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Art & Art History

Parallel Environments

Monday, March 16, 1992–Friday, April 10, 1992

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Artists: Bill Becker, Phillip Burton, Christine Celano, Don Dimmitt, Michael Glass, John Greiner, John Massey, Herbert Ohl, Larry Salomon, Ted Takano, Guenther Tetz, and Scott Zukowski

Parallel Environments provides an opportunity for the UIC design faculty to propose new and innovative ways of circulating information throughout the UIC campus. As part of a large university, the diverse organizations, departments, programs, and units of UIC generate large amounts of information about their activities. Many of these bodies organize lectures, hold symposia, show films, and put together other programs, which they invite members of the UlC community to attend. Information about these events was previously dispersed through the most diverse channels: flyers in faculty mailboxes, small posters put up intermittently in buildings and elsewhere around campus, and announcements in campus publications.

As a result of no coordinated plan for disseminating such information, much of it never reaches a wide audience, including many people who may be interested in attending a particular event. The information is often mingled with vast amounts of other material—bureaucratic memos, advertising flyers, etc.—that drown out its potential impact. Much of it is also unimaginatively designed. What is needed on campus is a new way of presenting information about public events that is clear, lively, and informative. In addition, the physical forms of the mailboxes, kiosks, and bulletin boards, where the information is placed and posted, do not in any way celebrate what it means to gather information about events that are likely to be stimulating, entertaining, or productive. In the past, for example, the circus was identified with a festive tent, films with elaborate movie palaces, and posters with ornate kiosks. What is needed are new forms for the structures that display information, forms that celebrate the meaning of taking in useful information about forthcoming events.

The faculty’s project is to design new forms, whether graphic or structural, for the display of information about forthcoming events on the UIC campus. This project involves a study of how information is disseminated around campus and how the coordination of information about forthcoming events could be improved. Among the issues to be addressed are not simply how to inform the public about the events, but how to give the events some appeal through visual and/or verbal means.

The second aspect of the project is to consider the structures that frame or contain the information. These could be located both within and without buildings. Designers are invited to consider not only the structural aspects of these frames or containers but also a visual rhetoric that could speak to the experience of gathering information for edification or entertainment. The designers work alone or with others, considering either individual elements of a large information gathering and dissemination system, or combinations of elements, whether objects, design systems, or the design of new organizational strategies for gathering information.


Bill Becker

Untitled, 1985–91
Blueprint, drawings, magazines, and solar panel

Philip Burton

Poster Study 1, 1992
Gouache on paper, 37 3/4 x 26 3/4 in.

Poster Study 2, 1992
Gouache on paper, 37 3/4 x 26 3/4 in.

Christine Celano

A Typographic Visualization of the Narrative Structure of Part One of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”, 1990
Book installation, hand bound and photocopies, 17 x 96 in. unbound, 18 x 12 in. bound

Don Dimmitt

Urban Roadkill and Daly Discards, 1989–92
Mixed media, precious metals, and semi-precious stones

Michael Glass

A-Zero/A-I-D-S, 1992
Computer painted image on vinyl, 84 x 84 in.
Silkscreen on lucite, 22 x 22 in.

John Greiner

Lookout, 1991
Mixed media, each 38 1/2 x 38 1/2 in.

John Massey

Boston Waterfront, 1980
Offset print, 37 x 24 in.

Great Ideas, 1976
Book, 14 x 11 x 1.5 in.

Landscape Chicago, 1987
Lithograph, 36 x 24 in.

Read Poster, 1976
Offset print, 31 x 22 in.

Spacescape Structure, 1983
Wool tapestry, 81 x 82 in.

Study #16, 1987
Serigraph, 25 x 19 in.

Herbert Ohl

Evolution Desk, 1991
Mixed media installation, 66 x 96 in.

O-Line Net Seating, 1975
Polyester net and aluminum, 26 in. high

Swing Spring Steel Seating, 1984
Spring steel and aluminum, (4): 32 in. high; (1) 41 in. high

Larry Salomon

Child’s Ball, 1985
Mixed media, 48 x 36 in.

Christ at the Window, 1991
Mixed media, 48 x 36 in.

Der Rosen Kavilier, 1982
Mixed media, 48 x 36 in.

Shirt Off My Back, 1989
Mixed media, 48 x 36 in.

Ted Takano

Itco 1010, 1991
Cybergram, 32 x 36 in.

Itco 1015, 1992
Cybergram, 32 x 36 in.

Itco 1100, 1992
Cybergram, 32 x 36 in.

Itco 3000, 1992
Cybergram, 32 x 36 in.

Guenther Tetz

Untitled, 1987–92
Computer-generated 2D and 3D graphics

Scott Zukowski

Untitled, 1988
Mixed media

Victor Margolin Head ShotVictor Margolin began teaching as an Art and Design History professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the fall of 1982. Upon his arrival, Margolin and a few other colleagues began work on the academic design journal, Design Issues. The journal has recently celebrated its 8th anniversary year.
This is not the first time Margolin has curated a show at Gallery 400. He served as the co-curator of “Self/Society: Posters of Paul Davis, Alain Le Quernec, Uwe Loesch, and David Tartakover” in January of 1990.
Margolin has written countless books, articles and essays, and enjoys organizing symposia and academic conferences.
In 1963, Margolin graduated with a BA in English from Columbia University. He immediately went on to be a Fulbright Scholar at the Institute of Higher Cinema Studies in Paris. In 1981, Margolin earned a PhD in Design History; the first person ever to do so, from Union Institute.


Parallel Environments is supported by the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Art and Design’s College of Architecture, Art, and Urban Planning.