June 23, 2008

SIGGRAPH Galleries Explore Architecture, Art, Design, Computation

Chicago - In a change to the format of the traditional SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, this year’s art and design program will represent innovative juried and curated installations across two complementary themes: Slow Art and Design & Computation.

In Slow Art, new media artists re-imagine speed through the paradigm of slowness.

SIGGRAPH 2008 Slow Art encompasses juried art from 41 artists meditating on fast and slow living in a landscape of technology. The goal of the collection is to investigate if the speed of our digital culture creates an oasis for contemplation or a hunger for yet more speed.

The artworks are categorized into four themes:

·         Erosion, exploring the wear of time and repetition

·         Hybrids, objects and interactions uniquely combining contrasting elements of old and new

·         Rhythms, documenting patterns and play

·         Traversal, discovering paths that define humans’ relationship to time

“In our fast-paced society, we often get caught up with enhanced productivity. We forget to stop, look, and listen to our surroundings. What are the consequences of bigger, better, faster, more?” asks Lina Yamaguchi, SIGGRAPH 2008 Juried Art Chair from Stanford University. “Through the platform of new media, 41 artists share condensed perceptions of time and interrogate the limits of performance, distance, desire, and respite.”

The SIGGRAPH 2008 Design & Computation exhibit presents curated pieces that explore digital fabrication technologies as well as analytical and generative design methods that connect the past and future, bridging vernacular with contemporary examples.

"The emergence of digital tools and methods used by contemporary architects and designers has been inextricably connected to developments in computer graphics throughout time," states Lira Nikolovska, SIGGRAPH 2008 chair of Curated Art from Autodesk Inc. "The digital information with which designers work has provided new means for expression as well as a material that can be molded and reshaped in a radically different way. The works in this exhibit weave together the past and the present in many ways--whether through the evolution of computer graphics or otherwise."

Highlights of the SIGGRAPH 2008 Slow Art Gallery Include:


Vicky Isley and Paul Smith, aka boredomresearch - Bournemouth University, United Kingdom

RealSnailMail is a messaging service that uses real snails equipped with RFID technology to deliver messages to email recipients… or not.

Associative Audio Design

Dennis de Bel - Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University of Applied Science, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

This piece illuminates the creation of music and sound by associated everyday objects such as sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, and record players. The combinations draw on similarities in form and function as well as wordplay.

Fold Loud

JooYoun Paek - Eyebeam Resident, USA

Fold Loud, a playful interactive interface, connects ancient and modern through a combination of origami paper-folding, vocal harmonies, and interactive technology.


Jorn Ebner – Artist, United Kingdom

Paralleling the random nature of real-life decision-making, Navigator is a Flash-based world incorporating digital photographs and sound in animated sequences. Users amble through real and representational environments without knowing exactly where they will lead.


Takahiro Matsuo – Monoscape, Japan

Phantasm is an interactive installation in which participants take hold of a glowing sphere that releases a pale blue light as white butterflies appear from nowhere and a soft piano melody flows.

Skorpions: Kinetic Electronic Garments

Joanna Berzowska - Concordia University, Canada

Skorpions are kinetic electronic garments that integrate Nitinol, a shape-memory alloy, and custom electronics to move and change on the body in slow, organic motions.


The Sancho Plan - Ed Cookson, Adam Hoyle, Lewis Sykes, Edd Dawson-Taylor, Olly Venning, United Kingdom

Spacequatica is an interactive descent into a musical ocean. This immersive installation fuses live performance, animation, sound, music, interaction design and gaming.

The Life and Death of Energy-Autonomous Objects

Anab Jain, Alex Taylor - Microsoft Research, United Kingdom

This installation presents a collection of conceptual objects designed to encourage questions around recent advances in microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology. The objects, as well as video footage simulating their use, demonstrate how MFCs have the potential to provide what are called ‘energy autonomous’ solutions for powering everyday objects.


Highlights of SIGGRAPH 2008 Curated Design & Computation Gallery Include:


Erwin Hauer and Enrique Rosado, EHR Associates LLC, Bethany Connecticut, USA

The concepts of continuity and potential infinity have been central themes of Erwin Hauer’s opus from very early on in his career as a sculptor. In his native Vienna, he began to explore perforated modular structures that evolved into infinite continuous surfaces that lent themselves to architectural usage. In partnership with Enrique Rosado, Hauer currently explores digital production of his Continua series using digital means, specifically design transformations, creation of custom tools, and CNC milling techniques.

Weaving Public and Private: Interior Wall Studies

Contact: Neil Katz, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, New York, USA

This sample interior wall panel was conceived as a 25-meter-long and 15-meter-tall screen that consists of solid, repeating Corian components that both hang together structurally and weave public and private spaces. The resulting divider is a thickly layered and textured screen that generates the project-appropriate degree of visual transparency. The system functions as both surface and structure thanks to the interplay between geometry and material.


Patrick Jouin and Materialise MGX

The One_Shot.MGX foldable stool, designed by Patrick Jouin, was produced for the design collection of Materialise MGX. The project is an investigation of using rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technologies in the field of industrial design. The seating surface and the legs of the stool emerge from the 3d printing machine at once (in "one shot"), hence the name of the stool.

Commonwealth and Joshua Davis, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Tropism is an attempt to bridge the techniques and visions of two digitally oriented art and design studios, Commonwealth and Joshua Davis. Davis is known for his generative, rule-driven graphic compositions, while Commonwealth is known for their experimental products and forms. The two came together to create a computational design series of painted porcelain vases. The Tropism vase series is not only a reflection of the complexity and mutability of the botanic world, but also an application of algorithmic, code-driven art to complex topology and material form.

Ice Rays

George Stiny, MIT Department of Architecture, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Ice-rays are a type of traditional Chinese lattice used in ornamental window grilles. They form irregular patterns that suggest cracking ice on still water. Shape grammar rules for ice-rays are applied to make several examples of ice ray windows, fabricated with CNC milling machine.

Fourier Carpet and Body Blanket

Jenny Sabin - CabinStudio, Department of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Fourier Carpet and Body Blanket combine architecture, weaving, and computational systems. Sabin's work examines the contradictions of tradition and innovation by recombining existing albeit disparate systems.

Tensor Shades

Sawako Kaijima and Panagiotis Michalatos - Adams Kara Taylor, London, United Kingdom

The Tensor Shades project explores a process that preconditions the design space by combining two types of spatial information (structural information and desired lighting information) to create a design that maintains structural integrity and formal consistency.

Parametric Urbanism, Procedural Complexity

Nils Fischer and Shajay Bhooshan - Zaha Hadid Architects, London, United Kingdom

Zaha Hadid Architects uncovers internal correlations and recursive relationships in its design practice at multiple scales from the detail to the urban. Parametric Urbanism and Procedural Complexity demonstrate how ZHA’s work challenges current thinking in design and computation.

A Landscape of 3D Printed Skyscrapers

Multiple architectural studios

3D printed models of skyscrapers from number of architectural offices represent a glimpse into the architects' design process, where numerous variations are explored, and overall form and façade articulation are developed while creating a skyscraper.

Complete details on the SIGGRAPH 2008 “Slow Art” exhibit can be found at http://www.siggraph.org/s2008/attendees/slow/

Information about the “Design & Computation” exhibit is available at http://www.siggraph.org/s2008/attendees/design/.