Submitting work for 150 Media Stream
If you are interested in submitting artwork for 150 Media Stream, please send a portfolio and resume to project curator and creative director Yuge Zhou at email@example.com. If you are under consideration to become a featured artist, you will be contacted.
Ant Colony Optimization in the City of Chicago by CLEVER°FRANKE
MAY 30–JULY 24, 2022
Every day we rely on algorithms that solve complex problems and efficiently execute tasks. Some of the real-life examples are optimizing traffic lights or public transport schedules. In this project, data design studio CLEVER°FRANKE created a visual experience showing the multiple levels of decision-making driven by algorithms to showcase how an algorithm works.
CLEVER°FRANKE decides to visualize a complex algorithm that mimics nature and bridges abstract technology and the real world. They chose an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm to bring their idea to life. The ACO algorithm imitates the behavior of ants seeking a path between their colony and food sources and is used to solve various optimization problems.
The final result is a digital art installation that visualizes the complexity of a moving Ant Colony that tries to find the shortest route between natural resources, in this case, all the parks in Chicago. To have ants walk the streets of the city, CLEVER°FRANKE created a high-resolution digital map. Using data from OpenStreetMaps, they color-coded places in each individual park or leisure area.
CLEVER°FRANKE’s visualization software ensured Ant Algorithm’s problem fit the layout and size of the 150 Media Stream perfectly and allowed for the different levels of problem-solving to be shown. To handle the incredibly high resolution of the video wall, they wrote custom software to run massive video files in parallel.
Click here to read more about the project.
Spectrum: Reimagined at 150 Media Stream
MAY 3, 2022
‘Spectrum: Reimagined at 150 Media Stream’ is a multi-media live performance in the lobby of 150 N Riverside Plaza that took place on May 3rd, 2022 as part of the Chicago Returns Week. The performance features Urban Jazz by Joel Hall Dancers (choreography by Jacqueline Sinclair), accompanied by instrumentalists from Mind Exchange Music and against the backdrop of George Berlin’s animation ‘Spectrum’ on the uniquely structured 150 Media Stream. Renowned floral designer Zac Hall transforms the lobby area into a lush natural landscape. The performance aims to reinvigorated an iconic urban space by placing focus on community and energetic exchange that happens when we interact with each other.
Impermanence | Metempsychosis
by Rory Scott
FEBRUARY 22–APRIL 30, 2022
Impermanence | Metempsychosis is an augmented & immersive experience, exploring rebirth and the ever-increasing complex nature of reality—in tandem with technology.
This dual exhibit consists of a five-part animation, which advances through the developmental stages of an unknown species. Throughout the journey, the observer maintains an intimate gaze but is never fully permitted to see the organism in its entirety. Privy only to an isolated view, a sliver of the truth is revealed.
Overlaying the experience, an Augmented Reality (AR) filter is designed to be placed anywhere within the setting. Adding an additional layer of complexity, the AR component renders the augmented environment indistinguishable from the subject and the subject indistinguishable from the space.
Metempsychosis and its AR filter both act as philosophical allegories, as well as deliberate visual compositions. Through the use of lines, the animations reflect both the structure of the display panels as well as their urban landscape. While the use of scale, color & light, evoke a sense of depth & harmonious tension within the space. The pairing of AR alongside the animations, both activates and unifies the experience, fusing together the user with the art itself and the surrounding world.
THE CONTINUOUS MONUMENT by Peter Burr
Music: John Also Bennett
Technical Direction: Oren Shoham & Jeremy Rotsztain
OCTOBER 2021–JANUARY 2022
An infinitely scrolling landscape of construction and collapse, THE CONTINUOUS MONUMENT depicts a self-generating world of disassembled body parts as a site of spectacle. Tourists mingle, stare, and idle within a landscape of scattered oversized limbs in candy-colored variety. The artwork employs a collection of algorithmic systems in the development of this tableaux including crowd simulation, building assembly, and music generation. What emerges is an endlessly expanding vertical landmark in constant limbo.
The title pays homage to a 1969 artwork by the experimental architecture group SUPERSTUDIO. Their anti-architectural proposals used grid systems as a way to mediate space, often critiquing the dehumanizing tendencies of urban planning in the modern age.
Read interview here.
OOzy by Marina Zurkow
Sound design: Scott Reitherman
Animation assistance: Ewan Creed
OCTOBER 2021–JANUARY 2022
OOzy is the newest work in Zurkow’s ongoing series Oceans Like Us.
OOzy brings into view a sensual—but harsh—mix of kelp, marine organisms, human aquanauts, mermaids, plastics, and oil, who cycle and snake through the 150 Media Stream along the riverside.
An ocean is not a body—and it is. It is also a shipping superhighway; a resource for food and minerals, and rare earth; a space of mystery, adventure, fantasy, dream, and myth; a space to be mapped, measured, and known; and “Earth’s” greatest engine—that maintains, reflects and affects the regulatory systems of the planet.
The works in Oceans Like Us aim to parse these often conflicted frameworks for thinking with and about oceans, offering opportunities to both make strange and increase affection for these complex liquid spaces, to offer contemplative connection time to the ocean as a fundamental life-source, a system in dire need of love and protection.
Public reception with a conversation between Peter Burr and Marina Zurkow
Friday, October 8th, 2021
6:30-8:30pm at 150 N Riverside Plaza
Moderated by Ye-Bhit Hong
In conjunction with American fiber artist Bisa Butler’s solo exhibition “Portrait” at the Art Institute of Chicago, 150 Media Stream is featuring an animated version of Butler’s quilted artwork Southside Sunday Morning. In all her work, Butler creates arresting portraits—composed entirely of vibrantly colored and patterned fabrics—that reimagine and celebrate narratives of Black life. The inspiration for Southside Sunday Morning was a photo taken by Russell Lee for the Farm Securities Administration on Easter morning in the Bronzeville section of Chicago in 1941.
Read more about Bisa Butler’s work here.
To celebrate the 2021 Year of Chicago Music and its citywide festival, 150 Media Stream presents the debut performance of a multimedia concert by animation artist George Berlin and the Mind Exchange Music.
The work entitled Spectrum is a journey of exploration and celebration through a rainbow of colors that comprise the visible light in our lives from sunrise to sunset. This adventure transports us around the wheel of hues that paint our perceptions of the physical and emotional life experiences in our world, portraying the unending cyclical nature of our entire universe – days, seasons, orbits, and especially feelings.
Out to Lunch / Sarah Brophy & Zheyu Pi
“Out To Lunch” is a site-specific video installation by Sarah Brophy with sound design by Zheyu Pi that imagines screensavers as the computer’s conscious dream-state and uses imagery to frame daydreaming as a valuable and generative function. Familiar screensaver themes from the past are fused with new illustrations inspired by the screen’s surroundings to create a painterly dreamscape. The project, selected via a student competition, was produced in partnership with the Video Installation class taught by Peter Burr at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (The Film, Video, New Media, and Animation Department).
Read interview here.
Action Lines is a production company founded in 2020 by Xavier Nunez, Eric Grant, and Dylan Gutierrez. A trio of Chicago transplants, Xavier and Dylan are dancers with the Joffrey Ballet, and Eric is a writer and film producer. They created Action Lines as a company by and for independent performing artists. Their goal is to bring new perspectives to dance films, and provide opportunities to strengthen the bonds between the performing arts and digital media.
Interim Avoidance seeks to provide a sense of closeness during the waning days of the pandemic. The dancers of the Joffrey Ballet have found themselves all dressed up with nowhere to perform. Six dancers emerge in a void, unsure of their purpose. A beam of red light beckons them like a stage manager on opening night, offering a moment of respite from their collective solitude. Never ones to give up an opportunity, they launch into the movements and shapes for which they have trained so long. A determination to bring joy, to excite, to spark inspiration with dance, the performers urge us all to remember that even in the darkest times, loneliness is nothing more than an Interim Avoidance.
Read interview here.
Panel conversation on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 150 N. Riverside Plaza in Chicago
Moderated by Brendan Fernandes, Joffrey Board Director
Eric Grant, Action Lines Co-Founder and Producer
Dylan Gutierrez, Action Lines Co-Founder and Joffrey Company Artist
Xavier Núñez, Action Lines Co-Founder and Joffrey Company Artist
Yuge Zhou, 150 Media Stream Curator, Video Artist
Patrick Steppan and Odessa Sagli
OCTOBER 2020—JANUARY 2021
Shrouded in Smoke is a shifting field of abstract forms. Shadows cast by dancing figures filter through progressively agitated environmental imagery. Prompted by the devastating Australian bushfires, the work ties human action and natural disaster in a cyclical three-act structure. It weaves together images of trees and foliage reflected in water to create an environment that progressively becomes more agitated and deconstructed.
This work was created by Patrick Steppan and Odessa Sagli, recent graduates from Knox College (Galesburg, IL), who won the 150 Media Stream Scholarship for Digital Art, cosponsored by Associated Colleges of Illinois. Their proposal was selected from among twenty-seven invited colleges by Yuge Zhou, curator of 150 Media Stream. Tim Stedman, assistant professor of design at Knox College, supervised the students’ project.
Starmesh is a multidimensional landscape with warping starfields and geological formations. Its vast horizon dissolves the surrounding space, creating a large expanse reminiscent of the cosmos. This site-specific work breaks the mundanity of the everyday to present a contemplation on the interconnectedness of being; reminding us we are more than our tethered routines.
A Forest Through Time: Seasons of Isolation creates the experience of a forest through the seasons, from spring rain to winters snow, from star filled night to the warmth of summers sun. Christopher Andrew uses long exposures and overnight time-lapses with the camera often left in places devoid of the human element for days at a time. The technology used to document the forest, as well as the complex editorial sequencing, creates images that are both awesome and foreboding. This film seeks to capture the tension between a longing for the natural world, and the ties of technology that keep us from its embrace. The soundtrack by Tablapusher speaks of the secret, haunting and majestic quality of the forest giving voice to the wind, the sky, and the trees themselves.
SIGNALS is a collaborative project by artists Nicolas Sassoon (Vancouver, BC) and Rick Silva (Eugene, OR) that focuses on immersive audio-visual renderings of altered seascapes. Sassoon and Silva share an ongoing theme in their individual practices; the depiction of wilderness and natural forms through computer imaging. Created by merging their respective fields of visual research, SIGNALS features oceanic panoramas inhabited by unnatural substances and enigmatic structures. The project draws from sources such as oceanographic surveys, climate studies and science-fiction to create 3D generated video works and installations that reflect on contamination, mutation and future ecologies.
AUGUST & SEPTEMBER 2019
localStyle’s immersive audiovisual installation Choral features coral reefs as the metaphorical ‘voice’ of the Anthropocene, hence the title and the soundtrack’s otherworldly electronic choir. Although their computerized 3D visualization of various corals is initially grounded in scientific research, some of the corals’ behavior reflects their imagination via speculative underwater world-building. The habitats that corals create are fundamental to the sustainability of a quarter of all marine species, but these ecosystems are in crisis. Despite major challenges, there are possibilities for fostering coral regeneration and recovery, thus the reason for guarded optimism. Choral is localStyle’s artistic contribution to a larger-scale human response.
Chicago Design Milestones is a media installation that brings to life the evolution of Chicago design by examining and showcasing the historic characteristics of design works from 1920 to 2019. The project extracted material directly from the robust collection featured in the Chicago Design Archive (CDA) which highlights over 3,200 pieces of work from over 1,100 designers and 400 firms. CDA, UIC School of Design & Electronic Visualization Laboratory, and Columbia College of Chicago collaborated together on this project as their goal was to spotlight the role of Chicago as a major national design center through the 150 Media Stream’s unique display structure and technology.
MAY & JUNE 2019
When the Night Falls, an animated film by Japanese artist Motomichi Nakamura takes place in the far future of Chicago where the city is taken over by residents-turned-humanoid bunnies and other mysterious creatures. Once night falls, giant city guardians are awakened and start walking around the streets while flying sea serpents come out of the lake and roam over the sky of Chicago.
Binary Pronouns is a large format video installation of animated words pairings such as HIM/HER, US/THEM, and YOURS/OURS. Although familiar, these words form the foundation of all the conflicts, inequalities, and injustices in the world today. The pronoun pairs are split into red and cyan channels, replicating 3D anaglyph technology. The work attempts to make reading more challenging by adding visual and formal complexity to these simple but powerful words.
FEBRUARY & MARCH 2019
Screen to Screen (craigslist; eBay) is a large-scale video work by Brooklyn based artist Penelope Umbrico. Cropped images of broken LCD-TVs for sale on craigslist and eBay were collected, collaged into formal compositions and came back “alive” on the unique screen structure and LED technology of the 150 Media Stream. By rhythmically sequencing these images and presenting them in an abstract format, the work traces the shifts in screen technologies and reflects the relationship between these modern electronics, as well as the consumers who has once owned and discarded them.
Time Mirror II (2018) is Haskins largest interactive video work to date. The work is entirely live, and never recorded. It transforms 150 Media Stream into a 150′ digital mirror, reflecting the architecture and its visitors back onto itself, compressed and stretched in time.
Here, visitors are invited to contend with the various polarities experienced as a person, such as the singularity and plurality of the self, the internal perception and exterior reality of the self, and the present self-contending with the past and future self.
The work offers an opportunity to slow down and see oneself moving through different layers of time from a third person point of view. Haskins says, “seeing the self as ‘other’ opens a doorway of understanding and compassion towards the self and the world at large.”
Time Mirror II is an extension of Haskins new solo museum exhibition entitled Polarity, which ran Sept 8, 2018 through January 13, 2019 at the Elmhurst Art Museum.
Tonal Conversations by animation artist Anne Beal and composer Christopher Zuar is comprised of thousands of colorful images that Anne created while listening to Christopher compose music on the piano. The ongoing collaborative project debuted on the 150 Media Stream featuring Christopher Zuar’s nine-piece jazz orchestra.
Dancing Human is a part of the artist Judy K Suh’s ongoing exploration of the construction and deconstruction of the moving image. Drawing inspiration from Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic studies of motion, the piece breaks down a dancer’s movement into a series of still images created from shooting on Super 8 and 35mm. It was conceived specifically for the unique structure of 150 Media Stream, utilizing the vertical screens to present the film strips in their entirety. Alluding to film editing, the strips were cut and organized for a visual rhythm rather than temporal rhythm. The advanced digital technology powering this video wall exhibits analog technology in all its imperfections—dusts, scratches, light leaks—and is now obsolete.
JUNE & JULY 2018
The Adler Planetarium presents two video pieces. Planet Nine features the research of Dr. Michael Brown from Caltech, and tells the story of why he believes that our solar system contains a distant as of yet undiscovered large planet. Our Planetary Experiment is based on a presentation of Dr. Daniel Schrag from Harvard, and tells the story of global climate change. Each video piece consists of scientific visualizations initially created for the Kavli Fulldome Lecture Series. That lecture series consists of presentations which use a technology called domecasting to simulcast lectures to planetariums all around the world.
In 2016 Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin proposed the existence of Planet Nine, a new planet in our solar system. This piece tells the story of Planet Nine in four movements. The first shows the discovery of the Kuiper Belt starting in 1992, 2,000 new objects orbiting the Sun out beyond Neptune. The second movement shows the 11,000 year of Sedna, one of Michael Brown’s discoveries that provided early hints about the existence of Planet Nine. The third movement is a computational simulation of how a hypothetical Planet Nine would affect the solar system over its 4.5 billion year history. The final movement presents several possible orbits for Planet Nine, a treasure map for the many astronomers hoping to fine it.
Our Planetary Experiment begins by imagining that we could see atmospheric carbon dioxide glowing red in the atmosphere. Then we could watch the buildup of carbon dioxide since Charles Davis Keeling began monitoring it in 1958. We then use the 89 bladed of the 150 Media Stream display to map out global temperatures over the last 89 years. Consequences of this warming include last years severe Hurricane season as well as the catastrophic die-off that occurred in the Great Barrier Reef the past two seasons. Finally we show (at 1:1 scale) a projection of future sea level rise.
Cities & The Sky #3, a new digital animation by Brooklyn-based artist Sean Capone, is the most recent in a series of public art projects that the artist has been engaged with for several years. This body of work explores more experimental, process-based and phantasmagoric forms of animation, using generative software to create and manipulate dynamic visual systems in real-time. Visually, the Cities & The Sky series evokes the dynamics of landscape painting, the pop graphics of mural art, and the synesthetic ‘visual music’ of abstract art and expanded cinema.
As an artist working in the public sphere, Sean is interested in using moving imagery to immerse and surprise the viewer, to encourage a reflection on one’s experience of the built environment and the temporal flow of media information, and—in the case of the 150 Media Stream project specifically—to engage this flow of imagery as part of the very architectural fabric of the space itself. In our contemporary media culture, more so now than ever before, the ‘screen’ is both a surface to observe and a space to inhabit.
From 1950–1975, Chicago-based Container Corporation of America ran a series of provocative artworks in national publications, as a means of promoting discourse. “Great Ideas of Western Man” was heralded as one of the best advertising campaigns in history. For this installation at 150 Media Stream, the Chicago Design Museum (ChiDM) animated three advertisements from the original campaign. The world has changed a lot since 1975, but great ideas are timeless. On April 20th, ChiDM opened an exhibition of contemporary works to continue the conversation, “Great Ideas of Humanity.”
Drawing inspiration from the visualization of atmospheric conditions, Current Air, borrows from the graphic language of meteorology to create a hybridized visual current of color, image, and pattern. This video hints to scientific expressions of temperature, moisture, and wind allowing for free associations of the viewer. Developed to activate 150 Media Stream with vibrant colors, it draws from the fluid dynamic of the adjacent Chicago River. This video hints to the ephemeral qualities outside: the wind blowing into the city along the river from Lake Michigan, moisture from snow or rain, and the shifting temperatures. Using a strong visual language, it brings the outside in to enliven the interior atmosphere.
Iconic 20th century architectural images from the Hedrich Blessing Photographers archive at Chicago History Museum are morphed into ever changing compositions by digital artist Geoffrey Alan Rhodes and are shown on the massive 150 Media Stream video wall. Through photographers’ eyes, this immersive experience is a window into Chicago as a designed and constructed environment. The project is part of Chicago00, a technological initiative to create historical encounters. It is also part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, North America’s largest international exhibition of groundbreaking architectural projects.
Physical systems have inspired creativity for thousands of years. As technology allows us to manipulate these systems with increasing granularity, new opportunities for expression emerge. By using a grammar rooted in physical models, it may one day be possible to synthesize and exchange ideas through the systems themselves.
Cirrus studies the expressive potential of simulating two intertwined dynamic systems. It couples a real-time fluid simulation with a carefully tuned reaction-diffusion mechanism to produce morphing tapestries of chemical interactions. As material is consumed and propagated within the boundaries of the video wall’s blades, strangely familiar patterns of coral reefs or leopard spots emerge, swirling among diagrams of entirely alien designs. Occasional waves of disturbance shock the system, never destroying it entirely, its hidden gradients always shifting and evolving below the surface. With Cirrus, no two moments are alike, every second a new statement.
The urban landscape we live in can be both fascinating and frightening—altogether familiar and foreign at the same time. Nature is constantly interwoven with man-made elements. In our ever-mobile environment we often forget that beneath the rush, we can immerse ourselves in small moments of amazement, if we only slow down and really look.
In River Unseen I am presenting new sides of the river—a constantly changing and flowing body of water. This project blurs the boundaries between what is synthetic and what is natural, what is real and what is constructed. I am working towards creating a new narrative for the river, a narrative that can change as the river changes—becoming healthier and more sustainable.
150 Media Stream showcases work that crosses genres and offers a platform for new or unexplored Chicago visionaries, storytellers, and creators. Such is the case for September’s featured duo: designer Megan Pryce and animator Zige Zhang, who have collaborated for over a year to create an exuberant, animated depiction of the vast Chicago landscape, entitled “Blues Notes Red Stars.”
“I love the idea that while we are all living these separate experiences, we are also adding to a larger and more systematic image than we realize. The city functions because of the people who create it and utilize it so I wanted to express that in this work—showing the city as an organism.” —Megan Pryce
Thirst (now Span)
JULY & AUGUST 2017
Thirst’s installation “We The People” is a suite of five scenes, expressing oneness, diversity, and community. Words from the U.S. Constitution are used throughout the piece, as well as 150 first names of those born in America within the last decade.
In 1787 the U.S. Constitution was signed by a fractured group of misfits and outcasts—delegates—each an immigrant in a new land. These individuals set the course towards a unified nation dedicated to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Their work inspired Thirst’s suite of ambient scenes, each animated expressions of the diverse melting pot that is America. Together, we shall overcome. Divided, we will fall.
The inaugural work for 150 Media Stream by pioneer media artist Jason Salavon is rendered in Unity and brings together the physical construction of the installation with a simulated architectural construction. The piece is based on physics: water and air, collisions, and visual disruptions that continually and elegantly reunify. It transforms and constantly generates in real time, never repeating itself exactly.