Member Profile: Dena Eber

1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

I am a digital artist and I make things using computer graphics as part, if not most, of my process. I am also a digital arts professor in my 22nd year at Bowling Green State University, though I am currently posing as an Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. I have been making digitally inspired art since 1990, though my art background goes back much further.

2. What was your first job?

My very first job was scooping Ice Cream, but that was too long ago to remember. My first job post Ph.D. was as a digital arts professor at Bowling Green State University where I still work.

3. Where did you complete your formal education?

Ph.D. in Art at The University of Georgia

MFA at The University of Georgia

MS in Computer Science at Colorado State University

BS in Mathematics at Colorado State University

4. How did you first get involved with ACM SIGGRAPH?

My first conference was in 1993 in Anaheim. I caught the bug then and spent subsequent years getting involved with different SIGGRAPH committees.

5. What is your favorite memory of a SIGGRAPH conference?

My favorite memory was when I walked into the art gallery in 1993 and was awestruck by the possibilities for extending the art continuum using digital practices. It changed my professional pathway.

6.Describe a project that you would like to share with the ACM SIGGRAPH community.

I would love for the SIGGRAPH community to visit the upcoming exhibition that I am curating through the ACM Digital Arts Community (DAC), The Urgency of Reality in a Hyper-Connected Age. The exhibition seeks to showcase artworks that question, illustrate, embrace, make predictions or otherwise challenge the notion of what it means to define the “real” in our quickly evolving landscape of connectivity.

The exhibition will soon be displayed here:

7. If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why?

Marcel Duchamp because he understood how art is a continuum that does not have to live within the walls of a museum or gallery. He showed that life is art and if he were alive today, he would be the quintessential digital artist making AI works that mess with our very sense of being. I would ask him all about it.

8. What is something most people don’t know about you?

I prefer to be outside digging in soil (growing things) or hiking/camping on extended trips like the Appalachian trail. I’ll probably own chickens and goats on a mini-farm in the not too distant future.

9. From which single individual have you learned the most in your life? What did they teach you?

I learned the most from my Dad (may he rest in peace) and there isn’t enough space to share all that he taught me. Some of the highlights include: Pursue the things that I love (don’t waste time on “shoulds”), IQ tests are the biggest pile of &$*#&$ in town (he was a psychologist) and to pick my battles.

10. Is there someone in particular who has influenced your decision to work with ACM SIGGRAPH?

Lynn Pocock

11. What can you point to in your career as your proudest moment?

The day that my father watched me get “hooded” when I received my Ph.D.