INTERVIEWS

 

Anna Ursyn

What first drew you to computer graphics? I have been attracted to techniques offered by printmaking techniques and I found the precision in computer graphics and the level of control over an image an inspiring continuation of these distinctive characteristics. Since the eighties, I was fascinated with the computers' capacities to make very precise markings controlled by a program, to be later juxtaposed with a free-hand line. I started to learn Fortran language using VAX mainframe to create the basics for my compositions, and then I combined them with traditional media and software. In fact, I used to transfer the products of my program or software generated images to photosilkscreen or photolithograph, to include them both into my two and three-dimensional works.
In the seventies I witnessed discussions about the future of digital and analog computing and the analog modeling of the propagation of acoustic waves that was carried on by my father.
Do you have any favorite computer graphics mentors? My favorite graphic artists, Carl Niederer and Gene Hofmann, were both able to find a merger for graphic design with fine art. This type of thinking expands the meaning in visual arts. I can also say that participation in art shows and collaboration in computer graphics related conferences such as SIGGRAPH, running the Symposium and Gallery D-Art at the Information Visualization Conferences in London, England and recentl y in Penang, Malaysia provided me with experiences that aided my interests and potential. Thus I can learn from the contributors about the newest trends.
What was the first time you contributed to SIGGRAPH? I had my work "Two Skies" exhibited at the SIGGRAPH '89 Art Gallery in Boston Computer Museum. I could not attend the Conference that year. I always wanted to visit the Computer Museum in Boston. When I finally got there I was told that the Museum was in a process of transferring their collection.
What year/city was your first SIGGRAPH? Which was most intense? Why? I went to SIGGRAPH '90 in Dallas first. I was awarded a SIGGRAPH Grant for Educators. It was a very intensive time for me because I tried to attend as many courses and panels as possible. Some material taught at these courses was out of my scope but later on, after a latent period, I experienced understanding of these materials.
For me, the most intensive Conference time was in San Antonio SIGGRAPH '02. I started the "History of Computer Graphics and Art" project or  s.org.
This project is aimed at creating the data bank from the field of computer graphics, art, and the thought about art. It is a collection of images and essays created by artists, scientists, art historians, people shaping the museum and gallery display and those who influenced these disciplines. It reflects the unfolding of computer art due to technical achievements (hardware, software, languages, etc). Researchers, educators, students and all interested parties might use the resources for teaching, reference, general reading, etc.
I organized (with Anne Morgan Spalter) the "Birds of a Feather" gathering at the ACM/ SIGGRAPH 2002, San Antonio, Texas that generated a helpful feedback to this project.
What contributions to SIGGRAPH are you most proud of? Every now and then I contribute to SIGGRAPH Conferences. My artwork have been a part of the SIGGRAPH Art Shows over 10 times. I participated or chaired Educational panels and chaired the Art Talk sessions. The "History of Computer Graphics" project is a remarkable experience. I am very proud every time my students' artworks are selected to the international juried show SPACE, Student Poster and Animation Competitions and Exhibitions, when they win competitive Student Volunteer Awards at the ACM/SIGGRAPH Conferences, and my student works are published in the SIGGRAPH Educational Committee Publications.
What's your favorite thing at this year or last year's SIGGRAPH? The Art Show and the Electronic Theater, learning from courses, papers, and panels, and meeting people who often carry their own sculptures, 3D models of chemical molecules or skyscrape rs in the memory sticks in their pockets.
What near/intermediate developments in CG do you look forward to? I am looking forward to further changes in the ways images and objects can be displayed in terms of quality, size, and portability, the ways of printing, as well as the developments in distant communication. This means more than going from paper to plastic, the VR and the 3 dimensional and time based interactive web. I am also looking forward to the products of the integration of art, technology, sciences and cognitive science that is so intensifying these years.

 

 

 

 

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Last updated 8/8/04.

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