SIGGRAPH 1994: Art and Design Show



Orlando, Florida, US


July 24-29, 1996


Welcome to the SIGGRAPH 94
Art and Design Show. The SIGGRAPH 94 Art and Design Show continues the tradi­tion of showcasing a survey of the best recent works in art, design, and animation. The show is broad-based and media-inclusive. We considered entries in fine arts, design, interactive installations, art-based or multimedia essays, and animation. The 94 show includes site-specific works, shown outside of a gallery setting. We also produced an Art and Design Show video, “Persistence of Vision” with jurors’ comments to place the work in a context.

We see some themes in the works this year. Several of the pieces represent a search for cul­tural roots. Some reflect the experience of being a tourist. Several look at family and memo­ries. There were works that interspersed reality and fantasy elements. Some are obviously playful. There were a few with overt political statements. Many of the pieces considered the human form, and several were self-portraits. The animations included a number of collage pieces, and stories or story fragments.

As with all art, this show chal­lenges our perspectives, stretches the limits of the expected, embraces change, and considers the meaning of visual language, codes, and symbols. Unlike many art shows, this one comments on the present because all of these artists are working with “tools” that were invented during their lifetimes.

As specified in our call for participation, the primary criterion for acceptance was aesthetic. Each work was evaluated with “tradi­tional fine arts” considerations: use of compositional elements, color, line, form and tone. In addition, the jurors considered the aesthetic intention of each, judging the artworks on what we felt the artist was trying to achieve. We selected works that approached artistic design and creation in original ways. We looked for work that would chal­lenge our perspectives. We included art that was visually exciting or had a strong emotion­al content.

We asked for works that could not have been created without the wide variety of computer tools that artists use today. As computer-generated works, the art bears the mark of the media that assisted with its creation. Some works are graphic displays of mathematical concepts. In these, the computer has deter­mined a distinctive appearance, a syntax, that makes the work easi­ly recognizable as computer art. In other works, where the artist has used the tools for more tradi­tional artistic intention, these marks are less obvious. In many of the interactive works, the computer serves another func­tion. By redefining the relation­ship between the viewer and the art, the computer serves as a medium as well as a tool.

Within SIGGRAPH, the Art and Design Show is one of the few places where individual voices are expressed through technology. Much of computer graphics work is collaborative, and here is one opportunity to consider the state­ment of a single artist. Unlike most of the conference, this art is not intended to be in the ser­vice of commercialism. Instead it offers comment on the role of technology in society today.


Deanna Morse, Grand Valley State University


Administrative Assistant

Eric Oehrl


Essay Reviewers

Adrianne Carageorge, Rochester Institute of Technology

Paul Hertz, Northwestern University

Byron Grush, Northern Illinois University

Committee Members:

    General Committee:

    Additional Committees:

    • Marla Schweppe -
      • Rochester Institute of Technology
      • Northwestern University
      • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
      • The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design of Ohio State University


Exhibition Artworks:

Exhibition Writings and Presentations:

    Title: There are No Philosophic Problems Raised by Virtual Reality
    Writing Type: Essay
    Abstract Summary:

    There is widespread agreement that virtual reality presents seri­ous new challenges to perceived ways of thinking about such fun­damental concepts as reality, simulation, representation, percep­tion, and sensation. It has been seen as a practice that might have deep consequences for conven­tional ways of construing the mind-body problem, including the minimal requirements for a body, requirements for the coherent reception of sensation, and the relation between reason and intu­ition. Most fundamental of all, it has been said to entail a new kind of space, differing from Cartesian and other spaces and requiring new definitions of space and
    form. This paper argues, on the contrary, that virtual reality does not raise any new philosophic problems.

    Title: Computer Sculpture: New Horizons
    Writing Type: Essay
    Abstract Summary:

    An essay that focuses on oppor­tunities for a new approach to computer-generated sculpture through the use of the interac­tive, user participatory attributes associated with virtual reality technology. The text briefly reviews the progress of sculpture from a static, physical art form through the use of computers as sculpture visualization tools, towards true ‘virtual sculpture’ as a metaphysical, three-dimensional experience. The author discusses two of his own recent prototype virtual reality pieces to demon­strate his projection of possible future trends in the viewers’ immersion in sculpture as an activity and an art form, not merely as an observer of a set of objects.

    Title: The Engineering of Vision and the Aesthetics of Computer Art
    Writing Type: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    The rise of modern image indus­tries, such as computer graphics, human factors research, or com­puter vision, can be seen as a part of the shift to the post-industrial society of perceptual labor. In contemporary society, human
    vision has become the key instru­ment of labor: the channel of communication between human and machine. If the industry aims to make human vision as produc­tive and as efficient as possible, the computer artist, in contrast, can be defined as a designer of bad interfaces: interfaces that are inefficient, wasteful, confusing.

    Title: The Aesthetics and Practice of Designing Interactive Computer Events
    Writing Type: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    Much confusion and hyperbole surrounds discussions of the aes­thetics of interactive computer events. This essay works to clarify some of this confusion by analyz­ing the differences between inter­active and non-interactive events, reviewing the variety of forms included under the umbrella term “interactivity,” and investigating the theoretical rationales offered to support claims of interactivity’s superiority derived from psycho­logical, political, art historical, and techno-historical sources. Building on this analysis, the essay suggests extensions to current GUI design canons that uniquely attend to interactivity as an aesthetic issue. It also investigates the challenging interactivity possibilities of emerg­ing technologies.