About this project
Stretch Goals Announced!
We've hit our goal -- thank you friends! -- but for those who still want to help found Chicago's first nonprofit art gallery devoted to video games and new media it's not too late! Additional support will allow VGA to hit the following stretch goals supporting these exciting exhibitions and programs in the next year:
*FUNDED!* $13,000 -- Sound - Art - Games (December 2017 - February 2018): A collection of sound-focused art games that seeks to find the parallel between two distinct but interconnected feedback loops: the video game loop between operator and machine and the loops of concatenating sound generatively composed through digital audio processing.
$16,000 -- Gun Ballet: the Aestheticization of Violence in Video Games (March - July 2018): Violence has a ubiquitous presence in video game history. This exhibition explores why this characteristic is so appealing among gaming demographics. It also examines the various styles of violence -- ranging from extremely graphic to the acrobatic and balletic -- that serve various expressive goals on the part of studios. The title of this exhibit is a reference to the work of filmmaker John Woo, who directed Chicago-made Midway Games title Stranglehold in 2007, the spiritual sequel to Woo’s classic Hong Kong action film Hard Boiled (1992).
$20,000 -- Chicago New Media 1973 - 1992 (November - December 2018) This exhibition seeks to illuminate the largely untold story of Chicago's role in the history of new media. Consisting of an exhibition, public program, and scholarly catalog, the project yields a new art historical understanding of the artists and organizations that contributed to digital art and technology in the latter half of the twentieth century. This program is a partnership with the Terra Foundation for American Art's Art Design Chicago, a celebration of Chicago’s art and design legacy in 2018.
Video Game Art (VGA) Gallery is the first nonprofit art gallery devoted to video games and new media. For the past three years, VGA has organized vibrant pop up exhibitions and events for dozens of partners and audiences of thousands. Now is the time for VGA to open a permanent gallery space to be a home for art and games.
Our Dream: Our dream is to create a lasting, independent space that will advance the constantly-changing discipline of video games and related forms of new media art. We will be the first permanent venue of its kind in Chicago and hope to amplify the work of important artists in the field. In addition to encouraging video game artists to take risks and realize their visions, we also aspire to make a significant contribution to an international conversation on emerging media in contemporary art.
About VGA Gallery
Founded in 2013, we founded Video Game Art (VGA) Gallery in response to a need for a public forum for the visibility, understanding and critique of an emerging and exciting new medium: video games. VGA Gallery is run by nine volunteer staff members, three interns, and a 25-member Board of Directors and serves more than 25,000 people each year.
Our signature programs include exhibitions, artist residencies, education, publications, and other events. VGA has partnered with a range of venues to collaborate on these projects. In the past year, we mounted exhibitions at Rebuild Foundation, Columbia College Chicago, Mana Contemporary and The Nightingale cinema; we organized and carried out an artist residency in partnership with University of Illinois at Chicago’s Maker Space; and mounted a public panel discussion in conjunction with the Adler Planetarium and Bit Bash, among many other programs.
VGA Gallery also supports game studies scholarship and the documentation of significant work in the discipline of games. Recent conferences VGA has participated in include the INTERPLAY Conference (co-hosted by University of Chicago and Northwestern University), College Art Association New Media Caucus, Chicago Video Game Law Summit, and an Adler Planetarium Panel Discussion: Chicago Made Games as New Media Art. VGA has published articles for Leonardo, Routledge Press, the Journal of Games Criticism, the AV Club, Motherboard, and the Illinois Game Developers Association. We have received grants from The Terra Foundation for American Art, the City of Chicago's Department for Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, the Graham Foundation and Illinois Arts Council Agency, amongst other funders.
Opening Exhibition: Savior
Josuhe Pagliery & Johann Armenteros' Savior is an experimental game where a metaphysical character is witness to the deconstruction of the very world around them. It is currently being developed in a unique cultural context: the rapidly changing social, political, and economic landscape of Cuba. This will be the first time that work from their game will be publicly exhibited in the U.S. The exhibition will run from August 11 - Nov 19 as the inaugural exhibition in our brand new home.
VGA's past exhibitions have featured the work of Adriaan de Jongh, Amanita Design, Andy Hoyos, Arnie Jorgensen, Atomhawk, B. Borkur Eiriksson, Beau Blyth, Ben Crooks, Ben Esposito, Benji Blessing Sayed, Cardboard Computer, Catherine Fox, Christine Janokowicz, Cook & Becker, Craig Adams, Cukia Kimani, David van Brink, Feng Mengbo, Gabriele Brombin, Greg Wohlwend, Hannah Leja Epstein (hanski), Hollow Tree Games, Hunter Jonakin, Infinitap Games, Irrational Games, Jaromír Plachý, Jesse Tise, Jessica Fenlon, JODI, Jon Satrom, Jonathan Blow, Joseph Chiocchi, Josh Larson, Luke Whittaker, Matt Gilgenbach, Michaël Samyn & Auriea Harvey (Tale of Tales), Naughty Dog, Netherrealm, Nick Briz, Nina Freeman & Joni Kittaka, Numinous Games, Paloma Dawkins, Paul Hertz, Philip Mallory Jones, Pippin Barr, Pol Clarissou, Porpentine Charity Heartscape, Richard Anderson, Ryan & Amy Green, Sara Goodman, State of Play Games, Stoic, Superbrothers, Sylvain Tegroeg, Team OK, thatgamecompany, Thekla Inc, and William Chyr.
The successful opening of our new space depends on a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. While VGA has a stable and growing base of support with diverse revenue streams, we need a one-time cash infusion to connect game artists from around the world with the gallery and create an international center for art and video games. Kickstarter will help us grow a global audience and give us the resources to be a world-class, state-of-the-art gallery where fans and creators of the best games in the world can meet.
What your Contributions Will Support:
Your support will furnish our new gallery as a destination for art and games. Funds will allow the purchase of crucial technology like computers, projectors and game consoles for the space. It will also allow us to buy tools and fabricate artwork to mount the first exhibition. Join us in making Chicago's first gallery for video games and new media a reality!
We have an exciting range of rewards for local and international audiences. There are beautiful t-shirts designed by the inimitable Ohn Ho, posters and giclées from beloved indie games, opportunities to join VGA for our annual always-sold-out, not-to-be-missed party, and even naming and sponsorship opportunities for the space’s plaque and exhibition areas. Representative images of our rewards, as described to the right, are below.
Curated Selection of Indie Games
Fine Art Prints/Premium Giclées from the VGA Collection
Hardcore Casual Tickets
VGA® is a registered trademark of VGA Foundation.
Risks and challenges
VGA is a risk averse organization, we do things well or don’t do them at all. Every project has risks, but VGA is run by experienced professionals in programming and development, overseen by a brilliant board of artists, lawyers, game developers, academics and art patrons. Its staff has expertise in areas of finance, fundraising, communications and store fulfillment. We are experts at fulfillment -- as an online gallery for the past three years we’ve shipped thousands of posters, giclées, t-shirts, and tickets.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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