To be consciously aligned with the present times we are navigating together, I am pleased to share with you a virtual presentation of recent works with (art)n, curated by Caren Rud-man for the Art Center Highland Park. This selection of PHSColograms, virtual sulptures and VR experiences explores topical themes that address cutting edge scientific research that responds to finding a cure for autism, cancer and other auto-immune diseases towards prolonging our quality of life. These works are paired with other areas of scientific endeavor that connect us with cosmic activity from micro to macro levels of interstellar existence. As a group of exploratory works where artists and scientists are also producers and directors, many of these pieces were led by talented women visionaries who exemplify a contempo-rary view of women harnessing the future of Art+STEM, persevering with fearlessness in their work for future generations.
(art)n was early to present new work featured in virtual galleries and online exhibitions to the general public in 1993, while based at the Illinois Institute of Technology. We continued to innovate our web presence while based at Northwestern University’s Basic Industrial Research Lab in 1994-98. Words cannot describe the excitement we felt in the early 1990s when Ping Fu’s team—Marc Andreessen, Eric Bina, and Colleen Bushell of NCSA—were developing the Mosaic web browser. None of us could fully comprehend the extent to which the Digital Revolution would change the world we are witnessing today. At that time there was very little visual imagery on the web, but with Mosaic we then had a whole new way to conceptualize and convey our artwork to a growing international arts community.
It was thrilling to begin our online portfolio with curated exhibitions and gallery spaces of PHSCologram images juxtaposed with art historical images, presented in themes or as artistic statements including 'All My Geniuses', 'Venus Envy' and ‘Harlem on My Mind’. At (art)n, we created one of the very first examples of virtual galleries and exhibitions on the Internet, which have now become ubiquitous. Jenny Holzer’s representatives requested (art)n to link to her Truisms site then, and in many cases, (art)n’s curation introduced post-modern, contemporary, modernist and pictorial works to new audiences. (art)n’s site was featured as 'Cool Site of the Day', and won other mid-1990s web awards. A curated selection of images was included in the 'The Electric Postcards' project designed at the MIT Media Laboratory. (art)n’s daily web site traffic [measured in “hit” counts] at one time matched that of Wired magazine. The (art)n website gave visibility to our work, the marriage of science and art, and the significance of diversity and tolerance within our growing online community–which led us to receive important commissions and timely invitations to participate in museum exhibitions. In these evolving times, it is encouraging that our need for creative expression will continue to unite us as a humanity and illuminate new pathways for connection and contemplation.