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Title: Mapping A Sensibility: Computer lmaging
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1983: Art Show
Category: Essay

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

“The work of art,” as the surrealist Andre Breton said, “is valuable only so far as it is vibrated by the reflexes of the future. These “reflexes of the future” have introduced, since the early l900s, increas­ing1y powerful visual technologies. To rephrase Andre Breton – in certain critical epochs, art anticipates effects that are only fully realized by newly emerging technology and new art forms.

It is often stated that our new “information society” or the “electronic age” is now at a critical time of societal transformation. In this transformation, new visualization tools are predicted to play an increasing role.

How can we gain an insight into the characteristics of the emerging visual media? According to Andre Breton’s perspective, contemporary art concerns can anticipate those of the new visual technology. Therefore, by mapping one to the other we can locate clues pointing towards a changed visual sensibility.

The following text maps contemporary art concerns to computer imaging in three major aspects of image making, First, the techniques of forming an image are called in the text, “image formulation.” Second, the image’s relationship with the viewer (and/or creator) is called “interaction” (after the person/machine relationship in computer science). The last aspect, the image’s relationship with its subject matter, is called ‘Reality.” It is these three sensitive areas that begin to subtly shift as new technology forces adjustment in human perception.


Title: Computer Aesthetics: New Art Experience, or The Seduction of the Masses
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1986: A Retrospective
Category: Essay

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

In the early twentieth century, Modern artists, notably Suprematists, Cuba-Futurists and Constructivists, rejected scientific perspective and descriptive art [1]. Although this dismissal of the world of appearances in art was never accepted by the general public, Modernism evolved from that rejection.

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Title: Computer Graphics as Artistic Expression
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1986: A Retrospective
Category: Essay

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Computer graphics has been in existence for more than twenty years. From the beginning, people experimented on ways to use the new medium – in addition to scientific, technical and commercial application – for artistic goals. Around 1965, Germans Frieder Nake and Georg Nees and the American, A. Michael Noll, strove for that goal; they were followed by individuals such as Kenneth Knowlton, the team of Charles Csuri and James Shaffer in America, and the Japanese Computer-Technique Group. All of them were represented in the large exhibition “Cybernetic Serendipity” in 1968 in London.

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Title: TV NEEDS MTV LIKE MTV NEEDS COMPUTERS
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1986: A Retrospective
Category: Essay

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

J. S. Bach’s last unfinished work, THE ART OF THE FUGUE, is a magnificent network of simple theme and variations that are interwoven, transposed, inverted, and retrogressed. Some believe that Bach’s counterpoint, which consists of a complementarity of voice-parts, exhibits an affinity with algorithmic computer-program instructions and procedures. I agree, and I believe that a video counterpoint offers a special complementarity between its own musical and its visual voice-parts.

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Title: Visions of Mind
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1986: A Retrospective
Category: Essay

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Computer art is unfolding on the basis of scientific and engineering achievements of pioneering personalities, whose vision suggested that it should be possible to wrest something other than calculation speed and numeric precision from those crude and clumsy computers; something that could be turned into meaningful images. They set out to build dedicated machines to interpret an intuitive stroke with a pen or a snapshot taken through the lens of a camera. They designed displays that show more colors and change images faster than the human eye can distinguish. They devised software to generate pictures that appear just like photographs of reality. All of this has been accomplished within the short timespan of two or three decades. The history of computer graphics reads like a tremendous technical success story.

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Title: Why it Isn't Art Yet
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1986: A Retrospective
Category: Essay

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

For twenty plus years, I have participated in “computer art” as a developer/ experimenter /inventor of languages/interfaces/techniques, as a collaborator/teacher/writer, and as a “computer artist.” As a result of all this, I finally feel like an established practitioner in an enterprise that doesn’t (at least not yet) exist.

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Title: A Brief History of SIGGRAPH Art Exhibitions: Brave New Worlds
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

In 1981, The Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics (ACM/SIGGRAPH) sponsored its first exhibition of computer art in conjunction with the annual conference on computer graphics. The 1989 Art Show will be the ninth SIGGRAPH exhibition of computer-aided art. The present effort can not be understood fully without examining the background and scope of previous exhibitions. During this short history SIGGRAPH Art Shows have become important to computer artists since they are the major sites for the exhibition of new work.

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Title: Art and the Information Revolution
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

The author expresses his opinion that new imagemaking technology is providing an interdisciplinary language and creating a requirement for generalists rather than specialists. This new technology is also initiating a paradigm shift in those disciplines that make use of it. Lack of acknowledgment of such effects, particularly in the area of higher education, could lead to significant problems that, in the longer term, could affect manufacturing industry and national economic performance. One solution is to involve practitioners of non-applied disciplines (such as fine arts and pure science and mathematics) that have already adapted to a similar paradigm change and whose perception of the new tools and techniques is likely to be less parochial and more flexible.

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Title: Beyond Computer Art
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

‘Computer art’ and its systems of production are criticized, and some suggestions given to make it better.

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Title: Cinema and the Code
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

The author and his colleagues suggest a criterion for evaluating artistic achievement in the medium of the digital moving image as distinct from other forms of cinema. This criterion is the extent to which the formal possibilities of digital imaging are employed as syntactical or linguistic elements, not simply as ‘special effects’. Four digital imaging techniques are discussed as possibilities for a new syntax and, hence, for the expansion of cinematic language.

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Title: Computer Art in the Context of the Journal Leonardo
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Since 1968, the journal Leonardo has published over 150 articles dealing with the uses of computers in the fine arts. Discussing the work of artists published in Leonardo, the author responds to a recent assertion by art theorist David Carrier that”. . it is genuinely unclear to me whether any art using computers is truly significant”. It is argued that the significance of computer art must be viewed in a number of contexts. Within the context of the development of the computer itself, advances in computer graphics and animation have provided the artist with a powerful plastic medium under the artist’s control. Most artworks produced, except in animation, either realise artistic ideas developed before the advent of the computer or are artistically equivalent to work produced in other media. The impact is significant in the context of the commercial and applied arts. Contemporary artists, as the colonisers of technology, are producing significant artworks as collaborators in Renaissance teams of artists, scientists and technologists. In the larger context of the history of art, however, the significance of contemporary computer art work is not yet clear. It is argued that artistic significance should be sought in works that could not have been made without the use of a computer. Such works must involve the particular attributes of computers, such as their application in interactive situations, their capability for artificial intelligence, their function in networks with telecommunications media, and their ability to allow the synthesis of sound and vision in timebased art forms. The lack of adequate theoretical, historical and critical frameworks is currently the largest impediment in assessing the significance of computer art.

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Title: Computer Imagery: Imitation and Representation of Realities
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Contemporary theory in philosophy, aesthetics and cognitive/social sciences stresses the embedment of cultural and historical conventions in art and technology. Computer imagery for aesthetic/artistic or technical/scientific purposes have these conventions embedded in them and consequently reflect larger models of humanly constructed cultural reality. Careful analyses of the form, content and practice of computer graphics are proposed to reveal views of reality embedded in technology and in models generated by the technology.

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Title: Dataism
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Dataism is a term coined to designate computer art. In contrast to the iconoclasm of Modernism, in general, and Dadaism, in particular, Dataism restates traditional aesthetics through formal practices. Dataist works are not singular objets d’art, but algorithmic procedures and digital data bases that have a symbolic description. They can be perfectly duplicated and widely distributed. Dataist artworks can appear to exist in three dimensions and move in the time dimension, but they may be entirely synthesized, that is, a manifestation of imagination.

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Title: Emergent Aesthetics - Aesthetic Issues in Computer Arts
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

The production of art, as much as any other production, takes place in the context of human interaction-with others, with nature, with tools, with artifacts, and with ideas from times passed. Artistic work, more than any other, is probably a projection of the experiential structure of the act of producing artifacts (or events) with qualities socially acknowledged as artistic and values culturally celebrated as aesthetic. Throughout history, the patterns of human interaction have continuously changed, and so has art. Nonetheless, changes like the ones we experience today are unprecedented, requiring that we understand that the condition of art is probably more dependent than ever on the condition of humanity in general, and of science and technology in particular.

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Title: Fractals and an Art for the Sake of Science
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

A new form of art redefines the boundary between ‘invention’ and ‘discovery’, as understood in the sciences, and ‘creativity’, as understood in the plastic arts. Can pure geometry be perceived by the ‘man in the street’ as beautiful? To be more specific, can a shape that is defined by a simple equation or a simple rule of construction be perceived by people other than geometers as having aesthetic value – namely, as being at least surprisingly decorative – or perhaps even as being a work of art? When the geometric shape is a fractal, the answer is yes. Even when fractals are taken ‘raw’, they are attractive. They lend themselves to ‘painting by numbers’ that is surprisngly effective, even in the hands of the rank amateur. And the true artist’s sensibility finds them a novel and attractive support.

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Title: Mathematics As an Artistic-Generative Principle
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

The author defines a mathematical discipline that is devoted to the generation of artistic images. The practical implementation of the underlying theory is possible today with the aid of computer graphics systems.

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Title: The Image in Art and 'Computer Art'
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

In this essay the author takes a cursory look at the increasing range of applications of computers to art and design practice and questions some of the assumptions that have been made about their use. The proliferation of computer imagery in society as part of the video culture and its effects on our attitudes towards digital representation are emphasised. This leads to a redefinition of the intimacy of the relationship between artist and art object. Such issues contribute to the comparative study of digital media and physical/mechanical media and the computer’s impact on the creation and apprehension of imagery.

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Title: The Proceduralist Manifesto
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Computer art’ has become a meaningless term, because soon virtually all art will be computerized in some way or another. The author introduces the concept of proceduralism as a label to represent a special class of art, one that constructs images using abstract qualitative and quantitative parameters, rather than simulates classical drawing and painting. This approach to making art ditters radically from drawing and painting approaches because the picture-making process is detached from the picture. The net result is that an entirely new area of creativity has been unveiled for the artist. As such, proceduralism is a logical successor to conceptual/process art; it is a major art movement and a new medium.

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Title: The Tao of Postmodernism: Computer Art, Scientific Visualization and Other Paradoxes
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

The author suggests that a paradigm shift must occur in art criticism to assimilate the nonlinear branching of aesthetic activities in our era. These activities include computer art and scientific visualization, and they reflect many issues addressed in postmodern dialogue such as our image-synthetic, “simulacrum” society. Postmodernism unexpectedly informs most disciplines, including the natural sciences, and is a cultural systemic norm that relates to our electronic information age. The Taoist concept of oneness is used as a metaphor for the interrelatedness of electronic-mediated societies, and this social connectedness explains the enfolding and complex nature of contemporary aesthetic activity. A cybernetic paradigm might provide a better model for criticism than modernism or postmodernism, since this paradigm presents a holistic view that concentrates on creativity and the organization of interrelated systems. The convergence of art with science is assumed as a logical interdisciplinary outgrowth of this electronic oneness.

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Title: The Wizard of Ethereal Pictures and Virtual Places
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1989: Art Show
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Renaissance artists constructed pictorial space using algorithms based on Euclidean geometry. Computer artists use algorithms based on the analytic geometry of Descartes to compute pictures as well as the subjects in them. An examination of the workings of these two different types of algorithm reveals that the computer offers a radical new approach to making art, which is not yet well understood. Postmodern algorithms for picturemaking are more evanescent than their Renaissance counterparts because computers process information conceptually instead of storing it physically. The computer is neither a passive medium nor a pliant tool, but an active creative partner.

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Title: Computer Graphics as Allegorical Knowledge: Electronic Imagery in the Sciences
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

This informal paper studies the effects of the recent introduction of computer-generated imagery on the practice of science and its function in understanding the world. It intends to introduce the subject of computerized visualization for scientific purposes into a wider debate, to show the diversity of issues involved-scientific, cultural and philosophical-and to build a context in which they can be critiqued. The author seeks to show the variety of scientific imaging and its influences on scientific knowledge; as both experiments and results are increasingly expressed in terms of imagery, the image assumes an integrity of its own and the object to which it refers becomes obscured. This leads to a shift of focus away from abstract theory as the embodiment of knowledge to the ascension of an allegorical image-based science with computer graphics as its natural language.

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Title: Computer Graphics: Effects of Origins
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

New forms of art and technology are frequently cast in the mode of old forms, just as other aspects of material and symbolic culture have been. Only when these new forms become available to the larger population can they affect cultural patterns of maintenance and change. The author traces the evolution from alphanumeric hard copy, static and dynamic screen images, through objects and events that are not screen-based, to dynamic, interactive, multi-sensory output. The effects of origins and prior practices in both technology and art on form, content, material, technique, meaning and purpose of computer graphics are explored. Speculation regarding possible and probable futures are raised.

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Title: Digital Dilemmas
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Computer imagery is fraught with divers conundrums and paradoxes associated with the fact that it is both abstract and concrete. It confounds familiar ways of understanding appearance and reality. We can begin to resolve the perplexity by using the idea of recursion to contrast digital imaging with picturing. It is particularly useful to explore the concept of an interface and to study its role in the imaging system. Digital images cannot be understood outside the context of the complete interactive system in which they occur.

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Title: Digital Image-Digital Cinema: The Work of Art in the Age of Post-Mechanical Reproduction
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Computers are transforming existing art forms and allowing new kinds of art forms to be developed. Because the computer is primarily a machine for processing information, not a machine for making objects, it provides a malleable medium that provides the artist with a large variety of tools for manipulating sense data. The work that contains the result of the artist’s creativity is the software and the data, not any particular image or output produced using that software. The ultimate goal of artmaking using computers, in this light, is not to create art objects but to create dynamic art subjects, to produce families of aesthetically interesting outputs, or art performances, which are as different from each other as possible within the constraints of the software. This situates computer art within a larger context of the study and development of artificial life. To create significant artworks of this type, it will be necessary to improve the computer’s capacity to be an autonomous artmaking subject; this will require the extension of the computer’s senses, the expansion of its capabilities, and means for the computer to provide sensory inputs to the human nervous system and to other computers.

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Title: Digital Image-Digital Photography
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

The SIGGRAPH 1990 Art Show Committee decided to sponsor an exhibition of works that concentrate on the interaction of photographic imagery and computer technology [1]. This exhibition came about because of one interesting aspect of computer-mediated artworks that has been developing over the last several years. As the curator of this exhibition, I chose to put together a group of works that investigate not only the technical combination of these media but also the conceptual basis for choosing such tools of investigation, collaboration and production.

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Title: Film Theory for the Digital World: Connecting the Masters to the New Digital Cinema
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

This article examines the role that theories of photographic cinema play in the criticism of digital cinema. The theories of Georges Melies, Vachel Lindsay, Lev Kuleshov, Andre Bazin and Rudolf Arnheim-critics, theoreticians and filmmakers, the key-stones of this work-have proven pertinent to the advancing technology of other cinematic forms. Their ideas have applicability to specific aspects of digital cinema, including the manipulation of illusory space, discrete and explicit control of cinematic elements, the transformation of world spaces into screen space and the role of realistic imagery in determining the content of a cinematic work. Parallels can be drawn between the ideas of these theorists, most of whom wrote during the infancy of photographic cinema, on the developing state of film and that of current digital cinema.

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Title: Image Quality and Viewer Perception
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Improving the quality of digital images can have great impact on information storage and transfer, pushing the feasibility of image databases well beyond existing practical limits. How good do images have to be? Among the considerations for selecting image quality is the extent to which viewers can discriminate among variations in quality. What differences in resolution and dynamic range (bit-depth) can they see? Groups of art historians were asked to rate a series of displayed test images; the results show how participants’ responses compared with the actual range of image quality. Practical implications of viewers’ perceptions are discussed.

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Title: Language and the Early Cinema
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

The following short excerpt from Film [1] is all but unknown to the readers of the English version of the book as well as to those of the other translations. The edition of 1957, titled Film As Art [2], on which all these translations are based, was prepared by the author in the conviction that only the essential sections, dealing with the nature of the visual medium, were still relevant whereas much of what had been observed in the infancy days of the sound film was no longer worth saying. A complete English version of the German original of 1932 had been published in 1933 by Faber and Faber in London in a translation by L. M. Sieveking and Ian F. D. Morrow but has vanished of course long ago even from most libraries. The following few pages, slightly retouched by the author, will give today’s readers a taste of the principles that governed discussions of the media in those early days.

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Title: Not-Art Digital Images: An Artist's Perspective
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Working with the New York State Police and the Nassau County Medical Examiners Office, a forensic anthropologist, a forensic medical photographer and an imaging systems artist attempted to reconstruct a face from the skull of a young woman. Facial feature components selected from police identification kits were digitized and manipulated to match control points and overlaid onto a digitized version of the skull. In this way a series of images was created that were called ‘not-art’ even though an artistic aspect was present.

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Title: Temporal Coherence with Digital Color
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema
Category: Paper

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

To structure time with abstract visual materials requires a visual grammar of line, shape and color. Color is especially problematic, difficult to measure in all but the simplest applications; the literature of color theory and harmony is often confusing. To devise a syntax for structuring time with color, one can turn to the concepts of tension-release, of neutral, balanced and weighted color domains and of discrete computer raster images; they help to create and measure time-based color compositions. In para-metrically defined color palettes, Color Study #7 (a computer-generated animated film) demonstrates the application of these ideas to a simple and effective compositional approach. Codifying this now common film-making practice, the author hopes to encourage others interested in aesthetically strengthened visual presentation to explore and develop time-based visual grammars.

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