The Greater Accumulation of the Infinite Fractions of Solitude by Thomas Briggs is a still image, produced as a print, that was created using rules- and dynamics-based behaviors that border between randomness.
2004.4 by Kenneth Huff taps into a viewer’s primal cognitive framework in which the person draws on familiar forms, patterns, and experiences to identify and classify new
Falling Down by Kate Chapman is one piece in a set of four sculptures representing motion in static form, this one of a woman falling to the ground. Using digital tools, the artist derived the final shape from various animations she made of a figure, with the arc of the body’s motion defining the final form. She then used a Sony TRV900 camera to acquire a video reference of the shape, onto which a Maya 3D model was placed and then animated. Later, the artist positioned the model and output it using a rapid-prototyping system.
Digital artists are marking time at this year’s SIGGRAPH Art Gallery. Called Threading Time, the exhibit will showcase works that map or trace new narrative threads-figurative and abstract, linear and non-linear, moving and still-that examine the passage of time in unique ways. “The theme, Threading Time, has many layers of significance,” says Linda Lauro-Lazin, this year’s gallery chair from the Pratt Institute in New York. “I wanted to provide a poetic sense to the passage of time. I also wanted to make a subtle reference to Ariadne’s thread from Greek mythology. And of course, the term ‘threading data’ is clearly a reference to the digital world.”
The exhibit, displayed during the annual ACM SIGGRAPH conference, features a range of computer-generated works, including 2D, 3D, interactive, prints, and screen-based (online) selections.
In contrast to last year’s show of more than 150 juried pieces, this year’s gallery will highlight 110 works by only 52 artists, selected from a record number of 1100 submissions. “I wanted to build a show based on content, selecting content-based artwork and displaying the works by themes rather than by the media or tools used to create them,” says Lauro-Lazin. “In this year’s exhibition, each selection is inherently digital-it cannot exist without computer graphics. But the technology is in the service of the art, not the other way around.”
mona+lisa by Meggan Gould is a composited image from the artist’s “Go ogle” series in which she created new images from the first 100 pieces of art retrieved from a Google query for a word or phrase.
Tentacle Tower by Yoichiror Kawaguchi is a mixed-reality work representing the growing visual impact of lenticular 3D imaging. The artist intends for viewers standing beside or walking around this huge column of 3D.
Rogue IV by Eric Heller is a lightjet print that illustrates complicated natural occurrences through artwork. In this image, the artist uses the repeating patterns.
Persona in Fields by Sherban Epure is an inkjet print that fuses mathematical rules, fine art criteria, and technological capabilities to produce visual metaphors.
A significant trend this year is greater audience involvement in the work, notes Lauro-Lazin. While not entirely new to SIGGRAPH, audience involvement is becoming more integrated with the meanings of the work, she points out. Moreover, there will be several cooperative pieces involving network collaboration of participants as well as data.
Also featured with this year’s gallery will be 11 art animations, six art papers, three art symposia discussions, three distributed performances, and six art installations shown in the adjoining Emerging Technologies area. In fact, this is the first year that the Emerging Technologies and Art Gallery will be sharing a physical space.
Touring Suburbia/Number One by Dolores Kaufman is a lightjet print that reflects the artist’s love-hate relationship with suburbia. Using digital tools, she re-visualized the so-called American dream.
Daughter’s Rebirth by AnnMarie LeBlanc is a digital print that uses organic objects (germinating plants and water) to depict natural life cycles. This particular work celebrates the youthful Greek goddess Persephone.
Aggregation 2 by Andy Lomas is a printed image inspired by the artist’s fascination with complex natural forms, particularly coral-like structures, and their relationship to simple mathematical rules.
Drift Grid 1 by Brian Knep is a projected image of drifting and evolving organic shapes illustrating the concepts of “complexity out of simplicity” and “infinite out of finite.”
“In addition, I wanted to show digital work that is seriously considered in the art world but still somewhat new to the SIGGRAPH community,” says Lauro-Lazin. “To this end, I curated the work of six award-winning digital artists: Jim Campbell, John Gerrard, Perry Hoberman, Camille Utterback, and the collaborative team of Paul Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar. Their pieces, some of the most provocative today, will form the cornerstone of the gallery exhibition.”
Another gallery landmark is the exhibition of 52 storyboards and concept art from award-winning animation pieces shown in the Electronic Theater, providing insight into the development of the ideas and the creation of the animations. These projects range from blockbuster feature films (Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
) to short films (
) to games (
World of WarCraft
“Now that CG is ubiquitous, the ‘wow’ factors seem to be settling down, and artists are finding a real vehicle for their voices,” notes Lauro-Lazin. “As a result, we may see a return to the Renaissance model and away from a segregated and compartmentalized perspective of human creativity and aspirations.”
A selection of gallery images appears on these pages. -KM
(R) Doc Series #8 Threatened and Too Scared... by Laura Rusnak is an inkjet print from a series of digital collages based on Irving Wallace’s
The R Document book.
Chrysalide by Damien Serben is part of an animation, created in 3ds Max and Motion-Builder, that transcribes various states of a Buto dance. A mixture of 3D animation and film.
Diamond Age by Jeff Prentice is a digital print that investigates the concept of overpopulation in areas of limited space. The image comprises numerous digital photographs of people in specific locations.
Landscape by Afanassy Pud is a digital work borne from the artist’s scientific background and his love of fine art.