SIGGRAPH Art Gallery
Issue: Volume: 26 Issue: 6 (June 2003)

SIGGRAPH Art Gallery

Fractus by Robert Fathauer imitates the style of M.C. Escher by using fractals and other mathematical "discoveries" to construct images that are too complex to draw by hand.

Dialing Home by Philip Field (represented by the bear figure) is a simple pencil drawing that has been scanned into the computer and then enhanced with a painting program.

Ghost of Time by Quintin Gonzalez uses repetitive forms to create compositional manipulations, designs, and distorted depictions of perspective.

Cat's Eye by James Donnelly is a photograph that has been digitally manipulated with 2D and 3D software.

In honor of ACM SIGGRAPH's 30th anniversary, the conference's 2003 Art Gallery will return to its roots by featuring works that emphasize sculpture and digital prints, as well as today's growing areas of animation and digital video. "The exhibit reflects an exciting time in the acceptance of digital art as a new form of contemporary art," says chair Michael Wright, owner of M Ragsdale Wright Studios. "The art world is no longer focusing on the technology used to create the art. Instead, it is focusing on the art itself and finally giving it the same critical and public attention as traditional fine art."

This is a Bottle by Jason Howey is simplistic in its composition, in contrast to the complex ASCII code required to generate the image.

2002.7 by Kenneth Huff was inspired by natural forms and patterns. The major form in the image is based on an idealized knot; the gold forms were constructed with a custom tool.

Utopian Paradise by Masa Inakage is an example of what the artist terms "abstract realism," or the integration of surrealism with abstract expression. The color and composition hint at a peaceful state, and the reflective surfaces imply the mirror of an internal state of mind.

Mackintosh Dreamtime by Gene Greger is a stylized rendering of the entrance hall to architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Windyhill house in Scotland, now a museum.

The exhibit, named CG03: Computer Graphics 2003, contains juried selections along with some curated projects, which, according to Wright, "present a visual force both driven by and reflective of the postmodern mosaic called reality." Unlike last year's focus, which was on behind-the-scenes processes, CG03 highlights "what artists are saying visually about the pluralistic times we live in, as reflected by the diversity of the work," he adds.

Mutually Quoted Algorithms—Circle Face by Atsushi Kasao is an abstract/representational work created using non-photorealistic rendering algorithms generated by a proprietary image expression tool from Tokyo Polytechnic University.

Painting by Numbers by Lise-Helene Larin is one image in a series of 3D animations. The artist modeled organic objects and mapped them with the same small, nondescript texture using different parameters to invent a landscape.

A panel of computer graphics professionals and pioneers from all areas of the digital art community, including artist David Em, selected the 269 pieces in the gallery from a record 820 submitted works representative of the diverse interests in both theme and technique used by current digital artists. Of these, 219 are wall art, 34 are sculptures, and 16 are animation and digital video pieces.

Duality (Balance) by Stephan Larson is from a short animation during which a cube serves as the root of a transformation between the organic (natural) and geometric (synthetic).

Reprise: Johan's Window by Joel Knocke is one image in a series of 3D works that were modeled, surfaced, and lit to resemble a similar collection the artist had created as oil paintings.

"We have more digital video selections this year, which is due to the fact that digital video is a growing art form, which began with the introduction of NewTek's Video Toaster in the early '90s and continues with the array of video editing software available today, all of which provides artists with a means of expression within a video format," says Wright. "Movies and video are moving to a digital environment in which any artist with a computer and a Firewire-enabled DV camera can exercise his or her creativity." Conversely, this year's gallery will contain fewer interactive installations. Instead, works within this genre will be featured in the Emerging Technologies area, where artists, scientists, engineers, and inventors demonstrate practical and speculative interactivity in robotics, graphics, displays, haptics, gaming, the Web, AI, visualization, collaborative environments, design, entertainment, and more.

Nebula by Kevin Suffern was generated with a proprietary raytracing tool, while a bump map was used to reflect the rays in random directions.

Engineering Swept Volumes by James Troy illustrates the concept of swept volumes in this model, representative of those used in human-figure analyses.

Dr. Woodsmith's Lament of Shiducious Odd by Phillip Timper uses a collage of shapes and images to bring his dreams and visions to life.

Centaur by Jen Zen is the result of human and computer interaction achieved through the use of a Surface Drawing system, a project fostered by the Caltech Multi-Res Modeling Group.

Golgi Cisternae by Kent Oberheu began as a low-res metaball object, with the mesh acting as a "cage" for a subdivision surface, which was deformed and overlapped.

A sampling of the works from the Art Gallery is shown in this article. —Karen Moltenbrey