PART 3

MIGRATORY INFLUENCES AND INSPIRATIONS 

In part 3, adventurous women describe how their midwestern roots influenced their migrations and creativity. In the former sections, most of the contributors to New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts have innovated from a solid midwestern foundation while having global impact through international exhibits, film, and other endeavors. Rather, women gathered here chose to physically relocate to expand artistic inspiration and new perspectives in faraway places like France, Singapore, and Finland. Their migrations are often intertwined with communities of entrepreneurship, SIGGRAPH, filmmaking, and mentoring future students and practitioners. Brenda Laurel began her journey pioneering interactive theater and exploring electronic games in the Midwest in the mid-1970s that led her to cofound Purple Moon in California in 1996. Copper Giloth, a native Bostonian, became the first student to graduate from the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) in 1980, where she made early electronic artworks on the Bally Arcade and has since continued to teach and experiment with bookmaking and photography on her travels from Boston to France. Jane Veeder, a pioneer in video art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the mid-1970s, later developed her freelance production company and worked in the game industry and academic community in California. Sally Rosenthal graduated from EVL in 1983 and continued to bring the EVL community spirit into her work with the SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater and many ventures, like Interval Research in California. Lucy Petrovic, an EVL alumna and active SIGGRAPH contributor, developed new academic programs in New Mexico, Arizona, and Singapore while continuing to create socially conscious virtual reality experiences for museum visitors. Janine Fron collaborated on commissioned PHSCologram installations and sculptures with Ellen Sandor and (art)n, lived abroad in Finland, and coformed the Ludica game art collective in Los Angeles in 2005, where she was inspired to independently develop cooperative green games drawn from nature. The collective tenure of interviews captures moments that shaped their communities of practice and outreach. In combination, their interwoven efforts share ties with all of the women interviewed in New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts and reflect how interconnected we all are, revealing ways women form networks of support to courageously try out new ideas. 

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Hancock Tower on Lake, 1992, Laurie Simmons 

7”x7” Vintage gelatin silver print 

From the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection, Digital photograph by James Prinz Photography

During the 1980s, postmodernism sprang up in Chicago at Feature and the Rhona Hoffman Gallery.  A playful example of the John Hancock building in motion, reminiscent of Pixar’s Luxo Jr. (1986).