Photo of Lee Blalock’s Solenoid mask instr/augment (2018) by Sophia Barr Hayne.

The past several years have witnessed a surge of interest in practices at the intersection of art and technology, a phenomenon well documented by the proliferation of exhibitions and edited volumes being produced on the subject. This broad institutional embrace also casts new light on art and technology practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), illuminating the significant contributions made by faculty and alumni throughout 50 years of uninterrupted experimentation, as well as the lack of precedent for such a milestone in the field at large.

To celebrate its rich history and ongoing contribution to SAIC and the larger art and technology community, the Art and Technology Studies department is organizing several initiatives, including a series of exhibitions, publications, and public programs. More information can be found on our website.

Art and Technology Studies 50th Anniversary Programmed Events

24-hour art hackathon
April 6, 8pm–April 7, 10pm
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.
Coordinators: Doug Rosman and Mara Iskander

Space Art symposium
April 11, 4:15–5:30pm
The LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave.
Panel speakers: Annick Bureaud, art critic/director of Leonardo OLATS / Eduardo Kac, professor and chair of ATS / Xin Liu, arts curator for the Space Exploration Initiative at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Moderator: Mark SubbaRao, Director of the Space Visualization Laboratory, Adler Planetarium

ATS FEST: A celebration of 50 years of experimentation
April 12, 4:30–8pm
MacLean Center, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

Wearable performances and real-time interactive events
Organized and curated by Lee Blalock
Location: 4th floor

Opening reception to Future Conditions
Curators: Duncan Bass and Madison Young
Location: Room 40

Learn to bend hot glass in 20 minutes
Host: ATS faculty Greg Mowery
Location: Room B1-16
Time: 5:30–7pm

Learn to solder in 15 minutes, build a Day of the Geek Badge
Hosts: ATS faculty Ziv Cohen and Jenna Boyles
Location: Room B0-07
Time: 5:30–7pm

Experiment with olfactory art in 20 minutes
Host: ATS faculty Tedd Neenan
Location: Room B1-19
Time: 5:30–7pm

Artist talk: Tamiko Thiel
April 30, 4:30–5:30pm
MacLean Center, 112 S. Michigan Ave., room 402

Olfactory art exhibition
May 10–June 11
Opening reception: May 10, 4:30–5:30pm
MacLean Center, 112 S. Michigan Ave., room 400

Ars Electronica 2019
September 5–9
ATS Graduate Exhibition at Ars Electronica 2019, Linz, Austria
Curator: Duncan Bass

ats@50: Art and Technology Studies 1969–­2019
Ats@50: Art and Technology Studies 1969–2019 is an 80-page publication interweaving personal, historical, and scholarly accounts of the department, faculty, and alums. To receive a copy of ats@50 please write directly to