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SIGGRAPH - State of the Art
Audience: Conference Attendee (any registration)
The Art Gallery is an essential part of the conference experience. If you're a digital art novice, a little background can prepare you to get the most out of your visit.
Be prepared to be challenged. Art, particularly in the SIGGRAPH conference Art Gallery, goes well beyond your first impression. Prepare yourself for new discoveries with a fresh attitude toward these aesthetic achievements.
  • Be Intentional. Don't view the show on the run. Devote at least an hour to avoid distracting your thoughts from what you can learn.
  • Don't pre-judge. It is easy to focus only one what is in front of you and make judgments at that immediate level. If you restart yourself after your initial reaction of "like" or "dislike," often you can find an even deeper appreciation for the work from many angles. The same can be said for work that seems "derivative" and not a new idea. Getting past the judgment may reveal commentary on the previous works (the same way you might absorb ideas presented in a Panel or Paper presentation).
  • Be Prepared. Read (or at least skim) any materials you can to give yourself a context for viewing. At the very least, read the small pamphlets available in the gallery with the artists' statements in them. (The same statements are in the catalog with the images.) This advanced context can help pull points of view together for you.
  • Getting questions answered. There are several good ways of getting your questions answered in the Art Gallery:
    Gallery talks: sessions where artists can briefly talk about their work, their ideas, and their techniques. They occur at scheduled times in the Art Gallery, and they feature periods when questions can be answered directly.
    Docents: volunteer guides who have some familiarity with the work that you are viewing. They can help you understand a piece or help you find those who can clarify your questions.
    Artists can sometimes be found with their work in the gallery at various times during the week. Consider the work from their point of view and ask them questions that would be satisfying for both of you (such as the technical issues they wanted to overcome and why).
    Take a tour. Consider going to the show with a few friends, perhaps even someone with an interest or background in digital art. Having other perspectives to relate your thoughts to can offer many opportunities for discovery and understanding. The enlightenment can often go both ways for visitors to the Art Gallery, often in surprising directions.
    Return visits. Consider visiting the Art Gallery more than once to allow some of your own impressions to settle with you from your first visit. Your insights may surprise you!

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are there written statements available?
A: Artists' statements can be found in both the Electronic Art and Animation Catalog (available with a Full Conference or Conference Select registration) and in the gallery booklets available at the gallery.
Q: How can I contact an artist during the week?
A: Look for posted information about gallery talks during the week. You can also choose to leave messages for a person at the message center, with the Art Gallery office, or even from contact information published in various conference publications.
Q: Is work for sale?
Some work may be available after the conclusion of SIGGRAPH 2001. Contact the Art Gallery office for more information.
  • Artists statements in proceedings catalog or gallery brochures.
  • Schedule an hour (or times for multiple visits).
  • Seek out guides (docents or artists).

This information was brought to you by SIGGRAPH Pathfinders, a volunteer group dedicated to mentoring of first-time conference visitors.
Please take a moment to help us help you. Share with us how this information improved (or could have improved) your conference experience. You can reach us at SIGGRAPH 2001 at the Pathfinder booth in main registration or via email: Thank you.