SIGGRAPH 2005: Threading Time




Los Angeles, California, United States of America


July 31st-August 4th, 2005

Art Show Overview:

The overarching goal of the 2005 Art Gallery is to show artwork that maps data or traces threads in time and space. This year, the art gallery will show digital artwork from the cerebral to the visceral, work that challenges the audience’s perceptions of time and place. Each piece is inherently digital: it cannot exist without computer graphics. The artists examine the passage of time in their work: some lingering, some looping, some humorous, some perennial.

Six award-winning artists have graciously accepted my invitation to exhibit their works in the SIGGRAPH 2005 Art Gallery: Camille Utterback, Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser, Perry Haberman, Jim Campbell, and John Gerrard. Each of these esteemed artists expresses threading time in a unique way. They are among the most innovative contemporary artists using digital media today.

Artwork in the SIGGRAPH 2005 Art Gallery is organized by content rather than by media, to emphasize meaning. Here the technology is in the service of the art. Themes include: mapping, dynamic landscape, moving gestures, portraiture, narrative, generative art, networked projects, artificial life, body and identity, media activism, surveillance, commercialization, and convergence. Six Art Papers are presented in the catalog. The Art Gallery features Artist Panels and Artists’ Talks that frame contemporary digital art practices.

Threading Time was juried by a preeminent group of jurors, artists, curators, and computer graphics and arts professionals. From more than 1,100 submissions, the jury selected 52 artists whose works are both figurative and abstract. To provide a deeper window into the artists’ work, more artwork by fewer artists was selected. Some of the work is code driven, and some is narrative; some is political and intellectual, while other work is personal and emotional. Some of the work maps aesthetic preferences, while other work creates aesthetic experiences interactively.

The jury considered work that:

• Addresses the theme and traces threads through time and space

• Is content driven

• Is visually compelling

• Uses the technology in the service of the art

• Demonstrates a clear reason for the use of digital media

2005 is a time for cooperation, community, and networking. In this spirit, The 2005 SIGGRAPH conference is rich with collaboration among its programs and beyond. Emerging Technologies and the Art Gallery are sharing overlapping space to show six interactive art installations. These two programs are also demonstrating the very nature of collaboration by presenting compelling distributed performances and art panels on the Access Grid. The Art Gallery is collaborating with the Computer Animation Festival to present, for the first time in SIGGRAPH history, a mini-show of storyboard and concept art. Art animations, juried through the Computer Animation Festival, are shown in an intimate screening room in the Art Gallery. Some of the Art Gallery artists are participating in Sketches and the Web Program.

We have reached a true paradigm shift in art making. Digital technologies are ubiquitous, and artists are using them in exciting ways to express time-honored as well as new ideas. And these ideas are evolving with the technology. The SIGGRAPH 2005 Art Gallery: Threading Time showcases these artworks.

Linda Lauro-Lazin

Art Gallery Chair



Lynn Pocock, New York Institute of Technology

Dominique Nahas, Independent Critic and Curator

Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Brown University

Jon Ippolito, Guggenheim Museum

Christina Yang, Media Arts Curator, The Kitchen

Jacquelyn Martino, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Art Paper Reviewers

Roy Ascott, Planetary Collegum, University of Plymouth

Claudia Herbst, Pratt Institute

Patrick Lichty, Intelligent Agent, Bowling Green State University

Bruce Wands, School of Visual Arts


1st Tier Reviewers

Joanna Berzowska, Concordia University

Marc Böhlen, State University of New York at Buffalo

Claire F. Doyle, Red Beret Design

Rick Barry, Pratt Institute

Daniel Durning, New York Institute of Technology

Rejane Spitz, Pontifica Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, SIGGRAPH 2005 International Resources Chair

Steve Rittler, William Patterson University

Cheryl Stockton, Stockshot Studio and Pratt Institute

Ruth West, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of California, San Diego

Dena Eber, Bowling Green State University

Lina M. Yamaguchi, Stanford University

Anita Wetzel, Independent Artist, WSW

Jeff Mayer, Jeff Mayer & Partners, LLC

Suzana Milevska, Independent writer and curator, Goldsmiths College, Skopje/London



Roy Ascott, Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth

Garth Garrett, Independent Writer

Madge Gleeson, Western Washington University

Peter Mackey, Pratt Institute

Jeff Mayer, Jeff Mayer & Partners, LLC

Bonnie Mitchell, Bowling Green State University, SIGGRAPH 2006, ART GALLERY CHAIR

Cheryl Stockton, Stockshot Studio and Pratt Institute

Ruth West, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research University of California, San Diego

Dena Eber, Publications, Bowling Green State University

Alex Jimenez, Technical Support Pratt Institute

Natalie Moore, Art Director, Art Website, Pratt Institute

Beth Warshafsky, Art Gallery Video, Promo Producer, Pratt Institute

Yaryna Wynar, Graduate Assistant, Pratt Institute

Art Show Reviewers:

Exhibition Artworks:

Exhibition Writings and Presentations:

    Title: A Transformational Object: Artistic Authorship and the Phenomenal Aesthetics of New Media
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    If there is any metaphor that has come to act as a signpost of current developments in the realm of digital art and design, it is the blur. We have seen the blur as a building, the blur as the theme at conferences, and the blur as a means to describe the totality of the overlapping processes and intentions that all converge in what can be called interactive experiences. For shorthand, we call this convergence new media. Given the various aims and contexts from which the larger category of art objects arrives, the blur seems to best approximate a still undistinguished body of work and its cultural momentum.

    [View PDF]

    Title: Being Paintings
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    This paper focuses on art created by new techniques such as cellular machines, L-Systems, genetic algorithms, neural networks … We propose here several methods of implementation combining the rules of construction of cellular machines and L-Systems with genetic, neuronal networks, couplings, translation of codes. These methods result in the morphogenesis of bodies, as well their structure (shape) and their functional aspect (neuronal networks with driving, sensory neurons, balance, etc.). It’s a part of what we can call “a new kind of art”, and we can see here how Beings Paintings emerge.

    [View PDF]

    Title: Dare to be Digital: Japan's Pioneering Contributions to Today's International Art and Technology Movement
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    A number of pioneering artists began experimenting with the computer as a visual arts medium in the late 60s and early 70s when most fine-arts circles refused to recognize art made by computers as a viable product of human creativity. This was the era of computer punch cards, when the visual results of algorithmic input were nothing more than line drawings. Many of the forward-looking artists who were experimenting with this technology were not taken seriously by the established art venues, and were, in fact, often ostracized by their peers. More recently, the work of computer artists has begun to appear in general textbooks on the history of art, but each book fealures one or two completely different artists. The books are inconsistent in their documentation of this fairly new medium. There are a number of journals that have had special issues devoted to this topic, including the Art Journal, and there are also whole journals dedicated to the field, such as Leonardo. There are, however, very few books that do justice to the movement, and few that include artists of Japan. In other words, there is a great deal of activity in the field, but the documentation is neither thorough nor consistent.

    [View PDF]

    Title: doing interface ecology: the practice of metadisciplinary
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    The interface can be modeled as a an ecosystem: connected, dynamic, and characterized by relationships. The model is predicated on a process of working with the interface as a border zone between heterogeneous systems of representation. This paper uses sensation, embodiment, and semiotics to initiate this process, by addressing the range of systems of representation that are involved in its own production. This presence of the theorist is found to create a self-referential metastructure. As an alternative to the beneficial but ad hoc assemblages of multi-, inter, and trans-disciplinary approaches, the ecosystems approach establishes that meshing of systems of representation is an inherent property of interface phenomena. The meshing process causes elements from the involved representational systems to recombine, forming hybrids. Recombinant information is a structural formula for creating new knowledge, which can be invoked for that purpose, intentionally. Theorists are part of the environment that they theorize about. The products of theorizing are information artifacts that are also part of the environment. They themselves function as interfaces. The term “metadisciplinary” is developed to describe the inherent and self-referential nature of this structure. The structure of metadisciplinarity connects theory and practice. This stands in direct contrast with studies approaches, such as performance studies, which is separate from theater practice.

    [View PDF]

    Title: Interactive Wallpaper
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    Interactive Wallpaper represents a new category of digital art. Deeply embedded into our built surroundings, interactive wallpapers exhibit
    the following characteristics, blurring the boundaries between decorative art and useful science:
    1 . They operate in everyday life
    2. They are open
    3. They are spatial.
    4. They are alive.
    Interactive wallpapers combine these primitives into powerful “immaterial” building blocks for creation of future spaces, buildings, cities. In this paper, we present a series of interactive wallpaper prototypes in order to explore how the tectonic and psychological effect of our surroundings can be augmented, subverted, and estranged by animating wallpapers and introducing an interactive, possibly darker dimension into architecture. What happens when traditionally static and innocent wallpapers become alive, get a sense of memory, spatiality, connectivity and randomness, and become part of our everyday lives?

    [View PDF]

    Title: Mapping Art's Escape From the Traps of Technology
    Category: Essay
    Abstract Summary:

    The 2005 SIGGRAPH jury was more than a chance to survey the digital art scene with a roomful of passionate but collegial comrades. It was also an opportunity to reflect on the role, for better or worse, that technology is playing in the production and exhibition of digital
    artwork. More than any of my fellow jurors, I think I was particularly conscious of the stereotype that many artists, critics, and curators attach to exhibitions of art with a technological focus. According to this perception, the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery is less art exhibition than display showroom, where technicians show off the latest Maya or Illustrator special effect rather than pushing the boundaries of art.

    [View PDF]

    Title: Memory Rich Garments: Body-Based Displays
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    This paper describes conceptual and technical prototypes of reactive body-worn artifacts that display their history of use and communicate
    physical (or embodied) memory. This work concentrates on garments that reflect more subtle, playful, or poetic aspects of our identity and
    history. The pieces described here are part of a larger research project called Memory Rich Clothing. A variety of input and output methodologies are explored to sense and display traces of physical memory, raising the question: What exactly do we want to remember?

    [View PDF]

    Title: Threading Time Machines
    Category: Essay
    Abstract Summary:

    Threading Time, the title of the SIGGRAPH 2005 Art Gallery, invokes a vision in which the essence of lived reality, time, is measured and used through instrumentalization technology. The very subject of much of the technologically-based new media arts is time itself its uncovering, its displacement, its loss, and its reiteration. The urgency for visual artists to explore the experience of time is pervasive. Indeed, what could be more contemporary than an exploration of the lived moment as a network of relations and responses that too often
    go unnoticed? The construction and imaging of visual languages through which time is not only expressed but enunciated and parsed by visual poets, have always and will always fascinate audiences. This instrumentalization is evoked and invoked through our language and the way we move, and through the very social relations between people. SIGGRAPH is both an actor in this play and an instigator; it serves as a barometer (giving us a sense of the pressures we face) and a thermometer, indicating the temperature of the body social and political.”

    [View PDF]