Digital Art Museum


Artists statement


Further information about Joan truckenbrod can be found on the siggraph site at profile/Truckenbrod/index.html


This is an archive of the Digital Art Museum for historical reference.
See for the current site.


Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA, 1945
MFA Degree, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1979
Current position: Professor, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Biographic Summary

Joan Truckenbrod has exhibited her artwork internationally. A pioneer in Digital Art, her artwork has been included in exhibits at the IBM Gallery in New York City, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, Musee d'Art Modern de la ville de Paris, Les Cite des Arts et des Nouvelles Technologies de Montreal, the Villa Chianni in Lugano, Switzerland. Her work has been shown in a one person exhibits in Chicago, Kansas City, at Galerie Eylau'5 in Berlin and Colville Place Gallery in London. In December 2000 she had a one-person exhibition at Glaz’art in Paris, followed by a one-person exhibit in Wiesbaden, Germany in February 2001. Collections such as Parade Publications in New York and ISA Holding in London include her work. She has been a Visiting Artist at numerous Universities and Colleges, and has given presentations of her artwork at various conferences throughout the US and Europe including the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and the International Symposium on Electronic Arts in Helsinki. Ms. Truckenbrod is a Professor in the Art and Technology Department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her artwork is represented by FLATFILE Gallery in Chicago, The Digital Art Museum in Germany, and The Williams Gallery in Princeton, New Jersey. She has received a Scandinavian American Foundation Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship. Recently Ms. Truckenbrod was awarded a Fellowship for an Artist's Residency at Kala Institute in Berkeley, California.

The Fall 2003 issue of Surface Design Journal will feature Ms. Truckenbrod's artwork on the cover and in an article by Polly Ullrich. Her work was also featured on the cover of textile forum in December 2000 with an accompanying article. In the exhibition Fiber Focus 2003, Ms. Truckenbrod's fiber installation titled Emerge received recognition with the Surface Design Award chosen by the curator Junco Sato Pollack. Recently her multimedia installation Spirit Site was reviewed by John Brunetti in ARTnews, February 2003.

Her work has been featured in an article "Instantanes sur l’art d'electronique a Chicago, Computer Art@Chicago" by Annick Bureaud in artpress #246, May 1999, as well as in books such as Computers in the Visual Arts (1998) by Anne Morgan Spalter, Art in the Electronic Age (1993) by Frank Popper, Photographic Possibilities (1991) by Robert Hirsch, and Digital Visions (1987) by Cynthia Goodman. Ms. Truckenbrod published her own pioneering book titled Creative Computer Imaging in 1988.

Area of Interest

My current work is inspired by ritual fires in ceremonial dances that reveal symbolic imagery painted on the body. Rituals such as these create portals between multiple dimensions of reality experienced by indigenous cultures. My artwork probes the simultaneous experience of multiple realities that is evoked through ritual. In our electronic/virtual culture as in indigenous cultures we simultaneously experience multiple realities - spiritual, ancestral, virtual - which are variously revealed or concealed through ritual and ceremony. In my artwork light opens a portal for experiencing other dimensions of reality. Video projection as a metaphor for firelight, is the 'light that reveals' in my current installations.

Video projections of rushing ocean tides embodies the power and spirit of water. As the tides moves out they reveal microcosms of life normally invisible. In nature's cyclic ritual, tides move in, concealing these underwater worlds and radically transforming the landscape. My work embodies this transformation of experience. The installations are thresholds between differing realms, opening portals and revealing connections between the multiple dimensions of our lives.

One Person Exhibitions

Spirits on the Wind, FLATFILE Gallery, Chicago, July 2003, Spirit Site, IUN Gallery for Contemporary Art, Gary, Indiana, January 2003, Quantum Realities, Lightology Gallery, December 2002, Spirit Site, FLATFILE Gallery, Chicago, November 2002, Quantum Realities, FLATFILE Gallery, Chicago, May 2002, Galerie der Gegenwart Wiesbaden, Germany, 2001, Glaz'art in Paris, 2000, Colville Place Gallery in London, 1998, Illinois Art Gallery in Chicago, 1996, Galerie Eylau'5 in Berlin, Germany, 1990, and the Saginaw Art Museum in 1986.

Group Exhibitions

55 group exhibitions since 1979 including exhibitions at the IBM Gallery in New York City, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, Musee d'Art Modern de la ville de Paris, Paris, Les Cite des Arts et des Nouvelles Technologies de Montreal, FLATFILE Photography Gallery in Chicago, and the Villa Chianni in Lugano, Switzerland.


17 Collectors including Parade Publications, New York City, ISA Holding, London, UK, Carl Machover & Associates, White Plains, New York, Kirtland & Packard Law Offices, Santa Ana, California, College of DuPage, Art Collection, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, South Dakota State University, Student Union Collection and Wright Art Museum, Beloit, WI.

Gallery Representation

FLATFILE Photography Gallery, Chicago, Williams Gallery, Princeton, NJ,
Galerie der Gegenwart, Wiesbaden, Germany, Colville Place Gallery in London.

Books Featuring My Artwork

My artwork is featured in 12 art books including:
The Computer in the Visual Arts, by Anne Morgan Spalter, Addison Wesley, 1998.
Drawing: Space, Form & Expression, by Wayne Enstice, Prentice Hall, 1994.
Designing the Future, by Robin Baker, Thames and Hudson, New York, 1994.
Art in the Electronic Age, by Frank Popper, Harry Abrams, New York, 1993.
Photographic Possibilities, by Robert Hirsch, Focal Press, 1991.
Digital Visions, by Cynthia Goodman, Harry Abrams, New York, 1987.
Drawing With Computers, Mark Wilson, Putman/ Perigee, 1985.

Exhibition Catalogues

Artwork featured in 15 exhibition catalogues.

Exhibition Reviews

New Art Examiner, Sculpture, Chicago Tribune. Review of the multimedia installation Spirit Site, 2002, in ARTNews February 2003, written by John Brunetti.

Review of my multimedia installation Spirit Site, 2002, in New City, 10/31/02, written by Michael Weinstein


Fulbright Fellwoship, Research Scholar's Award, 1997, Scandinavian-American Foundation Fellowship, 1994, Illinois Arts Council, Project Completion Grant, 1994.