(art)n Artists: 

Stephan Meyers and Ellen Sandor

Collaborative Artists: 

Dan Sandin and Tom DeFanti, Electronic Visualization Lab, School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Chicago

Special thanks to Kevin Maginnis


Virtual Photograph


Cibachrome, Kodalith, Plexiglas


IMAGES DU FUTUR '92, Montréal, Canada, May 15, 1992–September 20, 1992

A Look in Depth, a traveling exhibition on 3D imaging coordinated by the Boston Museum of Science in cooperation with a national science museum consortium, the Exhibits Research Collaborative, and funded by the constituent members and the National Science Foundation, 1989-1991:

Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA, April 1991–May 1991

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, OR, January 1991–February 1991

Reuben Fleet Science Center, San Diego, CA, October 1990–November 1990

Impression 5, Lansing, MI, July 1990–August 1990

Museum of History and Science, Louisville, KY, April 1990–May 1990

Discovery Place, Charlotte, NC, January 1990–February 1990 Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, VA, October 1989-November 1989 Museum of Science, Boston, MA, July 1989-August 1989

Matter Over Mind = Sculpture, Fermilab, Batavia, IL, May 1991–July 1991

El Art, Retretti Art Centre, Punkaharju, Finland, May 1991–November 1991

Photography: Inventions and Innovations, The Art Institute of Chicago Junior Museum, Chicago, IL, September 29, 1989 -April 15, 1990

Postmodern Cybernation: Arts at Argonne, Argonne National Laboratory, September 11, 1989–September 25, 1989

Dorothy, Center for Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, July 1989- August 1989

Brave New Pixels, Columbia College, Chicago, IL, March 1989-April 1989

Beautiful Stranger, Feature, New York, NY, March 1989-April 1989

SPIE Conference, January 1989



Nihon Silicon Graphics Tokyo

Explora Germany


Understanding: Viruses, (video) Cronkite, Ward & Company, ©1994 Discovery

Communications, Inc.

Henderson, Harold, "Art or Science?" (article), Chicago Reader, August 16, 1991, pp.


Emmett, Arielle, "In Search of the Miracle Hologram" (article), Computer Graphics

World, February 1991, pp. 44-52, and cover

Science in Depth catalogue, NASA Ames, Computer Musuem & Museum of Science and


NASA Ames Science in Depth video documentary

Beyond 2000, international syndication, Sydney, Australia, Summer 1991 (video)

CNN, Cable Network News, "Science and Technology" international syndication, 1990


Wild Chicago, local syndication 1990 (video)

Foerstner, Abigail, "Inside views" (article), The Chicago Tribune Magazine, October 21,

1990, pp. 32-34

Neal, Margaret, "More than Art" (cover story), IEEE Computer graphics and

applications, November 1988, pp. 3-5

Draznin, Wayne, "Gallery Tripping: computer artists work on their image" (article),

Chicago Reader, September 2, 1988, Section 1, p. 6


The first computer generated image of the AIDS virus, based on information available in 1987. A colorized CAT scan of a person who died of AIDS, whose name was Messiah, was scanned and colorized in the background.

The AIDS Virus is an icon of hope and human tragedy, a beacon of art and science, an expression of freedom and democracy, an instrument of healing and collaboration.

(art)n's rendering confronts us with a portrait of what the AIDS Virus looks like. At first glance, we do not identify the portrait as a deadly virus. It's a bright, colorful, lively abstraction–a beautiful stranger with it's own will to dazzle and destroy. The collaboration of beauty and destruction within this art work confound both viewers and the artists who created the piece.

The AIDS Virus was created by the process of collaboration. It is a dynamic way of working where limits of combined artistic freedom are unknown, but internally democratized by the limits of the technology used to express collective ideas. Every artist who worked on the AIDS Virus contributed to the overall vision–aesthetically, conceptually, and technically, providing a rich collection of ideas and approaches to realizing them that may not emerge when working singularly. The result is a collective artistic statement about how freedom of expression challenges where artists draw the lines when they are working with others and working with new technology and unknowns.

"The AIDS Virus is clearly the most talked about piece in our collection . . . while this country has the fourth highest concentration of HIV infection in the world, Zimbabweans are still generally reluctant to talk about the disease. The PHSCologram offers us a chance to discuss AIDS in an informal, less threatening way, but nonetheless important way. Zimbabweans are drawn to the technology that the piece evokes. Americans are stunned by the artistic feel, the vivid color and amazing shape of 'the disease'."

Anmarie McDonald

American Embassy Harare Zimbabwe 1998

"The work is straightforward, moving, and chilling."

Tom Finkelpearl Curator, P.S. 1 New York 1990

The images have a certain polish, a scientific sleekness, and seem to radiate out into the viewers' space. It is difficult not to like what you see before you. But then you find out what is pictured, that it is an image of the AIDS virus, and the contrast between beauty and the horror of the plague confounds you.

Robert W. Duffy

"Getting The Message: Knowledge Distilled" St. Louis Post Dispatch September 19, 1993