"The artists honored in PHSCologram 1983 were chosen for their individual contributions; however, the piece created a fraternity of (art)n by isolating individual forces which singularly changed the direction of art history and combining them into a single cohesive statement. Included were Man Ray, Georgia O'Keeffe, Louise Nevelson, Marcel Duchamp, and a final composite panel dedicated to the outsider artist unaffected by trends or forces shaping the contemporary art world."
– Jim Zanzi, Professor Emeritus, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
(from an Interview by Lisa Stone 1987)
"Working on PHSCologram 1983 was a complexity of emotions. The thrill of pioneering and contributing to art history, paying tribute to great artists, and all that was involved in learning their histories, and the enlightenment of collaborative effort."
– Gina Uhlmann, early (art)n collaborator, 1987
A growing renaissance within the Chicago art scene was significantly catalyzed through video artists and SAIC alumni, including Barbara Sykes, Jane Veeder, Phil Morton, and Ellen Sandor. As early as 1982, Ellen Sandor created a unique, large-scale, three-dimensional backlit photographic mural, entitled Free Markets I. A private collector commissioned this precursory virtual-reality-like artwork that had been created with a room-sized film camera in a garage-art studio. The immersive work combined photography and sculpture with the visual illusion of holography without lasers. From the success of this project, Sandor formed (art)n – an artists’ collaboratory in 1983 with SAIC peers and faculty. She envisioned a new art form that blended aspects of photography, sculpture, and holography with computer graphics and coined the term PHSColo-gram (pronounced skol-o-gram). This complexity of media required collaboration across disciplines with artists, technologists, and thinkers who shared her enthusiasm.
The first exhibition of PHSCologram ’83 on Wacker Drive in Chicago featured tributes to famous women and men artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Louise Nevelson, and the Outsider, Intuitive, and Naïve artists. This public installation was an early example of a virtual reality environment assembled within an artistic context. It opened a dialog with others working to combine emerg-ing technologies with traditional art forms. The provocative installation caught the attention of the arts community and was reviewed on the front page of the New Art Examiner as a historic breakthrough for its original form, process, and approach. SAIC’s Morton and UIC’s Sandin and DeFanti were intrigued by Sandor’s efforts and developed a collaboration that would later inspire EVL’s research to create the virtual reality CAVE.
"The piece [PHSCologram '83] is jumpy, flashy, somewhat jumbled, and simultaneously visually oversaturated even as it is informationally fragmented, the way television news is. But this is part of the work's commentary on the texture of electronic communications, It is not necessary to like or agree with the immediate subject matter of such a piece, just as it is not necessary to like the singing in music videos. The message is not in the subject, but in the structure. In this work the message is that technology will not only influence the materials or medium of a work of art, but it will also affect the works' role in society.”
– Michel Ségard,
Editor, New Art Examiner
from "Artists Team Up for the Future,” New Art Examiner, January/1984, Volume 11, Number 4
Ellen test ii & Hedgehog
Ellen Test II & Hedgehog, 1985
Ellen Sandor & (art)n
Gina Uhlmann, Dan Sandin and Tom DeFanti, Electronic Visualization Lab, University of Illinois at Chicago
Vintage Computer/Camera PHSCologram: photographically combined Kodak Fast Film and Kodalith films
(3) 14 x 11 inches
O'Keeffe II, 1986
Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Jim Zanzi, Randy Johnson and Gina Uhlmann
PHSCologram: Cibachrome, Kodalith, Plexiglas
48 x 32 inches
Harold Allen was the first teacher of photography as fine art at SAIC. He taught from 1948-60 and 1966-77, inspiring generations of students and artists to explore the future while interlinking with the past. His research included the Egyptian Revival Style in American architecture.
Harold Allen, 1985
Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Jim Zanzi, Mark Resch, Randy Johnson and Gina Uhlmann
PHSCologram: Cibachrome, Kodalith, Plexiglas
48 x 32 inches
PHSCologram ’83, 1983
Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Jim Zanzi, Mark Resch, Randy Johnson, and Gina Uhlmann Gary Justis, Jerry August, Tom Cvetkovich and Steven Smith
PHSCologram panels: Cibachrome, Kodalith, Plexiglas
(5) 48 x 32 inches
Featuring tributes to Georgia O’Keeffe, the Outsider Artist, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Louise Nevelson. Exhibited at SAIC, Fermilab, and other venues, and featured in the New Art Examiner cover story, January 1984.
Worldwide Free Markets
detail from PHSCologram '83
MAN RAY: detail from PHSCologram '83
"The red lips floated in a bluish gray sky over a twilit landscape . . . an impression of my daily walks through the Luxembourg Gardens."
A l'Heure de L'Observatoire-Les Amoureux was inspired by Kiki leaving the imprint of her rouged lips on Man Ray's white collar before he went alone to dinner with clients. The lips are Lee Miller's:
A large canvas of A l'heure de l'observatoire-Les amoureux 1935-38 used to hang over Man Ray's bed in his studio at 8 rue du Val-de-Grace. He worked on it for two years. He was eager to make the painting as famous as possible and made numerous reproductions of it, using many different techniques, including several photographs, which included such objects as a chess board, a nude, a cast, a mannequin and a self-portrait. The theme of the lips is a souvenir of Kiki: 'On one occasion, I dressed for an important dinner with some prospective sitters. She helped me, putting the cuff links in my shirt, and admired my appearance in my dinner clothes, put her arms around me and kissed me tenderly, telling me not to come home too late. The dinner was in one of the most fashionable restaurants, and we then went on to a night club. I asked the wife of my host to dance; and she told me first to go to the washroom and arrange my clothes. I looked at her in surprise; felt my bow tie, pulled down my waistcoat, all seemed in order. When I looked in the mirror in the washroom, there was a perfect imprint of a beautiful pair of red lips on my collar.
Man Ray photographs, ©1982 Thames and Hudson ISBN 0-500-54079-9