SIGGRAPH 2017 Art Gallery Focuses on Latin American Artists; Art Paper Award on Tap
April 21, 2017

SIGGRAPH 2017 Art Gallery Focuses on Latin American Artists; Art Paper Award on Tap

SIGGRAPH’s Art Gallery this year is titled "Unsettled Artifacts: Technological Speculations from Latin America” and will present 10 curated installations from seven Latin American countries (Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Cuba, Chile, Brazil, and Colombia). It is the first exhibition in SIGGRAPH history that is dedicated exclusively to Latin American artists .

SIGGRAPH 2017 will mark the 44th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and will be held July 30 through August 3, 2017, in Los Angeles.

Paula Gaetano Adi, SIGGRAPH 2017 Art Gallery Chair, said, “For the first time, the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery will cross the U.S./Mexico border to present contemporary artistic responses from South and Central America, which are proposing alternative understandings of technology, art, and cultural exchange. Each curated piece looks at how artists, designers, and local makers and developers are using different tactics to create innovative, sophisticated, experimental, humorous, and rebellious work, and how they navigate the tensions and ambiguities between global and local, political and private, virtual and real, modern and traditional. It will also feature experimental artworks while attempting to map new grounds on which we can imagine different and alternative futures. Thus the speculative nature of the ‘unsettled artifacts’ idea.”  

Highlights from this year’s Art Gallery include:

Milpa Pol í mera (Mexico)

Marcela Armas and Arcángelo Constantini

Milpa Polímera is a 3D printer modified to function as a tractor that plants seeds made of polylactic acid, a thermoplastic biopolymer produced from a patented strain of corn. It paradoxically contradicts the very origins of corn: a plant domesticated about 10,000 years ago by a collective civilization whose cosmogony and culture saw it as a shared source of life. The machine is trapped in a perverse cycle derived from a strictly economic and market-driven logic (planting infertile seeds) that exposes the system behind the control of life and knowledge.

Milpa Polímera was originally conceived for Sin Origen/Sin Semilla, curated and directed by María Antonia González Valerio and Liliana Quintero as part of the research group BIOS Ex MachinA.  

BioSoNot 1.2 (Mexico)

Gilberto Esparza

BioSoNot 1.2 is a hybrid bio-sound instrument that translates biological activity into sound as it cleans contaminated water samples. It generates music and noise from the biological activity of living microorganisms. A series of custom-made microbial fuel cells (biosensors) captures electrons produced by the metabolic processes of bacteria in polluted rivers and urban municipal waters. This bio-electrical information is harvested and fired as energy into an oscillator that expresses the information as sound, generating an organic symphony of bacterial life. (Cuba)

Rodolfo Peraza, Fanguito Studio

Rodolfo Peraza explores the interiors of abandoned historical spaces designed for social engineering. uses internet surveillance technology to recreate one of the best panopticon buildings in the world: el Presidio Modelo, an abandoned prison in Isla de la Juventud, Cuba. As participants in this multi-player virtual-reality “game” become “inmates” identified by their IP addresses, they realize that we are all prisoners of the 21st century’s international system of observation and control.  

For more information on the SIGGRAPH 2017 Art Gallery, visit

The SIGGRAPH 2017 Art Papers program will investigate the roles of artists and the methods of art-making in an increasingly global, networked and technologically mediated world. This year, six papers have been accepted from over 80 submissions across 15 countries. The authors will present each Art Paper on August 1, during 20-minute sessions with five minutes of Q&A. All papers are published in a special issue of Leonardo, The Journal of the International Society of the Arts, Sciences and Technology, alongside Art Gallery works.

SIGGRAPH 2017 Art Papers Chair Ruth West said, “Art Papers explore the contributions of artists to the development of virtual and immersive experiences, bridging the digital-physical interface through engaging our embodiment within virtuality: the emergence of consumer VR and AR, how immersive experiences are shaping the cultural landscape, and their potential contributions to human creativity in art, entertainment, analytics, gaming, medicine, science, engineering, robotics, space exploration, communication, tourism, transportation, and cultural exchange.”

For the first time, SIGGRAPH 2017 will be giving out a “Best Art Paper” Award to one of the six accepted papers. Each author will produce a 30-seccond “preview” video, and display it on the large video wall in the conference lobby.  Additionally, for the first time ever, a selection of Art Papers will be included as part of the Adobe Research-sponsored “Technical Papers Fast Forward” session on Sunday, 30 July, at 6 p.m. PT, representing the deep integration of art, science and technology in today’s cross-pollinated field.

Art Papers highlights include:

Creature Interactions: A Social Mixed Reality Playspace

Andrew Bluff, University of Technology, Sydney

Creature:Interactions is a large-scale immersive and interactive artwork based on the ecologically driven children's book Dot and the Kangaroo. It features full-bodied expressive interaction in a social mixed-reality environment presented in stereoscopic 3D. The immersive visuals have elicited a phantom sensory effect in certain participants.

Autoencoding Blade Runner: Reconstructing Films with Artificial Neural Networks

Terence Broad, Goldsmiths, University of London

"Blade Runner – Autoencoded" is a film made by training a neural network to watch the film "Blade Runner" several times and then reinterpret it. The film is the first of its kind, and it has since been exhibited in art galleries and museums around the world.