Essays

Title: A Medium Matures: The Myth of Computer Art
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1983: Art Show
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

We embark upon SIGGRAPH’s second decade with a growing conviction that the leading edge of culture us no longer defined by the fine arts community — by what’s being shown in galleries, purchased by museums, published in art magazines or talked about in SoHo lofts. The excitement and power and significance today seems to lie in electronic technology, especially the computer, which we are convinced will reveal the way to unlimited new aesthetic horizons and produce wholly new art forms. And yet the idea of computer art — of an art unique to the computer — remains after twenty years an unrealized myth, its horizons barely in view, its forms still to be manifest. For, ironically, most of what is understood as computer art today represents the computer in the service of  those very same visual art traditions which the rhetoric of new technology holds to be obsolete.

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Title: Around the Antenna Tree: The Politics of Infrastructural Visibility
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2007: Global Eyes
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

With the globalization of mobile telephony during the past two decades, cell towers have sprouted up across different parts of the world. The “unsightliness” of these towers has resulted in responses ranging from neighborhood protests to manufacturers’ concealment strategies. This essay explores the installation of towers in different locations from urban spaces to national parks and considers how their emergence relates to a set of concerns about technology, knowledge, and power.

In addition to examining cell towers in different environments, I describe various “concealment strategies,” including covering towers in tree camouflage, mosque minarets, flagpoles, birds’ nests, and other hiding places. I explore what is at stake in hiding infrastructure and how such practices end up trading technological awareness for a highly synthetic version of “nature.” By disguising infrastructure as part of the natural and/or built environment, such strategies keep citizens naïve and uninformed about the network technologies they subsidize and use. Finally, I consider whether it might be possible to develop modes of affective engagement with infrastructure sites such as cell towers by discussing the work of artists such as Robert Voit (Enchanted Wood), Marijetica Potrc (Permanently Unfinished House with Cell Phone Tree), and Olaf Nicolai (Antenna Tree).

Communication infrastructures are frequently visualized as flow diagrams designed to approximate the spatial relations of a network. As a result, there is a tendency to overlook the uniqueness of particular nodes in a network: their physical form, the stories of their development, or the practices that surround them once they are activated. The antenna tree, I want to suggest, represents the potential to develop a more nodecentric and materialist approach to the study of infrastructure. As a cell tower disguised as a tree, the antenna tree draws attention to the materiality of infrastructure in the very process of trying to conceal it. People often chuckle at these uncanny objects that have been designed to soften the severity of the steel tower with botanical plastics. This tower in disguise not only relays signals, but it is implicated in an array of industrial, legal, and socio-cultural relationships. Each antenna tree can be understood as a symptom of processes of fabrication and installation, state and local regulation, community deliberation, and urban transformation. Thinking around the antenna tree, then, involves considering the fields of negotiation that are produced as an effect of infrastructure development and placement.

In this essay, I describe the emergence of cell-tower concealment strategies and discuss art works by Robert Voit (Enchanted Wood) and Marijetica Potrc (Permanently Unfinished House with Cell Phone Tree) that integrate antenna trees and provoke discussions of infrastructural in/visibility. I explore what is at stake in hiding infrastructure and how such practices may end up trading technological awareness for a highly synthetic version of “nature.” By disguising infrastructure as part of the natural environment, concealment strategies keep citizens naïve and uninformed about the network technologies they subsidize and use each day. We describe ourselves as a “networked society,” yet most members of the public know very little about the infrastructures that support that designation in broadcasting, web, or wireless systems. This issue of infrastructure literacy becomes more prescient as we enter an era of ubiquitous computing in which many different kinds of objects and surfaces will be used as relay towers and/or web interfaces. Since infrastructure sites are becoming more pervasive and less invisible, the work of visual artists can be extremely important in drawing our attention to them and triggering conversations about their design, placement, and effects.

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Title: Art and Technology: Bridging the Gap in the Computer Age
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1982: Art Show ’82
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Much as the majority of the art public has tried to ignore the art and technology phenomenon, it is no longer either possible or fashionable to do so. The large retrospective of video artist Nam June Paik at the Whitney Museum in New York in the Spring of 1982 was just one of numerous recent examples of the acceptance of the new technology in a traditional art environment. A lack of familiarity with the actual process by which the works are made, has caused the word “computer” in connection with art to be met with particular distrust out of the ill-founded fear that this mystifyingly complex machine might soon replace the artist in the creation of art. Yet in spite of the electronic implementation, computer-aided art is still in many ways as much a handcrafted product as conventional art forms but simply processed in a different manner. Furthermore, because most artists are as of yet unacquainted with the mechanics and potential of computers, their accomplishments on com­puter systems, which may assume various forms including color xerography, photo enlarge­ments, plotter drawings or video, to name only a few, are often the product of intense collabora­tion in a laboratory-like environment between the artist and someone technically proficient in the computer field. This practice is in antithesis to the myth of the sculptor or painter struggling preferably in solitude in a studio to realize his artistic concepts in pencil, paint, metal, stone, or other common materials.

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Title: Artists/Technologists: The Computer As An Imaging Tool
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1983: Art Show
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Despite the fact that the computer is a relatively recent invention, the debate over whether or not computer-generated art works can truly be called “art” has roots in a much older argument about technology. The usual objection to “computer art” is based on the fear that somehow the com­puter  — like Hal in the film 2001 — will take control, eliminating the role of the ar­tist. A less paranoid but equally misplaced response construes the absence of hand­work to represent easy art, requiring less skill than more traditional forms. Similar ob­jections were raised when photography was discovered. In 1859, Charles Baudelaire considered photography as nothing less than a major threat to the entire fine art tradition.

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Title: Audiovisual Discourse in Digital Art
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2004: Synaesthesia
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

This paper discusses art systems that employ image and sound as equal elements. This can be called the evolution of the “audiovisual discourse” in art and technology. Recent software for manipulation of audio and visual material is briefly described, and audio/visual digital artworks, developed during an artist-in-residence-based project, are illustrated as examples of contemporary artistic projects concerned with this theme. Different artistic approaches in the use of audio/visu­ al systems are identified on the basis of the historical research and the second author’s work, as a technologist, in collaboration with the artists participating in the project. Finally, the role of the computer as audio/visual instrument is discussed.

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Title: Building Possible Dreams
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2007: Global Eyes
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Never before have media had such a strong effect on life as in the 21st century. Looking at the history of moving images in the previous century – the visions and agendas of filmmakers, corporations, and governments – we find evidence of the potential for humanistic inclusion and exclusion. Do digital media increase our understanding of life and cultures? Is there the potential to know ourselves better by recreating life in an artificial environment? Is the fascination with artificial worlds proof of our limited understanding of the “analog” human experience? It is possible to control and destroy cultures. When it happens, human heritage is impoverished, and the world has less
diversity and less focus. The corporate digital media revolution is a kind of involution, a return to the type of destruction of colonial eras that exploited continents. With the current level of destruction at its highest level, our life experience is disconnected
from the physical world. Digital media can be a negative game, entertaining young people with virtual destruction, preparing them for analog wars and a multifaceted system of economic domination. Misinformation, decreased plurality of viewpoints, increased disconnection with life, and the spectacularization of human experience are only some of the symptoms of the strategies used by the corporate media world. Our analog lives need analog values connected to nature and respect for our planet and its fragile resources. These values must inform our digital world.

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Title: Computer Aesthetics: New Art Experience, or The Seduction of the Masses
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1986: A Retrospective
Writing Type: 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
Writing Type: 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: Computer Sculpture: New Horizons
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1994: Art and Design Show
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

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.

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Title: Computers and the Visual Arts: A Retrospective View
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1982: Art Show ’82
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

“In the computer, man has created not just an inanimate tool but an intellectual and active creative partner that, when fully exploited, could be used to produce wholly new art forms and possibly new aesthetic experiences.”

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Title: Feedback to Immersion
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1993: Machine Culture
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Cybernetics speculates about the coupling of machine and person. Since Norbert Wiener’s seminal Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine (1948), the trajectory of technology development has been one of an increasing possibility of achieving that interface. In the past decade, the possibility of defining a relationship not simply between but within technology has become plausible. Yet the commercialization of cybernetics comes neither as a technical panacea nor without deep ethical concerns. As machines mutate into biology, the philosophical and political values of technology are challenged to confront more than conceptualized situations but rather to theorize the materiality of programmed or enhanced being. At the same time, the development of”realities” that are characterized as immersive or virtual are beginning to surround experience. The penetration of technology within the body and the socialization of simulated realities is more than a signifier of technological progress-it marks a transformation of knowledge, of biology, and of the cultural order in which knowledge is linked with ideology, biology with identity in terms of a technological imperative not necessarily connected with necessity. The issues raised by this potential for the narrowing of the boundary between technology and experience are vast. In many ways the development of several parallel technologies has reached a crucial point.

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Title: Flashimation: The Context and Culture of Web Animation
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2006: Intersections
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

On October 15, 1997, the first-ever cartoon produced solely for the web made its premiere [Sullivan 1997]. Spumco, a Hollywood-based animation house formed by “Ren & Stimpy” creator John Kricfalusi, commonly known as John K., produced the first installment of The Goddamn George Liquor Program after experimentation with Marcomedia’s popular animation and interface-development program, Flash [Tanner 2001]. Although only eight one-minute episodes of the program were produced, the web cartoon launched a new style of animation, which has since earned an unofficial nickname: “Flashimation.” The purpose of this paper is to explore the origins and effects of this type of animation; examine the forces that turned animators towards the web, its visual style, and the meanings with which it is associated; and the effect Flashimation has had on modern animation and the current animation community. Several threads of thought explain the evolution and culturalization of the new-media phenomenon known as Flashimation. Television animation, increasing access to and preference for the internet, the technological restrictions of this new medium, and the availability of animation software itself have coalesced to produce a major change in the cultural reconceptualization and consumption of modern animation. Collectively, they explain a complex and layered transition from “kid-vid” cartoons to short and crude forms of sophomorically humorous animation produced specifically for an adult audience.

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Title: From Artificial Life to Augmented Reality: "It's not about technology, it's about what technology is about"
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2002: Art Gallery
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

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.

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Title: Fun, Love, and Happiness — or The Aesthetics of Play and Empathy in Avatar Worlds
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2002: Art Gallery
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

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.

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Title: Getting Women Wired: New Connections in Art and Technology*
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1996: The Bridge
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Does computer science in its theory and practice embody discrimination nation against women, and if so, how does embedded discrimination work itself out in applications to the arts? This essay, guided by this introductory question, will connect concerns of discrimination against women in the field of computer science with issues that arise in the development of theory and application in the emerging electronic computer based arts. Bias against women in computing, I will suggest, occurs in the epistemology or knowledge construction of modern science, works itself out in knowledge construction of modern science, works itself out in knowledge distribution and socialization processes, alienates women, ethnic groups, and class groupings, limits access, and skews applications in the arts.

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Title: Hypermedia, Eternal Life, and the Impermanence Agent
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1999: technOasis
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

We look to media as memory, and a place to memorialize, when we have lost.

Hypermedia pioneers envisioned the ultimate media within the ultimate archive, with each element in continual (versioned) flux and constant new additions – dynamism without loss.

Instead we have the Web, where “Not Found” is a daily message. Projects such as the Internet Archive and Afterlife dream of fixing this uncomfortable impermanence. Marketers, instead, promise agents that will make the Web comfortable through filtering (hiding the impermanence and overwhelming profusion that its dynamism engenders).

The Impermanence Agent operates differently. It begins by telling my stories – my grandmother’s stories – and as users browse, the images and texts they pull from the Web are interwoven with her stories. In time, the original stories are lost. New stories, collaboratively created, have taken their place.

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Title: Interaction and Play
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1993: Machine Culture
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

“I prefer the form of seduction for it stems from a mysterious duality/confrontational relationship, an enticing, intense, and covert attraction between the living and the non-living. It is not a form of response, but a challenge, a duel, imbued with an intriguing sense of distance and constant antagonism on which the rules of theme are also based.” – Jean Baudrillard

Reflecting upon the frantic commotion sur­rounding the new media, one can easily gain the impression of a world turned upside down. Natu­rally, there are technologies available today that in the course of evolution have attained a certain de­gree of complexity and perfection offering mind­boggling possibilities not only for the entertainment industry but for the artist as well. However, when we consider the perilously desolate state of computer art, it is difficult to understand why in our so-called post-modern era-inured as we are to the euphoria of technological advances-so much rhetorical and institutional endeavor is be­ing invested in persuading artists to take up tech­nologies that neither they nor their recipients re­ally comprehend. Traditional modernists might, of course, take a more balanced view and contend that a different artistic concept is needed. They may also view that the arts simply have to yield to state-of­the-art technology and its inherent forms of per­ception in order to remain contemporary, or offer viable alternatives to the prevailing forms of application. But occasionally it is difficult to avoid the impression that instead of the artist creating the art, it is the art and the artists that now have to be manufactured for a technology, which has not ar­rived but has made deep inroads into our daily ex­istence. If we exclude musicians and composers, artists have been very reticent in availing them­selves of the computer, in the area of computer graphics, it was the technicians, programmers, and scientists who first submitted computer images as art. Quite the contrary was true in photography, cin­ema, or video, where artists soon seized upon this technology and began developing it in the initial phases without the generous support from the state and patrons of the arts.

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Title: INTERACTIVITY AND RITUAL: Body Dialogues with Artificial Systems
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1999: technOasis
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

Digital technologies provide dialogues with artificial systems, allowing acquisition and communication of biological signals with electronic databases. As interfaces and computers capture, manage, and transform signals, they generate new forms of life. In my latest interactive installations, bodies repeat behaviours, simulating a sort of ritual or ceremony with responses in real time. Stored data managed by neural networks offer states of unpredictability, and the adaptive capacity system determines the emergence of a “living environment” in self-regeneration. The variables place us within elliptical zones and build up present times in which the actions of the amalgamated body with complex systems enable exchanges in cyberspace. In a psychic and physical exploration of the environment, mixing natural/artificial, analogic/digital, real/virtual, we experience consciousness propagations and think, dream, and understand our human condition enhanced by technologies.

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Title: Interface as Image: Image Making and Mixed Reality
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2004: Synaesthesia
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

This paper will explore the use of the graphical user interface as art, product and inspiration, drawing on my own practice as a digital image maker and installation artist, and a theoretical investigation of digital image making in hybrid art practice. As the boundaries and reference points between physical and digitally grounded imagery become less defined, the possible duality and interplay for a com­ bined image space moves towards a seamless self-referencing and continuous activity. A visual feedback loop or strip, where the clues of originality become increasingly hard to differentiate and, perhaps, increasingly irrelevant, a state of “deterritorialisation.”1 Some thought will be given to examining the potential for mapping digitally ground­ ed imagery into both two- and three-dimensional physical space to create a mixed-reality experience and to what can happen when we extract the real-world metaphors from the digital environment and take them back into the physical world. Questions about the trans­ parency of the human/computer interface, and about just how trans­ parent we really want this to be, are also raised. What are we left with when we remove the content from the graphical user interface? What traces of human interaction (from the physical) become evident, and what are the “aid memoirs” we employ to assist us in navigation and colonization of the digital landscape?

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Title: Internet Hybrids and the New Aesthetic of Worldwide Interactive Events
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1996: The Bridge
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

This essay discusses interactive art events realized on the Internet in conjunction with other electronic media, such as television, radio, telephones, and telerobotics. The essay includes references to material that can be immediately accessed on the Internet. The reader is invited to read by the glow of the CRT, letting digital strokes carry him or her from one country to another.

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Title: Introduction to Unsettled Artifacts
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2017: Unsettled Artifacts: Technological Speculations from Latin America
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

The motivation for the 2017 Art Gallery was, in fact, not only to examine the current state of art, science, and technology, but also to return a sense of “agency” to these technological artifacts and to help us recognize that we all make the choices that create the future. Therefore, convinced of the power of the poetics of technological speculation, and with the intention of mapping the ground on which we can imagine alternative futures, the Art Gallery traveled south in order to exhibit works of art produced outside the traditional centers of industrial and technological development, by artists living and working in Latin America.


Title: Is the Age of Expertise Over?
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2003: CG03: Computer Graphics 2003
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

As I read journalists’ reports about the decline in confidence in many financial institutions, the troubles in modern education, and the failure of diplomacy to solve international problems, I am faced with the question: Is the age of expertise over?

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Title: It is Interactive—but is it Art?
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1993: Machine Culture
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

“The possibilities of egalitarian, more democratic, constructive forms offering new kinds of interaction, knowledge, and understanding may well be enhanced by the novel capabilities of the new technologies. They will, more than ever before, have to be struggled for.” – Andy Darley

The Myth of Interactivity
“Well, my next thing is going to be something interactive … ” For some years now, this has been a stock answer in interviews with artists, and not only those who already work with electronic and digital technologies. Indeed, “interactive art” seems well on its way to becoming the art form of the 1990s. Yet one shouldn’t let its present visibility delude oneself. Although contemporary interactive art may seem “groundbreaking,” the ground had already been grubbed by such movements as Fluxus and E.A.T. (Ex­periments in Art and Technology) in the 1960s, as well as by a great variety of “postmodern” strategies, emphasizing recycling, deliberate confusion between “the original” and “the copy,” and aiming at reposi­tioning, sometimes to the point of reconstituting, the traditional art audience.

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Title: Living Laboratories: Making and Curating Interactive Art
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2006: Intersections
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

This paper describes the development of laboratory concepts in the making and curating of interactive art, in which the exhibition becomes a site for collaboration between curators, artists, and audiences. It describes Beta_space, an experimental public venue that seeks to realise the concept of the exhibition as living laboratory
through the participatory qualities of interactive computer-based art. The paper places this initiative within an emerging phenomenon of hybrid production and exhibition spaces. It argues that the evolution of such concepts has been hampered by the continued distinctions,
within traditional cultural institutions, among art, science and technology, object and experience, creation and consumption.

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Title: Mapping A Sensibility: Computer lmaging
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1983: Art Show
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

“The work of art,” as the surrealist André 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 1900s, increasingly powerful visual technologies. To rephrase André Breton — in certain critical epochs, art anticipates effects that are only fully realized by newly emerging technology and new art forms.

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Title: Mapping Art's Escape From the Traps of Technology
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2005: Threading Time
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

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.

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Title: Marking Space: on Spatial Representation in Contemporary Visual Culture
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2006: Intersections
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

The following paper looks at different ways that space is being dealt with in contemporary visual culture, and attempts to link these evolving modes of spatial representation to emerging technologies, particularly GPS, GIS, and openGL, as well as to suggest links between the depiction and thinking about space in the current moment with similar or related explorations from the history of late-twentieth century avant-garde artistic practice. While this paper is necessarily more suggestive than exhaustive, I’ve made an attempt to choose contemporary visual practices and practitioners that I felt could stand as representatives for larger tendencies in their respective domains. This paper originated as a somewhat personal document, an attempt to situate my recent art practice within a larger historical and cultural context. As such, at times the links between these divergent practices must be made through the sensibility of the author.

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Title: Meta-visual/media/space - algorithmic "intersection," the new aspect of media art exhibition
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2006: Intersections
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

When we start to think about “vision,” imaging, and our ways of perceiving the outside world, we must be clear about what we mean. Even in Japan, where imaging technologies play a central role, there are misunderstandings about what “imaging” is and what comes under its umbrella. By “imaging,” I mean the creation of images through any medium that is not simply manual: those that can be traced, reflected, photographed, reproduced, and projected. The term is not restricted to animation, video, film, or other means of creating pictures in motion. “Imaging” encompasses shadow play, magic lantern, anamorphoses, and all the processes of visualization. Since the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (TMMP) opened as a center for photography and other visual media, it has been important to discuss what “imaging” means.

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Title: Metaphoric Networks in "Lexia to Perplexia"
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2001: n-space
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

As leading theorists and practitioners such as Marvin Minsky, Daniel Hillis and Brian Antwell Smith have been telling us, computers are much more than hardware and software.’ In their most general form, computers are environments of varying scope, from objects that sit on desktops to networks spanning the globe. Indeed, in Edward Fredkin’s interpretation, computational processes ultimately generate the fabric of the universe.’ It comes as no surprise, then, to find researchers arguing that computation is fundamentally altering the ways in which humans conceive of themselves and their relations to others. There are of course many approaches to this issue, from sociological studies to human factor analysis. Among these approaches are artistic works that tell new stories about the formation of human subjects, instantiating these stories in images as well as words. To explore this systemic shift, I will take as my tutor text Talan Memmott’s “Lexia to Perplexia.”‘ In this complexly coded work, human subjectivity is depicted as intimately entwined with computer technologies.

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Title: New Media, New Craft?
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2006: Intersections
Writing Type: Essay
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

This paper will examine the use of computer programming in relationship to the practice and approach of traditional crafts, paying specific attention to the ethos of the Arts and Crafts Movement as a model for assessing the use and status of computation in a creative context. In order to consider the role of programming in the context of traditional craft, it is important to provide a brief outline relating to the ethos and practice of craft. What is understood by the term craft, what are its characteristics and outcomes? After considering this, it will then be possible to apply this understanding to the role of programming and its engagement with digital material.

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