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Acquisition of Sonia Landy Sheridan Archives
Sonia Landy Sheridan, 2005. Photo: Eric Legendre.

MONTREAL, CANADA.- The Daniel Langlois Foundation has just acquired the personal archives of Sonia Landy Sheridan. This archive fonds constitutes a major addition to the Foundation's Centre for Research and Documentation (CR+D) collection.

Born in 1925 in Newark, Ohio, Sonia Landy Sheridan is one of the few women to have worked in technological arts in the 1960s and 1970s, and she played a pivotal role in promoting the use of diverse technologies by artists. In addition to her lifelong career as an artist, Ms. Sheridan also developed an original and groundbreaking teaching method. In the 1960s she founded Generative Systems, a key program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The program aimed to draw art and industry closer together and provided professors and students access to an extensive range of equipment that included high-density colour photocopiers of the time and eventually computers and printers. One of the program's goals was to test and teach various collaborative approaches between artists and industry. Many individuals, including engineers and scientists, contributed to the program as collaborators, speakers and visitors. The archives contain numerous documents chronicling the history of the Generative Systems programs, a milestone in technological arts history on a par with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.).

Ms. Sheridan also participated in a number of major exhibitions, such as Software, presented in 1971 at the Jewish Museum in New York, and Electra, presented in 1983 at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. In 1976, she was artist-in-residence at 3M's Color Research and Central Research Labs. During her stay, she wrote a journal relating the details of her collaborative activities with the laboratory's engineers and researchers.

Ms. Sheridan's methods are largely associated with copy art, an important art practice in the 1960s, which proved to be the forerunner to a number of artistic approaches involving computers and networks. Ms. Sheridan also explored the artistic use of numerous other technologies, experimenting with photocopiers, printers and computer graphics, to name just a few.

The works of Ms. Sheridan can be found in the collections of many museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Canada and the Fundacion Telefonica in Madrid. The largest collection brings together more than 600 of her works at the Dartmouth College Hood Museum in Hanover, New Hampshire.

The Sonia Landy Sheridan archives are currently being processed and will be progressively made available to researchers during 2005. They primarily contain archive folders, manuscripts, notebooks, slides, photographs, video and audio records, films, exhibition catalogues and books, digital records and numerous colour and black and white reprographic works.

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