The SIGGRAPH 2000 Art Gallery presents a diversity of over 70 artworks that utilize digital technology in some way. From enhancing traditional forms, like painting, to "mutant forms" of extremely innovative uses of technology that refuse any categorization. In these mutant forms, powerful and hybrid imagery, concepts, sound, performances, and writing are imperceptibly intertwined with innovative uses of emerging technology. The art and technology are inseparable.
After several decades of using digital tools, this artwork has matured and attracts serious attention by the mainstream art world. The SIGGRAPH Art Gallery presents the most experimental work. While certain aspects and techniques mature, other newer forms evolve. "Work is no longer seen as a gimmick, but as hard-hitting content. It ranges from the aesthetically sophisticated and delightful to stinging social commentary," said Diane Gromala, Georgia Institute of Technology and SIGGRAPH 2000 Art Gallery Chair.
The 70+ artworks presented include digital paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, interactive installations, Web-based projects, and striking performances. Docents will guide tours through the gallery providing insights into the artists' visions and methods, while the artists themselves give talks about their work in the gallery and in Special Sessions.
"In the electronic arts exhibition this year, the imaginations of our artists run wild with creativity. We have a mature show, dominated by interactive pieces. Many of the strongest works will find their way into museums and galleries around the world," said Gromala. "Artists are writing software for specific art works, having software written specifically for them, and subverting off-the-shelf technology."
Art Gallery Highlights
Provocative, interactive installations, Web-based art, and performances dominate this year's Art Gallery. Participants interact with each other, with digital beings, and with objects via intriguing means: gesturing and talking to artificial life forms, manipulating video "eyestalks," moving toward "smart" and sassy robotic appliances, and touching seemingly huge but real microscopic insects. A wooden mirror responds with hundreds of tiny motors. Approach some "paintings," and you will be transported into another world.
Each artist takes a unique approach to generating 2D artwork digitally. The show includes digitally inspired paintings; algorithmically-generated image components; images created with X-rays, MRIs, and CAT scans; in 3D software, or in virtual reality. The variety is tantalizing.
Some of the works utilize features unique to the Web to create a sense of community, connectivity, and interactivity. Gaming is redefined, fostering unique social interactions. Users navigate digital Web movies, and remix sounds and texts to create original compositions. This action blurs the borders between spoken, written, and sculpted artistic forms. Performers "squat" on reflector sites, with audience members, and with remote performers. Created by the most prominent artists working in the digital realm, the works are strong examples of electronic art delivered on the Web and extended into a physical plane.
A visceral and immersive 3D experience of evolving, responsive, and abstract artificial life forms. Gestural sensing (via the MIT fish) enables the viewer to fly in the Biotica world simply using their arms. Biotica questions our ability to perceive aliveness and sentience through dynamic behavior rather than simply visual appearance.
The interface provided by this installation gives the user the ability to develop a friendship with small insects. It realizes the unique experience of a seamless connection between the micro world and our world. The installation uses real insects and a microscopic video camera.
Wooden Mirror is a display made of 830 pieces of wood. It looks like a mirror and emulates one by reflecting whoever is in front of it. A computer, video camera, and hundreds of tiny motors move the wood pieces in and out of the light, creating an image.
Steffi Domike, Michael Mateas, and Paul Vanouse
Terminal Time is a cutting-edge, audience-powered history engine combining mass participation, real-time documentary graphics, and artificial intelligence to bring to the screen the history the viewers deserve. Each 30-minute cinematic experience covers one thousand years of history and is custom-made to reflect audience values and desires.
Kumiko Kushiyama and Shinji Sasada
Hide-and-Seek is an interactive dining table that presents a creative augmented or mixed reality application.
The users walk around a dining table with a portable television in hand to find the hidden images that mix real and virtual images.
Laura Beloff and Markus Decker
The installation consists of two sculptural objects in space, stereographic video projected on the images, interactive jackets, and audio. The topic of the piece deals with hysteria and boredom.
Free Range Appliances in a Light Dill Sauce
In this installation robotic appliances respond to environmental stimulus. This artwork is an exploration of the anthropomorphic qualities inherent in household gadgets and an irreverent look at the meaning of ''smart'' appliances. Toasters, blenders, etc. are ''liberated'' from their mundane existences and ''taught'' motor skills; enabling them to fully realize their suppressed ambulatory desires.
POO3279723(Neuro Sarcoidosis is Todd Childers)
The MRI and CAT scan image are of the artist's head and brain. The art book depicts his treatment and struggles with the disease. The book's theme is about being a number in a bureaucracy at hospital and maintaining government support for medical bills. By using MRI images, the positive use of computers is acknowledged.
JEN ZEN (Jennifer Jen Grey)
This work uses ColorSpan Digital Graphics on canvass. The red figures are "cyber-touch shells," created in virtual reality by petting actual human beings, head-to-toe. Flattened views of the originally life-sized, 3D forms are shown: curious images of limbic kinesthetic experience.
Los Hermanos de Destruccion 6
This piece provides a pop-art take on the mythology of nature, using new media to explore ancient themes of humanityís relationship to natureís destructive forces. The artwork depicts giant skeleton desperadoes straddling 20th century natural disasters.
This piece shows an image of a woman constructing an industrial form out of her hair using decorative braids and hair weaves. The physical prowess of men is fueling the regeneration of her hair that is swallowing the landscape and the men upon it.
LifeScience isolates two forms of broadcasting media (streaming QT and CU-SeeMe) as a way of demonstrating how virtual subjects, mediated bodies, communications software, and online identity all combine to generate a narrative thread that is both science fictional as well as real time. Viewers will be able to enter the electronic narrative space using desktop video teleconferencing software. They will situationally "squat" on the reflector site, along with other remote performers, and generate text, audio, and video. Scheduled broadcast times will be arranged.
Excerpts from "EYE SLING SHOT LIONS"
Eliot Peter Earls
Excerpts from "EYE SLING SHOT LIONS" is an interactive digital performance. During the live performance, a melange of typography, sound, video fragments, interactive digital video, simulated live performance, short films, and pop music are controlled via midi (musical instrument digital instrument) and interwoven with live poetry, suburban hip-hop and spoken word texts. Custom-built interface elements link Earls to computer-controlled video and typography, through the extensive use of piezoelectric elements. "EYE SLING SHOT LIONS" is the follow up to Earl's critically acclaimed CD Plus "Throwing Apples at the Sun."
Using the modus operandi "surf, sample, manipulate," PHON:E:ME remixes sounds and texts to create an original composition that blurs the borders between spoken, written, and sculpted artistic forms. It is part oral narrative, part experimental sound collage, and part written hypertext.
Crossroads explores the capacity of film and advertising culture to shape our sense of place. Crossroads examines a mythic Times Square through a series of narratives composed of numerous "pseudo films," animated text, ambient sound, and film commentary.