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School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Eye Icon Icon of an eye with lashes, opened if the projection is on view; closed if projection is archived.



About the Work

As part of its 2023 'Season of Light,' ART on THE MART partners with students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) on a new projection under the direction of Jan Tichy, Judd Morrissey, and Austen Brown, Professors at SAIC. The work, titled Analog, is on view from November 26 until December 30, 2023, nightly at 7.30pm CT.

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, ART on THE MART's 2023 winter season celebrates the emerging and established talent coming from School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), a beloved Chicago institution that is internationally regarded as one of the top art and design schools in the world.

Analog is a new commission created by undergraduate and graduate students from SAIC who have paired up to create 13 distinct projections. Under the guiding theme of "analog," the SAIC students were challenged to consider the site specificity of THE MART and the way analog visual and audio media production expands the possibilities of the world of digital projection. Each participating student, with backgrounds in artistic areas such as photography, film, kinetics, sculpture, or painting, bring to the project their different approaches and knowledge of materials, tools, and processes. 

Analog was created under the guidance of Jan Tichy, former ART on THE MART alumn who debuted his commission Artes in Horto – Seven Gardens for Chicago as part of the platform's inaugural year in 2018, together with Judd Morrissey and Austen Brown. Tichy, Morrissey, and Brown are all Professors in the Art & Technology / Sound Practices Department at SAIC. 

Featured Projections

City in Motion - Amanda Lynn Reid and Tolu Adeniji

Inspired by looking out the window of a moving train, this project is an ode to the innate cinematic and audiovisual relationship between cinema and the city. By combining the sonic rhythms of an E-mu modular synthesizer with the distorted footage of trains, we emphasize the strange and alien forms that lie in the mundanity of train travel. Through THE MART's colossal presence in the city, this work evokes how the trains of Chicago have an equally colossal imprint on its people.

Architectural Kinetics - Felipe Macia Fernandez and Sarah Lutkenhaus

The work explores facades as light objects that modulate public space. By taking the grid patterns embedded in the architecture of the facade of THE MART and superimposing them, the work expresses the light generating potential of still patterns of modern architectural design. The work creates interfering patterns of intersecting architectural grids as a source of movement and light. Spatial position of architectural patterns becomes an analogue input for composition. The work revisits the techniques used by Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz Diez to explore the movement potential of color and geometrical patterns, and expands it by using patterns in architecture as a material to explore these principles. The facade of this iconic building, one of the largest in the world, is understood as a light trap of geometrical patterns and color with kinetic potential. 

Chicago Grid - Eunjin Lee and June Thomas

Chicago Grid is a unique exploration of connection and disconnection in Chicago's urban landscape. Using a grid-based approach, the artwork delves into the interplay of light and human engagement. The grid acts as characters on the MART’s canvas, showcasing facets of the city's diverse culture. Animation within the grid brings these elements to life, providing a captivating illusion of movement in the city's architecture. Sound also plays a crucial role, oscillating between melodic and harsh noise, mirroring the interaction between sound, image, and the audience.

Lights Shine Where We Meet - Hailin Kwak and Steph Patsula

Lights Shine Where We Meet symbolizes the confluence of nature, urban life, and human interaction in the city, where each element coexists at its own pace, defining the city's vitality. Through a fusion of visual and auditory elements, it explores the interplay of light, motion, and geometry, echoing the harmony and dissonance between nature and architecture. Inspired by river waves and city lights, analog video synthesis and digital processing create a dynamic visual display that mimics the city's rhythm. Using audio recordings taken from the river, which are then filtered and modulated through an E-mu modular synthesizer, the work embraces the urban soundscape, fusing chaos and rhythm in an immersive artwork that captures the essence of this vibrant metropolis.

Refraction - Spencer Farrell and Jess Stuckman

The many surfaces in the city wait, dormant, becoming activated by the multiplicity of light sources within it; always shifting. Through video and electronically synthesized sound, Refraction draws attention to the role of the city – its structures, and its inhabitants alike – in their role of creating a perpetual dance of electric light.

Fragmented Flow - Haeun Lee and Fionn Kelly

The projection employs the magic lantern to inspect the transparent pollutants and waste in the Chicago River that stands as silent witnesses to the remnants of human actions. The work urges the audience to reflect on our role in this environmental shift, raising awareness, and encouraging collective dedication to restore our waters.

Flowing Life - Yukyeom Kim and Xio Xinyang

This work depicts Flowing Life centered around the Chicago River. Non-human life forms live and move beneath the green waters. Due to industrial pollution of the river, only five species of Chicago River wildlife were initially discovered, but through the efforts of people in the Chicago community, it has now increased to 77 species. As one of the analog production methods, the watercolor stroke animation created by the artist through continuous strokes represents the newly emerged energy of wildlife. The sound produced by an analog synthesizer explores the relationships among the visualized lives.

Copi - Jiabao Qiao and Derry Yang

Copi comprises four invasive species: bighead, black, grass, and silver carp. These Asian carp, known for their considerable size and rapid reproduction, have had a detrimental impact on local ecosystems. To safeguard Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes from the intrusion of Asian carp, conservation groups have installed power grids and dams at critical junctures, such as the Mississippi River-Lake Michigan and Illinois River-Lake Michigan connections. The renaming of "Asian Carp" to "Copi" serves a dual purpose – to rebrand these species and to promote both consumption and conservation. Within the project, Tetris is used as a symbol, representing the collective efforts to establish multi-layered power grids in the lake. This strategic move is designed to prevent Copi from jeopardizing native fish populations and the delicate ecological balance in the region.

Suffusion - Aaron Wong and Luke Burris

Chicago stands as a monolithic triumph of humans over nature and THE MART presents us with a microcosm of that. This project aims to use this massive canvas to remind us of how small we actually are, and how temporary this triumph over nature actually is. This is done through a celebration of the natural power and motion of water.

Land Here - Meadow Favuzzi and Elle White

Projecting larger-than-life images of pigeons on the side of THE MART building is a creative way to grant these birds a symbolic space to exist and be appreciated within the urban environment. Pigeons are a common sight in the city of Chicago, yet most of us pay little attention to them. Once revered allies, they are now misunderstood urban inhabitants, often regarded as pests. This shift in perception is not merely an evolution in our relationship with pigeons; it's a reflection of our broader societal attitudes towards what we deem 'useful' or 'valuable.' Bird spikes on the buildings’ facade serve as a stark reminder of how we, as a society, have treated these birds we once relied on for messages, surveillance, and entertainment. Despite our changed relationship with them, we have collectively deemed them unworthy of our spaces. This project seeks to challenge the normalization of hostility and rejection towards pigeons and all beings, humans included. This space is offered to them, a gesture of coexistence and understanding.

Gaze at the Moon - Rio Usui and Cyrus Spurlock

Why do we gaze at the Moon? What is the energy that connects the moon, the earth, and its inhabitants? Gaze at the Moon delves into the relationship between architecture, space, and humanity. The phases of the moon in November 2023, the period of ART on THE MART's exhibition, will be projected onto THE MART building. The scale, shadows, and light of the display beckon us closer and farther away at the same time. 

Hey MOM, LOOK WHAT I DID! - Isaac Duan and Yasmin Petorak

The work tries to dissolve THE MART’s solemnity by personalizing the building through creating an excessive and uncanny visual impact for the audience. One strategy to realize this objective involves projecting various body parts and gestures onto the building's facade while integrating Chinese characters emerging from eggs to establish an overarching sense of eccentricity and strangeness that gradually erodes the solemn ambiance of the edifice. In terms of sound, the piece utilizes a spiritual ambient soundtrack at the outset and end of the video that synchronizes with the Buddha's movements. Subsequently, screams and noise of the train are introduced in the middle to evoke an eerie and unsettling sensation in the audience, intensifying the impact of this work. 

On ways of measurement - Makayla Lindsay and Zhe Li

The premise of this work is to think in terms of systems of measurement and their production, as a means to understand the breadth of a space. By considering that the concept of measurement is an arbitrary agreed-upon structure, we are then questioning what else might be a system of measurement. Henri Lefebvre claims there is an “immediate relationship between the body and its space... each living body is a space and has its space: it produces itself in a space and it also produces that space.” The body then might also be a unit that measures space. By utilizing rhythm, pacing, and repetitive movement both visually and sonically we aim to create an ordered system of measurement, thus allowing for the notion of using movement and footsteps as a unit which can specify the parameter of a place – THE MART. Through the creation of a space within a space, we hope to escape the flatness of the projection surface and by repositioning the perspective of the inner space to one that is inconsistent with that of the existing architecture, the viewer will become reorientated in the place in which they occupy.

I want you to be madly loved - J Jiang & Lee JohnsonThe work can be interpreted as making a fire between individuals, which surrounds and can trap someone. Andre Breton wrote that sentence for his daughter who was the only one who made Andre feel love. Within the phrase, there are images of items within THE MART, a fire alarm, an exit sign, a metronome, a speaker system, sconces, escalator. A sterile complexity. A person is walking, precariously. Listening and gasping with a flick of their tongue. An intense awkwardness. Music is replaced by real clock ticks, in the form of a drum set. 120 seconds of different percussion hits. As if the clock was trying to find the perfect expression for a second. If TikTok made a clock, would it be pitched at percussion and 808 kick? Would it be sold at THE MART?