Cat Bluemke, Ali Krouse, and Whitney Pow

Wednesday, November 28, 6pm
Gallery 400

For one night only, Chicago-based game makers and new media artists Cat Bluemke, Ali Krouse, and Whitney Pow present video games that creatively rework, remix, and respond to specific pieces exhibited in Chicago New Media 1973-1992. By re-fashioning artworks from the exhibition, the event illustrates how several concepts featured in Chicago new media history are ongoing conversations shared across generations. Event is free and open to all.

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Screening: Selections from Josh Tsui’s Insert Coin

Wednesday, December 5, 6pm
Gallery 400 Lecture Room

Get a sneak peak of not-yet-released feature Insert Coin: Inside Midway's '90s Revolution, a documentary diving deep into the history of Midway Games. The luminary Chicago-based video game studio Midway Games was responsible for quintessential titles like Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam. Filmmaker and video game industry veteran Josh Tsui will be in attendance to present and discuss the work.

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Interactive Story/Text Based Game Making Workshop

Saturday, December 8, 1-3pm
Gallery 400 Lecture Room

In this workshop led by VGA teaching artist Eden Ünlüata-Foley, participants will learn how to use Twine, a simple tool for making text-based games, or in other words, interactive nonlinear stories. Participants learn how interactive narratives differ from other media and work on creating their own. Have fun developing a story while learning how to add static and animated images. No programming experience is required.

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