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Ellen Sandor
Karl Wirsum


(art)n
Chicago, USA
artn@artn.com
(art)n: Virtual Visions
40" x 30"

Artist Statement: (art)n: Virtual Visions
In the 21st century, artists are using everything from natural materials to electronic media to make art, revealing new metaphors in the meaning of the work and the process by which it was created. In the past 100 years alone, artists have explored humanity through the different kinds of materials they have used to make art. And within every new material lies the critical quest to invent new techniques, new forms, new approaches, new meanings, new theories, and continued dialogues with art history.

After more than four decades since the first works of digital art were created, one of the most intriguing directions has been the reinvention of collaboration as an artistic process. Throughout history, collaboration has existed by necessity to facilitate the massive scale of a project or the technological challenges of working in a new medium. Artists today are increasingly working in groups to respond to a variety of options that are available to them, revealing provocative changes in the behind-the-scenes look at how art is being made.

(art)n's approach to making art in the 21st century includes a broad spectrum of disciplines and views that have inspired new concepts of what art is, what it can be, and how it can be made. These developments have emerged from working in collaboration with peers from other disciplines, combined with the invention of the group's unique digital-imaging processes. Over the past three decades, (art)n has witnessed the transformation from the physical to the virtual, producing a compelling body of work that reveals an elegant portrait of the digital landscape.

The art of our times exists as singular objects authored by singular artists, and it is evolving as a rich collection of ideas produced with multiple media by multiple authors in multiple locations at different moments in time. The greatest reward in producing art under these conditions is creating a shared language for embedding meaning into the unknown outcome of each experimentation.

(art)n's collaborations address subjects that place the most current issues of art, science, and technology into the public arena. (art)n continues to manifest its concern with social issues such as disease, warfare, urban poverty, and remembrance. It is the group's mission to continue to create works that will influence, inspire, and preserve a cultural heritage that combines the old and the new for all generations.

"Eggdrop" is (art)n's third collaboration with Chicago imagist painter, Karl Wirsum. The piece features a whimsical virtual portrait of Karl's fantasy characters performing in cyberspace. (art)n has also worked with Ed Paschke, Mr. Imagination, and the Roger Brown Study Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. These special works have been shown in galleries and museums worldwide, and have introduced Chicago imagists to future generations of artists.