Battlefield Torture, Climate Change, and Immersive Narrative—EVL presents two provocative new artworks

Tuesday, June 17th, 3-5PM and
Monday, July 7th, 4-6 PM

The Electronic Visualization Lab (EVL) is pleased to present two new artworks made for the CAVE2 and Cybercommons Tile Wall display. The projects were produced through a unique collaboration between EVL faculty and staff and visiting artists from Philadelphia and Norway.

Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project is a 3D narrative experience made for the affective sensory environment of the EVL’s CAVE2 that gives voice to stories of this violence and the post-traumatic stress experienced by ordinary American soldiers who became torturers in the course of serving their country. During the American-led counterinsurgency and counterterrorism campaigns in Iraq in the years after September 11, 2001, the torture and abuse of detainees was a commonplace tactic. Hearts and Minds: the Interrogations Project is based on interviews of American soldiers conducted by Dr. John Tsukyama. Viewers travel through the domestic spaces and surreal interior landscapes of soldiers who have come home transformed by these experiences, triggering their testimonies by interacting with objects laden with loss.

EVL event poster June 17th

Hearts and Minds is developed by a team including filmmaker Roderick Coover, writer Scott Rettberg, artist and visualization researcher Daria Tsoupikova, computer scientist Arthur Nishimoto, sound designer Mark Partridge, production assistant Mark Baratta, and senior research programmer Lance Long. Dr. Jeffrey Stevenson Murer of St. Andrews University, Scotland also contributed as a consultant on the project. The Electronic Visualization Lab (EVL) at the University of Illinois Chicago, the UIC Department of Art and Design, Temple University, and the Norwegian Research Council supported the development of the project.

Toxi•City is a combinatory climate change narrative that generates a new feature-length film each time it is shown. Seven people struggle to survive after hurricanes and toxic events have devastated Philadelphia and New Jersey. These speculative stories of life in a post-industrial wasteland are set against the true stories of deaths from Hurricane Sandy in an algorithmic symphony of contemporary despair. Toxi•City was produced by Roderick Coover, Scott Rettberg, and collaborators, and supported by Temple University, the Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum, and the Norwegian Research Council.

These events have been organized by the EVL, Department of Art and Design, and the Electronic Literature Organization.

Both events are free and open to the public. Each of the two projects takes about 50 minutes to experience fully. Because space in the CAVE2 is limited, reservations are required and we will only be able to accommodate 40 visitors per showing.

Reserve a place at:

Directions to the EVL:

Artist Biographies

Roderick Coover b. 1967 is Director of the Graduation Program in Film and Media Arts at Temple University. Coover makes films, interactive cinema, installations and webworks. Some of his latest projects include the interactive series Unknown Territories ( about exploration in the American West ( and the edited book, Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology In The Humanities And Arts (Chicago 2011). A pioneer in interactive documentary arts and poetics, his works are distributed through Video Data Bank, DER, Eastgate Systems and elsewhere. is creative work has been exhibited online and at art venues including SIGGRAPH, Documenta Madrid, The American Philosophical Society Museum, Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum, and elsewhere. You can learn more about his work at

Scott Rettberg b. 1970 is Professor of Digital Culture in the Department of Linguistic, Literary, and Aesthetic studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. Rettberg was the project leader of ELMCIP (Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice), an EU- and HERA-funded collaborative research project, and a founder of the Electronic Literature Organization. Rettberg is the author or coauthor of novel-length works of electronic literature, combinatory poetry, and films including The Unknown, Kind of Blue, Implementation, Frequency, Three Rails Live, Toxi•City and others. His creative work has been exhibited online and at art venues including the Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum, Palazzo dell Arti Napoli, Beall Center, the Slought Foundation, The Krannert Art Museum, and elsewhere. Rettberg is a native of the Chicago area and has been resident at UiC while on sabbatical this Spring.

Daria Tsoupikova is an Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design at University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research and artwork include virtual reality, educational multimedia, electronic visualization, interactive animation, and computer graphics. Her work lies at the crossroads of artistic and technological innovation, and explores the potential of new media and interactivity in relation to traditional arts. Born in 1971 in Moscow, Russia, she received her BFA in Graphic Design from the Department of Art of Moscow State Academy and her MFA in Computer Graphics from the Syracuse University. She worked as an artist and computer graphics designer in Moscow, Russia, and several New York companies, including Siegelgale Inc, New York, NY, and Firstbornmultimedia Inc., New York, NY. Prior to joining UIC, she taught at the University of Rochester, Syracuse University, and Moscow. Her recent exhibitions include SIGGRAPH 2002, San Antonio, TX (2002), Version 03, International annual festival of computer art in the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, IL(2003), IDEAS 2003 Festival, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (2003), 2004 IEEE Virtual Reality Conference (VR), Chicago, IL (2004), Networks, art & collaboration, International conference about the art of online collaboration, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY(2004), Festival de Mundos Virtualis at VSR.II, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2004), SPIE2005, International Symposium on Electronic Imaging, San Jose, CA (2005).

Posted in Uncategorized.