[ISEA97] Introduction: Michael Rodemer, ISEA97 Program Chair & Peter Gena, ISEA97 Exhibitions Chair – The ISEA97 Program

Introductory Statement

We are delighted to offer you this exciting program for the Eighth International Symposium on Electronic Art. The formidable size of the booklet attests the expanded scope of the symposium in every respect except the duration. Hence the resulting schedule represents a carefully jam packed series of events within the traditional five-day ISEA format. Before you peruse the abstracts, notes, biographies, and plans, we would like to point out just a few of the highlights from our distin-guished line-up.
The Graham Foundation has generously sponsored a special panel session Beyond Shelter:The Future of Architecture on Wednesday afternoon, which features artists and practitioners, as well as prominent architecture critics, who will examine the relationship between architecture and the new virtual spaces of electronic media. This forum is accompanied by another Graham Foundation event — a dedicated exhibition of both ISEA97 and guest artists curated by Chicago architects Anders Nereim and Sally Levine.
We are very fortunate to be able to honor the 30th anniversary of the influential journal Leonardo, whose prescence over the years has touched so many of us. A special panel presentation devoted to the history and future of the publication, and of electronic in general takes place on Wednesday afternoon. This celebratory overview is followed by a special reception for ISEA97 presenters and invited guests at the Chicago Cultural Center.
The Goethe-Institut Chicago, always an omnipresent player in the cultural life of this city, has enriched the conference by initiating and supporting an all-day, three-panel session on Friday that focuses on various aspects of literature and new media.Judging from the number of proposals that examined the potential of narrative and film and literary theory as sources for ideas and theories about new media works, we expect these panels to be of keen interest to the entire spectrum of conference attendees.
Also we are most pleased and excited to present four plenary addresses by Laurie Anderson, Sherry Turkle, Nolan Bowie, and Guillermo Gomez-Pena. Suffice it to say, the reputations of each of these distinguished speakers hardly need prefacing here. Without a doubt you can expect these four strong and independent voices to provide diverse and provocative insight to the important issues of the day.
In addition to the academic schedule, you will notice an extensive calendar of exhibitions and events throughout the entire week. Those artists whose work is listed under the ISEA97 sections of the program listings were selected by our local and international program committees—the majority of it presented either at the main exhibitions site at 847 West Jackson Boulevard, or in concerts or performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Please also note that a number of these selected artworks are being presented as part of other exhibitions, taking place concurrently at additional Chicago institutions and galleries.
Two important exhibitions mounted by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as part of ISEA97 are Re-inventing the Box, at the Betty Rymer Gallery, a show of selected ISEA97 submissions and invited artists, and Hybrid, a companion show of juried student work at Gallery 2, 847 West Jackson Boulevard.
The week closes with an event generously sponsored by the Institute Cervantes in Chicago — a performance of EPIZOO, by guest artist Marcel Li Antunez Roca from Barcelona, at the Gallery 2 performance space.
Finally, there are many additional exhibitions and events too numerous to mention, scheduled by diverse, cultural institutions throughout Chicago. We urge you to visit these special projects of local, national and international scope. Please be sure to look out for the ISEA97 blue streamers as you wander about our magnificent city, and enjoy the week!

  • Michael Rodemer (USA), SAIC, ISEA97 Academic Program Chair
  • Peter Gena (USA), SAIC, ISEA97 Exhibitions Program Chair