Jan Tichy and Judd Morrissey Q&A

Oct 27, 2023

On 'Analog'

Ahead of the launch of our 2023 winter season, featuring a first-of-its-kind collaboration with current students at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), we sat down with Jan Tichy, Associate Professor of Photography, Art, and Technology and former ART on THE MART artist (Artes in Horto – Seven Gardens for Chicago, 2018), and Judd Morrissey, Chair of the Art and Technology Department, who are spearheading the project.

Launching on November 16, SAIC undergraduate and graduate students from the fall 2023 Art and Technology / Sound Practices department have paired up to create 13 distinct yet cohesive projections for ART on THE MART’s winter ‘Season of Light’ program, titled Analog.

Learn more about the process behind the collaboration, the curatorial concepts driving the students’ approach, and the work of the Art and Technology / Sound Practices Department at SAIC through our Q&A with Jan and Judd below:

How have SAIC students approached their projections for ART on THE MART’s 2023 winter ‘Season of Light’ program?

: We have presented the project under the theme 'Analog' to encourage students to think about site specificity, the MART building itself, and the way analog visual and audio media production expands possibilities in the world of digital projection.

How have students applied their education at SAIC into these new projections?

: At SAIC, we look simultaneously to the future and the past of media art to create a visionary field of practice with a rich legacy. Our faculty and students often blend cutting-edge and retro technologies into uniquely new forms and experiences. While we explore the implications of AI, virtual worlds, and art for zero gravity and outer space, we are learning how to better sustain the lifespans of our works in a constantly evolving and obsolescing technological field, and we are re-understanding what it means to be human in our time and beyond through considering the totality of available and emerging analog, digital, and bio technological possibilities.

Have you noticed any themes across the curatorial concepts of students’ work for ART on THE MART that relates to key trends in sound and digital art?

: I believe that, for many of the participating SAIC students, our 'analog' theme resonated with their artistic pursuits. The embrace of analog processes, such as vinyl and synthesis in sound and film, or light-sensitive papers in visual communication, is certainly gaining momentum.

How does ART on THE MART contribute to the wider Chicago community?

: ART on THE MART richly adds to the wider Chicago community by bringing accomplished artists from all over the world to their unique venue for large-scale projection and public art. At the same time, through initiatives like the emerging partnership between ART on THE MART and SAIC’s Art and Technology / Sound Practices department (AT/SP), they are taking an active role in cultivating a new generation of artists to compose for their technically elaborate, architecturally-specific, multi-sensory, and highly visible site, a challenging and invaluable experience that will help early and emerging artists adapt their creative visions to other innovative contexts for future public exhibitions.

What is the future of digital art?

: Almost every form of art today incorporates some digital aspect into its production, accessibility, or archiving. This digital dimension often shapes how we view, share, and learn about non-digital art. Simultaneously, as digital platforms continue to advance, digital art is becoming increasingly analog, intimate, and even wearable. The future of digital art lies in its potential to seamlessly transition into analog forms