SIGGRAPH 2002: Art Gallery



San Antonio, Texas


July 21-26, 2002


SIGGRAPH 2002 Art Gallery: Celebrating the Creative Spirit

The SIGGRAPH 2002 Art Gallery celebrates the creative spirit by taking a look “behind the scenes” at the process of creating digital and electronic fine art. This year, the gallery highlights the process that generates the work, demonstrating how the digital artist creates.

Attendees experience the innovative examples of two-dimensional, three-dimensional, interactive, and installation work submitted by the international computer graphics community. Some works represent traditional forms such as print or sculpture while others push the boundaries of Web communication and interactive spaces.

Through sketches, diagrams, video documentation, Web documentation, and discussions, more than 70 artists reveal the magic behind their work. The artworks show excellence in innovation and artistic talent, document creative thought, illustrate working process, and explain the use of the computer or electronics in the piece.

Six papers presentations place process in a theoretical and cultural context. These papers, published here, will also appear in the Leonardo.

In a new collaboration, the Art Gallery and the Studio feature seven artists in a working studio, where they create art using Studio facilities. The goal is to make the creative process visible. Attendees watch the work develop, talk with the artists, and (perhaps) make art themselves.

Karen Sullivan

SIGGRAPH 2002 Art Gallery Chair

Ringling School of Art and Design


SIGGRAPH 2002 Art Gallery Subcommittee

Katie Rylander, SIGGRAPH 2002 Administrative Assistant, Capstone Solutions, Inc.

Sue Gollifer, 2D/3D Coordinator, University of Brighton

Ana Serrano, Web/DVD Coordinator, h@bitat, Canadian Film Centre

Adam Chapman, Papers Coordinator, ADM’s Design Machine

Richard May, Donations, Coordinator/Technical Director

Dena Eber, Publications, Bowling Green State University

Lily Shirvanee, Publications, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


SIGGRAPH 2002 Art Gallery Web/DVD Reviewers

Kathryn Saunders, Public Domain Experience Design

Thom Gillespie, Indiana University Bloomington

Susan Kennard, The Banff New Media Institute

Susan Gorbet, Gorbet Design, Inc.

Mark Jones, CyberStage Communications

SIGGRAPH 2002 Art Gallery/Art Papers Reviewers

Rebecca Ross, Yale University

Diane Gromala, Georgia Institute of Technology

Mary Flanagan, University of Oregon

Noah Wardrip-Fruin, New York University



Art Reviewers:


Exhibition Artworks:

Exhibition Writings and Presentations:

    Title: From Artificial Life to Augmented Reality: "It's not about technology, it's about what technology is about"
    Category: Essay
    Abstract Summary:

    This paper examines the influence of two areas of technological research upon my art practice. For me, technologies provide inspiration in a variety of ways. It can begin with a simple instinct on first contact with a technological object, a system, or a scientific idea. Often, an extended period of play or exploration with the technology needs to take place before the artistic possibilities reveal themselves. The two main areas of technological focus in this paper are Artificial Life and Augmented Reality, with particular attention to the development of ideas and philosophical concerns underlying the art that I make. Examples of completed works and works in progress will be shown. It is my intention in doing this to examine some aspects of the artist’s role in unraveling the meanings nesting within technological and scientific endeavors.

    [View PDF]

    Title: Fun, Love, and Happiness - or The Aesthetics of Play and Empathy in Avatar Worlds
    Category: Essay
    Abstract Summary:

    I was asked recently why I would be interested in theorizing on play outside of the context of games and persistent environments. The answer has to do with the processes of creativity, self expression, and authorship that arise when we consider interactivity in virtual worlds. Artmaking as play, and empathy as a foundation of collective authorship, are the central themes of this talk. But is that art? If one allows that art is an outgrowth of a set of techniques, tools, conventions, visual histories, aesthetic vocabularies, and above all an urge of creative self-expression then we would have to say yes. If, additionally, we posit that the digital medium may, perhaps, bring with it a special quality that we have not yet pinned down, despite various efforts to do so, then I would like to suggest that that special digital quality is reflected precisely in aesthetics of play, empathy, and a sense of collective identity and multiplicity of authorship.

    [View PDF]

    Title: Feminist Transgressions? Object and Process in Transgenic/Genetic Works by Women
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    Interest in new technologies has fostered a growing interdisciplinary exploration between artists, scientists, social scientists, and designers. Particular types of artwork have held attraction for the artist-scientist in the 20th and 21st centuries: artificial life, evolutionary art, and genetic art have been created by those with an interest in science and organic structures. Concerns inherent to these contemporary interests are centuries old; 1 the use of novel technologies to mimic or create life can be traced to the Ancient Greeks, Jewish, Chinese, and Egyptian cultures, in which stories of famous pneumatic automata and golem originated.

    [View PDF]

    Title: Ludology: From Representation to Simulation
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    Most of the current studies of the creative potential of computer games have been done through tools designed for narrative media (literary theory, narratology, film theory). Several attempts have been made by both academics and designers to create “interactive narratives” that
    would allow players to experience the qualities of narrative while being able to interact with the environment, characters, and events in the “story.” Nevertheless, authors have so far failed to provide a compelling example of “interactive fiction.” Brenda Laurel, a long-time advocate of this genre, recently described it as “a hypothetical beast in the mythology
    of computing, an elusive unicorn we can imagine but have yet to capture.” [Laurel 2001]

    In this paper I argue, following the work of such theorists as Espen Aarseth and Markku Eskelinen, that narrative is not the best paradigm for understanding not only computer games but also cybernetic art and toys, simply because they do not rely on traditional representation but on simulation.

    By simulation, I mean an alternative form of describing and understanding reality that is based on the modeling of systems. My semiotic approach to simulation is close to the one developed by computer science’s simulation
    theory, but it differs in that its goal is not necessarily predicting behaviors. Rather, I view it as an alternative representational form that opens a new set of rhetorical possibilities that stress system behavior and user experimentation.

    By comparing the similitude and differences between simulation and representation, I will provide a theoretical framework that will allow us to better comprehend the process behind the interpretation of such
    cybernetic systems as toys, cyberarts, traditional games, and computer games. My ultimate goal is to contribute to the understanding of the rhetorical characteristics of these simulational media.

    [View PDF]

    Title: Art Games and Breakout: New Media Meets the American Arcade
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    This paper explores how the interactive paradigms and interface designs of arcade classics like Breakout and Pong have been incorporated into contemporary art games and offer new possibilities for political and cultural critique.

    [View PDF]

    Title: Interface Ecosystem, The Fundamental Unit of Information Age Ecology
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    The Information Age is the period of history in which products and services based on information and knowledge have principal economic value. Information artifacts are implements of use and aesthetic expressions that both reflect and create the ways in which people individually and collectively think and act. Interactive artifacts are
    designed to engage people in access to and development of knowledge and information. Their human computer interfaces are instances of a broader set of phenomena. Cultural, creative, technological, and everyday frames of reference, spoken languages, economic positions, programming languages, and runtime platforms converge through the lens of the interface nexus. It is necessary to abstract and extend our notion of interface and to contextualize the operation of interfaces amidst dynamic meshworks, in order to address these phenomena.

    With regard to life on earth, ecology investigates the web of relations between interdependent organisms and their surroundings. In the Information Age, people, activities, codes, components, and systems form the same kinds of interrelationships. Interfaces are the multidimensional
    border zones through which these relationships are
    constituted. Interface ecology investigates the dynamic interactions of media, cultures, and disciplines that flow through interfaces. The semiotic encodings of these wide-reaching systems of representation are their interactions’ building blocks. Interfaces recombine semiotic codes, forming hybrids.

    The ecosystems approach brings the perspectives of diverse disciplines to bear on what interfaces are, how they work, and how they can work. Disciplines, and the media, cultural, and epistemological forms to which they apply, are free to relate in meshworks, opening inquiry. No system of representation dominates; none are considered subordinate. Rather, they are interdependent elements, connected by referential flows of interaction.

    [View PDF]