Note: this is an archive of the January 1997 review
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An Annual Review of

= Chicago's Art on the Web =

with intuitive icons

January, 1997

[] This is an annotated listing of links to [galleries and museums] (Part 1, below), and art [organizations] (Part 2, below) in the Chicago area. Links to these resources are scarce, quickly outdated, often dull, and frequently badly constructed. Before you start idling away your time browsing the local scene, check this list for comments.

If boring, empty, full of broken code, or not downward compatible, we'll let you know. We have added visual clues. Intuitive. Many are very snitty about what browser to use, "Gotta .. have Web-Skape 4-Point-7-Beta .. or can't see," and some even tell you what equipment to buy and how much to spend. Sort of defeats the idea behind the HTML format.

If there are comments, they reflect a first check with Lynx. Netscape works OK on most sites, and most have been checked with Netscape. If we find any MS constructions we will warn you. Notes on content stand to be corrected. To do so, send angry comments via eMail to [].

Last *review* November 1996. Next update in when I have time, or otherwise annually. Corrections are added as I become aware of them. Last updated *8 December 1997*. I *promise* to get back to it before the end of this year.. really! This file is a link from the Uncomfortable Spaces [Home page] at

Recent additions

[] March 1997:

Spencer Weisz Galleries at []

TBA Exhibition Space at []

Tobai International at []

[] 11/12/97; new URL: Rhona Hoffman Gallery at []

(22 Oct 1997) U-Turn, the renowned California magazine and Chicago monograph series dealing with photography, art, video, and criticism, has entered the electronic media. CDROMs of back issues will be next! Published from Chicago, and as always, by Jim Hugunin. A direct link at [at]. Ok, I'm co-editor of the next_to_be issue. Lots of wacky font colors and Netscape slaverings right now. Jim's busy, busy.
August 1997: Flo-tilla is afloat again, this time at the pond in Lincoln Park, on October 18. James Fontana and Michael Thompson have picked it up. Prospectus at [].

Oops: Late breaking news: The City wanted $6000 for a permit. Sort of put the damper on this. Send drawings and sketches anyway; Joe will attempt an exhibition of concepts, and has moved the actual floating event to August of 1998, same place, sort of, and to coincide with the Oz Fest (whatever that is) (but they sell beer).

(3 July 1997) But, Wow, look at this: Another recent addition.. Real news about the art scene in Chicago, occasional reviews, and unbridled enthusiasm. And a place where you can add your opinions. Check it out at []. Talk to the Head Cowboy, or the Gardener, or ask for the Janitor. Their hits counter don't work right, so don't feel lonely because of low numbers.

A Legend to the Intuitive Icons

[WOW] Wow: means this is a place well worth looking at.
[YUK] Yuk: means not worth the effort of waiting for a download.
[DYNAMITE] Dynamite: means don't miss this spot.
[BOMB] Bomb: means the site delivers little.
[FAST] Fast: means the source is well constructed and Fast.
[SLOW] Slow: means the images are large or early and slow.
[BROKEN] Broken: means a surplus of broken code is displayed.
[DEAD] Braindead: means the makers are ill equipped for Web life.
[HUH?] Huh?: means that we don't know anything about this site yet.

Part 1 - Galleries and Exhibition Spaces

There are 100 mainstream galleries in Chicago and another hundred miscellaneous, new, temporary, and NFP galleries. A handful have URLs. Art museums included here too.

The ability and willingness to support a website seems dependent on one of two conditions: a surplus of money, which allows a professional job to be done, or a surplus of time. Museums seem to have a surplus of money, and their websites are frequently splendid. Galleries, however, have only a surplus of time, so that high school kids get hired to lay out pages, or it is done in-house, so to speak. And it shows.

[WOW] [DYNAMITE] [FAST] [Uncomfortable Spaces] -
Without a doubt the most interesting local art site, representing Beret International, Ten In One, and Tough galleries and their artists. Lynx and Netscape compatible. Images small enough to load quickly.
[BOMB] [SLOW] [DEAD] [SOFA Exposition] -
(11 Nov 96) An aliased main link ( The result is that nothing will connect with Lynx. To get a Lynx working connection, try this [link] (below) -
[YUK] [SLOW] [BROKEN] [DEAD] [Chicago Art Expo 97] -
(18 Nov 96) Most info is on the index page, but the "online catalog" can't be connected with ("File not found"), and the "image gallery" is just a blank page to Lynx. Someone should check the code. With Netscape you're gonna get the screaming yellow of past years' flyers. Ugh. Tom was gonna link to us, but I don't see it yet.
[BOMB] The old [MCA] -
Reconnecting since mid October, after being off line for a while. A year or more out of date, "We are gonna build another space." You get last year's exhibits, or maybe the year before. Hard to tell without year tags. This century at least. And the old address, too. A new web page is under construction they say (I called them). Call the MCA for future directions, 312 280 2660, ask for a staff person.
[YUK] [Randolph Street Gallery] -
(18 Nov 96, small changes) Exhibitions are actually up to date, but there is still a lot of blank space to page through if you are using a text browser. Must be some white-wall aesthetic, unlike their bimonthly mailer, which is an offset stripping feast.

(18 Nov 96) Some notes... I looked at their "other art links" -- none of them are in Chicago. Paul apologizes to the users of the 122 other web browsers for having to use Netscape with "advanced features" which he cannot get away from. To find the latest update check the index file at or .../RSG/index.html (Don't forget the CAPS). Look at the date of the "parent directory."

[YUK] [BROKEN] [DEAD] [The Art Institute of Chicago] -
Representing the Institute and the School. Hopelessly inept coding, which will throw you for a loop when you first get to the index page with Lynx, for about half the code shows up on the screen, but none of the intended text.

Before you start searching the source code for how to navigate this mess, let me hint that clicking on "left lion" get you the Institute, the "right lion" links to the School. The Institute's stuff is straight forward. The School has screaming index text (thanks to a listing of H1's), then mostly large voids, especially when it comes to "events" and stuff. Ok, it's experimental, they say. But invisible is just too experimental.

With Netscape you get to see more, but the frames escape beyond the screen even at 800x600. Quitting out quickly will lessen the aggravation. For a direct link to Gallery 2, see the [link] below.

[WOW] [David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art] -
Well constructed, Lynx compatible. Go see it..
[BOMB] [BROKEN] [DEAD] [Robert Henry Adams Fine Art] -
Well, you can get the address off the index page, but because the other links presume correct parsing, none of them connect with Lynx.
[WOW] [FAST] [Oskar Friedl] -
A ten year history of exhibitions, links to works by gallery artists, lots of external links too, and all readable and navigatable.
[BOMB] [DEAD] [Sato ri] -
Linked to the Gallery Guide list below, but not a live link, the internal name anchor doesn't exist, so you get the parent html file instead.. that is, the list [below].
[WOW] [Klein Art Works] -
(September 1997) Reorganized since last year and a great improvement. Some thought has gone into constructing the site: go see it.
[YUK] [Lydon Fine Art] -
A list of artists but no links. The rest consists of links to everywhere else, just like everyone else (Ok, I crib them too!).
[YUK] [BROKEN] [DEAD] [Aldo Castillo Gallery] -
None of the links work, except the "mailto," because of short file names on the URLs. So much for downward compatibility.
[WOW] [Douglas Dawson] -
Links to images and stuff direct from the home page. Works well.
[YUK] [Artnet] online catalog -
Catalog of something called, pretty sparse, but worldwide.
[YUK] [SLOW] [Gallery Guide] the mag's homepage -
This one deserves comment. The site provides extensive online documentation about what hardware and software to get and use (complete with prices) to see their website, to wit: a 486 with 16 meg of RAM, SVGA set at 800x600, a 28,800 baud modem, and an ISDN phone connection, and then some... The rigor mortis of magazine layout. The change in media has not sunk in. I'm looking at their stuff with a 286, 1 meg of RAM, a 2400 baud modem, a Hercules monitor, and a dial-up connection. There must be something wrong with me.

OK, skip all this nasty stuff and see their [monthly] listing of Illinois exhibitions at the link below, where you can go directly to a hundred pages of stuff.

[WOW] [Illinois Exhibitions] current! -
Wow this works, too. Gallery Guide's 30 page List of current exhibitions at many, but certainly not all galleries in Illinois. Like if you ain't in the mag, you aint on the list.
[YUK] [Art resources] at -
A really strange place, with some image and gallery links, and a huge and totally inaccurate list of "complimentary" gallery listings, in an attempt to sell space to galleries.
[YUK] [BOMB] [Around the Coyote] -
the September blowout at Damen and Milwaukee Yes, it's kept open year round. You can imagine what you find here between September and August: an endless list of 800 artists, some graphics.
[YUK] [BOMB] [BROKEN] [DEAD] [Gallery 2] of SAIC -
Listed as "" in the Reader cause they didn't believe anyone would label their domain "Widow" -- but that is what it seems to be. Don't bother with Lynx, you will just get a page full of garbage.
[BROKEN] [DEAD] [Total Museum] on line -
Sponsored by the AIC, Goethe (de), Lufthanza, Elec Viz LAb UIC, etc... but none of the links work with Lynx. Try it with Netscape. Reputed to be a mind blower for the Netscape and PPP crowd.
[YUK] [BOMB] [BROKEN] [DEAD] [Collectors' Corner] -
Fine art dealers, it says... But the page is just a blank with a text browser. Gotta get Pentium XX.. Maybe buy $4000 MAC..
[WOW] [DYNAMITE] [FAST] [Field Museum] -
Great. Well done and makes sense. (Making sense has become a criteria in browsing).
[WOW] [FAST] [Chicago Academy of Sciences] -
Great and browsable. Another link that works with a speedy text browser.
[WOW] [FAST] [Adler Planetarium] -
A well developed, well linked site. Go see it. And go look at the planets.
[YUK] [BOMB] [SLOW] [BROKEN] [DEAD] [Oriental Institute] -
I have yet to find anything to link to. The menus just sort of go in rotation. Reminds me of trying to get that free Microsoft Net browser with Lynx - which can't be done.. You need Netscape to access Microsoft. Anyway, here is another one of these "you must have installed.." Now it is the "FREE APPLE QUICKTIME VR PLAYER SOFTWARE" for Microsoft Windows. I read the six pages of notes too. But must get also "Netscape Navigator 3.0" and the "latest versions of the Plug-Ins", and more. Uh huh. Upward compatibility of the upward moneyed.
[YUK] [BOMB] [BROKEN] [DEAD] [Renaissanse Society] -
A current exhibition website, but not really there. Blanks on Lynx.
[HUH?] [Illinois Museums] -
Haven't been able to connect. Probably cause all the kids from some Peoria grade school are tying up the lines. Or try this [link] -- Gets you the State of IL.
[DYNAMITE] [Chicago Historical Society] -
Great images, but so full of jpegs (or whatever) that it takes forever to load pages with netscape at 28800 and ppp. Haven't connected with Lynx yet.
[WOW] [FAST] [BROKEN] [The File Room] -
Don't copy down the URL listed at the top of the opening page; just click on it: it shows in Caps with random spaces because it's located between header tags. I can't seem to connect with the real homepage URL (, except through this 14 page press release. Otherwise Lynx compatible. OK, once you connect its a great source of censorship cases from antiquity (all the usual textbook stuff about hemlock in Athens, etc) to the present (missing from the present is any hint of casual indirect censorship).

Part 2 - Organizations

[HUH?] [Open Studio Org] -
The $1,000,000 dollar investment by the NEA in net-art. Not sure what this will turn out to be yet.. supposedly it is about access and "helping artists become effective information providers on the web" (to quote from the NEA press release. For Chicago the one of ten initial NFP orgs is Beacon Street Gallery (now at Truman College), 773 769 4282.
[BROKEN] [the NEA] -
Yes the outfit in Washington DC. A few broken links if you are using Lynx and looking for Fellowship money. You'll never find it. But then, that is their policy.
[WOW] [Arts Midwest] Minneapolis -
A well constructed web site. And, hey! Free money.. when there is money. Funding programs are linked from the index page (rather than as with the NEA, where I am still searching).
[DYNAMITE] [Electronic Frontier Foundation] -
Track this link for news on how Congress is attempting to screw over the net.
[YUK] Tezcat's [chi arts] -
Arts to Tezcat is mostly music, and one painter. There is a gallery listing which was cribbed from the Tribune or the Reader five years ago. Many addresses are wrong, many galleries have gone under.
[DYNAMITE] [(Art)^n Laboratory] in Evanston -
You can go nuts here, link to MoMa or Wired, and many on-line image examples. These NU people make something image wise, but I'm not sure what. I hate their mathematical title notation.
[BROKEN] [DEAD] [Chicago Filmmakers] -
More broken code, very similar to AIC. The page starts out with a paragraph of goblygook. OK, but the rest is in English, mostly: schedules, exhibits, classes.
[YUK] [BOMB] [BROKEN] [Chicago Artists Coalition] -
Turns out to be the KTDid homepage, the outfit which sells web space to artists for much money. Links to CAC and artists' images. Seems the direct connection to the CAC homepage has disappeared on me. The URL used to be published as But it has gone. Guess they don't know how to set up their server to alias.
[WOW] [DEAD] [P-Form Magazine] housed at RSG -
Very large empty pages constructed of BR and P codes. P-Form editor Ken Thompson must have had something in mind.. maybe magazine title pages, maybe end papers. Depending on the browser or how you have Lynx set up either one, two or three lines spill over to the next page. I would hate to click through all this. But at this point the mag actually has something on line, like articles and back issues. Glad to know they finally caught up.
[YUK] [BOMB] [BROKEN] [DEAD] [New Art Examiner] -
Braindead coding which places about half the masthead inside an [IMAGE] box, of which there are all too many. I checked the code; the fault is from two mislaid quote marks. So much for Lynx. A year out of date: here you find the index pages of last year's issues. Not this year. That's all. And subscription info. Lastly, there is a name-only list of links to (quote) other art resources (unquote), with not a single link to anything in Chicago. Should have included the Utrecht catalog to be of minimum use. Magazine editors just don't have the time to keep up with web pages.

[WOW] There is also a link to a file of current Chicago exhibitions, which at this time (28 Oct 96) is only three weeks out of date. Good luck. Look at it from [this] link: Hope it stays up to date.

[White House], Washington -
Your last place to go when you won't be heard elsewhere.

[] The Unofficial Uncomfortable Spaces Website
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