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Donna J. Cox


 “The new postmodern Venus represented a new kind of collaborative art/science making and functioned in culture in similar ways to bring insight and predictability. The Venus evolved into an icon that represented women in various situations...

The Venus project came to reflect evolving female issues, a goddess culture, and the cocreative, collaborative spirit that especially spirited  my work.” 

Venus on Glass, circa 1988. Courtesy of Donna J. Cox.  

From New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts.  


Donna J. Cox, MFA, PhD, is the first Michael Aiken Chair Emerita and Director Emerita of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications Advanced Visualization Laboratory, the Illinois eDream (Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media) Institute, and Professor Emerita in the School of Art & Design, College Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Cox is an internationally acclaimed computer artist, designer, writer, and recognized groundbreaker in scientific and data visualization. She coined the term “Renaissance Teams” to describe interdisciplinary teams who address grand challenges through the visualization of large-scale data and computational science. 

Cox was art director of scientific visualization for the Academy Award nominated IMAX film, Cosmic Voyage, 1997.  AVL contributed major scenes to the IMAX 

film, Hubble 3D which was honored with three giant screen awards for best picture, choreography, and life-long learning, 2010.   The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry selected Cox as one of 40 modern-day Leonardo DaVinci’s. In February 2017, the IMERSA international organization awarded Cox with a lifetime achievement award for lasting and positive contributions to the digital dome and big screen community. In March 2018, she received the Economic Development Corporation Innovation Transfer Award—University of Illinois in recognition of her work with the potential for significant societal impact. 

Untold HERstories: An Homage to SIGGRAPH SIGGRAPH ‘19 LA, July 31, 2019


An iconic photo showing women’s empowerment during the late 1960s . . . Artists resonated with this tide of change, and the growing nationwide women’s movement surged with artistic voices that reflected women’s demand for equality and freedom. Brazen Judy Chicago, who legally changed her surname from Cohen (to the name of the city in which she had been born) in 1970 “to liberate herself from male-dominated stereotypes” (Richards 2010, 89), said that the women’s movement gave her “a possibility of building support among women, who seemed hungry for images that affirmed them. 

 Venice, California, 1968, Dennis Stock 

 13” x 19 1/4” Vintage gelatin silver print 

 From the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection 


computer/supercomputer art, scientific /data visualization , virtual reality, IMAX, PHSColograms /sculptures, CAVE, digital film , photography 

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