Marketing & Communications: SAIC Kicks off a New Season of Conversations at the Edge Experimental Media Series

CHICAGO—Beginning September 29, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) critically acclaimed series Conversations at the Edge will host a distinguished lineup of screenings, performances, and talks by groundbreaking artists who exemplify the boundary-blurring nature of experimental media. Artists include renowned independent animator Sally Cruikshank, whose psychedelic films have developed a cult following since the 1970s, celebrated filmmaker Nicolás Pereda, whose films have helped to redefine contemporary Mexican cinema, and performance artist Jacolby Satterwhite, whose digital videos have been lauded for their explorations of race and sexual identity.

This fall, through Conversations at the Edge, SAIC, a global leader in art and design education, will feature screenings, performances and talks by the following artists:

  • Sally Cruikshank is renowned for her wild and psychedelic animated films. Her 1975 film "Quasi at the Quackadero" is widely considered one of most notable independent animations of the 20th century and was added to the National Film Registry in 2009. Her career spans independent productions in addition to "Sesame Street "spots and Hollywood film titles. Cruikshank will present a retrospective of her work, including many films that have recently been restored.
  • Jenny Perlin (MFA 1998) uses hand-drawn animation, 16mm, and video in films and installations that look at histories of surveillance, failing infrastructure and media itself. Her work has been exhibited in museums around the world and will be featured in the Whitney Museum’s upcoming exhibition "Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016." She will present "The Perlin Papers," a collection of films based on an archive of FBI documents detailing the magnitude of Cold War domestic surveillance.
  • Lindsay Howard is an independent curator specializing in the intersections of the Internet, art and culture. Currently the curatorial director at NewHive, a web-based multimedia cultural hub, she organized the first digital art auction for Phillips Auction House, which WIRED magazine called an “art breakthrough.” She presents "Temporary Highs," a group show that explores the ways the Internet enables reward-seeking behavior.
  • Sara Magenheimer’s videos, sculptures and sound works explore language, communication and meaning-making. Her award-winning videos have shown widely, including an upcoming commission for the Contemporary Art Centre in Latvia. In addition to her visual art, Magenheimer co-founded the bands WOOM and Flying and has performed with musician Ben Vida and artist Michael Bell-Smith. She will present a survey of recent work.
  • Nicolás Pereda is a leading figure in contemporary Mexican cinema. His films have been featured in major festivals worldwide including Cannes, Locarno and Rotterdam and museums like the Guggenheim and MoMA. His distinctive works mix documentary and narrative techniques to look at everyday life in Mexico. In his first Chicago appearance, he will present two recent films, "The Palace" and "Minotaur."
  • Paul Kos is a major figure in video and conceptual art with a career spanning 40 years. He is known for using modest materials to produce his poetic projects. Kos’ works have been exhibited by major museums around the world, including the Walker Art Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Belgium and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei. In this rare Chicago appearance, Kos will present a retrospective of his work in video.
  • Jacolby Satterwhite’s digital videos combine performance and state-of-the-art 3D animation to explore race, gender, memory and the body. Widely acclaimed, his work has been featured at the Whitney Biennial, Whitechapel Gallery and the Sundance Film Festival. In his first Chicago appearance, Satterwhite presents his breakout series "Reifying Desire," which incorporates the work of his mother, a self-taught artist.
  • Brett Story is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist. Her first film, "The Land Of Destiny," about an epidemic of cancers in the petrochemical town of Sarnia, Ontario, screened internationally and was broadcast on Canadian and U.S. television. Story will present her latest film, "The Prison in Twelve Landscapes," a visually stunning and surprising look at the ways prison transforms landscapes far beyond its walls. Variety lauded the film for its “ingenious prismatic approach and consistent formal beauty.”
  • Text of Light is a collective of experimental musicians co-founded by Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) and Alan Licht. Joined by the percussionist Tim Barnes, the trio will perform alongside films by the artist and designer László Moholy-Nagy.

Each year, Conversations at the Edge highlights groundbreaking media artists through its weekly series of screenings, artist talks, and performances. Conversations at the Edge is organized by SAIC’s Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center and the Video Data Bank.

Conversations at the Edge Schedule

Programs take place Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., unless otherwise noted.

Sally Cruikshank’s Cabaret

September 29

Jenny Perlin: The Perlin Papers

October 6

Temporary Highs (curated by Lindsay Howard)

October 13

Sara Magenheimer: Slow Zoom Long Pause

October 20

Presented in collaboration with Video Data Bank (VDB) as part of the organization’s 40th Anniversary Year

Nicolás Pereda: Minotaur and The Palace

October 27

Presented in collaboration with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art

Paul Kos: Sympathetic Vibrations

November 3

Presented in collaboration with Video Data Bank (VDB) as part of the organization’s 40th Anniversary Year

Jacolby Satterwhite

November 10

Brett Story: The Prison in Twelve Landscapes

November 17

Text of Light and Films by László Moholy-Nagy

December 1

The Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium

230 S. Columbus Dr.

Presented in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago in conjunction with Moholy-Nagy: Future Present


About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons, and LeRoy Neiman.



Conversations At Edge Experimental Media Series
Sally Cruikshank, still from Face Like a Frog, 1987. Image courtesy of the artist.

Press/Media contact

Bree Witt
P: 312.499.4211 (office)