(art)n history

Ellen Sandor's passion for photography, technology, and outsider art inspired her to invent a new methodology for producing art with a new medium of expression for the digital age.

In 1981, she first created a unique large-scale three-dimensional photographic mural commissioned by a private collector. This immersive installation combined photography and sculpture with the visual illusion of holography without lasers.

From the success of this project, Sandor formed a collaborative group of artists in 1983 with her peers from The School of the Art Institute called (art)n. The first project they produced, called PHSCologram '‘83, is an early example of a virtual reality environment assembled within an artistic context, and opened a dialogue with other artists working in digital media and traditional art forms.

Since the early 1980s, a large body of work has been produced under Sandor’s direction by the (art)n collective and numerous collaborators. Recurring themes explored include early tributes to artists, virtual portraits, science as art, visual history, video game culture, Chicago Imagists, and renderings of unrealized architectural plans. These large ensemble projects have been shown internationally in galleries, museums, symposia, and publications, and are collected by private individuals and distinguished institutions.