Sydney Gush, “Low Fidelity” (2020), multimedia sculpture, 6 inches x 3 7/8 inches (photo by Sydney Gush)

The Art & Technology Studies Department (ATS) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is proud to present the Chicago Garden at the Ars Electronica Festival for Art, Technology & Society this September.

Ars Electronica’s theme for 2021, The New Digital Deal, is an invitation to reflect on the benefits and shortfalls of the close relationship we have developed with the digital world. The festival will be home-delivered, with exhibitions and events taking place both online and in-person in each participant city. All are intended to prompt visitors to think about our capacity to take action and our right to help shape the world we want for our future.

The ATS Chicago Garden seeks to engage in a multidisciplinary dialogue and become a physical and virtual space where the SAIC and Chicago communities can reflect on the experiences we share and the roles we play as we emerge in this new digital world.

Ars Electronica Chicago Garden Programs
September 8–12, 2021

  • Where we emerge: ATS students reflect on how the digital world has shaped society through installations, media work, and 3D sculptures in this pop-up exhibition. Available in-person at SAIC on September 8 and online.
  • experiments in free-drumming I: Sal Moreno performs improvisational drumming motivated by digital sounds and visuals generated in real-time via a motion-capture suit. The performance engages the body as a sonic mediator between the physical and virtual spaces. Available online.
  • Start a Reaction: Artists and curators Robert Pierce, Elise Butterfield, Taylor Shuck, and Maysam Al-Ani will present documentation of the performance and augmented reality (AR) works made as part of the Start a Reaction project, an anti-nukes art and technology campaign. Available online.
  • My Shoes, Your Walk: A Soundwalk Near Montrose Beach, Chicago, IL: Jonas Sun’s video revisits a soundwalk, recorded with contact microphones chiseled and wired in the soles of his shoes, that provided the artist inspiration and solace during the past year. Available online.

To learn more and get tickets, visit