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Art Gallery: Synaesthesia

Conference: 8 - 12 August 2004
Exhibition: 10 - 12 August 2004

The Facts
  • Named Synaesthesia, the SIGGRAPH 2004 Art Gallery will exhibit work by visionary artists that stimulates the senses.
  • A record number of 850 pieces were submitted to the Art Gallery.
  • Each piece was reviewed and selected by a jury of industry professionals.
  • The following is a breakdown of accepted pieces by category:

    91 2D/3D pieces
    20 Screen-based pieces
    18 Art animations
    6 Art Papers
    3 Round Table discussions

  • Included in this year's gallery is the work of three artists who were prize-winners and exhibitors at the prestigious Ars Electronica 2003 (Linz, Austria).
  • It is a truly international show with artists from around the globe.
A Quote from the SIGGRAPH 2004 Art Gallery Chair

"This year's theme, Synaesthesia, demonstrates how artists can excite and stimulate the senses using technology to create art that ranges from low-tech digital plotters to high-end computer graphics and animation," said Sue Gollifer, SIGGRAPH 2004 Art Gallery Chair from the University of Brighton. "Two other important aspects of the SIGGRAPH 2004 Art Gallery are that it features work from both well established and younger contemporary artists. The Art Gallery is also collaborating with the SIGGRAPH 2004 Computer Animation Festival, Emerging Technologies, Sketches, and Web Graphics programs to give artists a wider forum to speak and exhibit their work."

A Few Highlights from the SIGGRAPH 2004 Art Gallery: Synaesthesia

2D/3D Work

Eric Heller
Transport IX
There is a connection, a feedback from the science to the art and back again. The viewer can project back onto the science behind the image to sense the power and mystery in the world of quantum mechanics and the microscopic chaos which is just under the surface.

2D Pieces Incorporating Sound

Kerry Andrews
Voice
Computer generated surface patterns are interspersed with photographs and a sound wave form. In a sense, the sound is meant to give a longer duration to the reading of the image. Conversely, the sound is divided by silences, creating a tension to the duration.

Adi Hoesle
The appearance of cerebration
The sensory organs, which are stimulated and inspired by art, trigger cerebral activities; they are performing as an artwork themselves. The sum of senses plus awareness results in the true sense. This would be defined as synaesthetic.

Ernest Edmonds
Broadway One
This work demonstrates the integration of equal elements of music and visuals. This enables the viewer to see the visual display as one instrument in a piece in which other instruments produce sound.

3D Installation Piece

Gregory Garvey
Decline & Fall
The auditory component is an aleatory composition establishing a contrasting time and meter and rhythmic pulse. The overall effect is a contemplative one, punctuated by sudden visual and auditory events: collapse of an obelisk, the momentary focus of attention on a resonant drip, radiant light, cast shadow, and the turning on and off of fans.

Sound Pieces

Marc Bohlen
The Universal Whistling Machine (U.W.M.)
This installation ponders the phenomenon of whistling as a universal mode of communication, common to digital machines, humans, and many animals. Tongue, throat, lips and cheeks funnel air into a pressured cocktail of sound energies that we use to argue, debate, and sing.

Mary Flanagan
[self]
An audio installation that takes a user's emails and maps the language through analysis of the words the person uses in everyday correspondence. Thus [self] functions as an experimental system which offers a synaesthetic experience based on a person's writing style.

Screen-Based Art

Anthony Head
Metamorphosis
Metamorphosis explores form, space, motion, material, and sound, and how these combine to affect how people perceive and believe what they see. It is the combination of these elements that make up the material of the object. Material defines how the object looks, moves, and feels to the observer.

Scott Draves
Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep realizes the collective dream of sleeping computers from all over the internet. It's a distributed screensaver that harnesses idle computers into a render farm with the purpose of animating and evolving artificial lifeforms. The project is an attention vortex. It illustrates the process by which the longer and closer one studies something, the more detail and structure appears.

Art Animations

Heebok Lee
Voice of Whale
This piece is an abstract visualization of the composition by the American experimental composer, George Crumb, and carries his idea into animation. The music notes are flying underwater and come from a giant shell with a texture of music notes.

Ruth Jarman
Inaudible Cities
Every detail of an urban landscape is built by the sonic pressures of an oncoming electrical storm. The very fabric of this isolated world is defined by the noises and frequencies that surround a space in another aural dimension.

Art Papers

Diana Slattery
The Noetic Connection: Synaesthesia, Psychedelics, and Language
This paper explores the relationships among synaesthesias, psychedelic experience, and language. The author describes the complexities of creating and performing with the synaesthesia, as a system that provides the means to weave together, in multiple mappings, two or more complex visual, aural, and linguistic systems in live performance.

Donna Cox
Baking Images with the Taste of Color
Cox discusses the link between her synaesthetic taste of color as a physical experience and the digital bake-offs in large collaborative visualization projects over the past 21 years. She explores the relationship between technology, visualization, displays, and synaesthesia.

Round Table: Ars Electronica: 25 years of the Digital Avant-Garde
Since its invention in 1979, Ars Electronica has continued its strong attention toward the crossovers between art and technology. With each annual edition, its Festival for Art Technology and Society Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria became more and more an international meeting point for the ever growing community of people interested in digital art, its practice, and its theories. The panel provides not just interesting historical information but also a comprehensive insight into new directions of digital art.

SIGGRAPH 2004 Art Gallery: Synaesthesia opens Sunday, 8 August at 1:00 pm and closes Thursday, 12 August at 5:00 pm.

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Conference 8-12 August, Exhibition 10-12 August.  In Los Angeles, CA