Process: The Map to the Mind of the Artist

Showing process will give SIGGRAPH 2002 attendees a better understanding of the artist and the art. "Process" will be shown with the final artwork, on an adjacent wall, or near or within the same physical space.
Often, clear documentation of process results in another work or piece itself. For our purposes, however, we consider these new "pieces" to be derivative of and supportive of the final works of art.
Artistic process is valued because it gives us insight into the mind of the artist. Artistic process takes many forms and is as personal and individual as the final works of art. Some artists work intuitively, so content and development emerge at the same time, during creation of the piece itself. Some artists follow a strong pre-production schedule (researching, sketching, and planning before making the final piece). Some artists write. Some artists work in solitude. Some artists only work collaboratively. For some artists, the process is the art. Process pieces offer insight and add depth and value to the work itself.
We expect that your documentation of the process of making your work will be as individual as you and your work. We also expect that presentation of your process will be individual, and it can take many forms. The purpose of this summary is to give you ideas, inspiration, and examples of possible process and documentation, but you may also have wonderful ideas for something different.
Process could include, but is not limited to:

  • Journals
  • Research
  • References
  • Sketches
  • Drawings
  • Interviews
  • Audio tapes
  • Videotapes
  • Photographs
  • Floor diagrams
  • Technical diagrams
  • Interactive pipelines
  • Clear panels instead of draped environments that would show the "behind-the-scenes" working of a piece.

Process should clearly identify the creative, conceptual, and technical processes involved in making the work. This interest is sometimes technical, but more often it is about development of ideas, translation of ideas into images, and the choices and decisions that were made along the way. The goal is to make visible the creative process of the artist.
Examples of Process and Documentation
While the final works of art should be professionally displayed, sometimes when we look behind the scenes, the process is less polished, rougher, or raw. In other cases, process is as polished as the final artwork. Both are acceptable. Here are some suggestions and examples that will help you document your process for exhibition and communication.
  • Journals. Excerpts from journals that show key conceptual or procedural turning points and references could be blown up and hung on the wall.
  • Sketches. Pages from a sketchbook could be tacked informationally to a wall. Some sketches may require written documentation to guide the viewer through the process.
  • Performances might document scripts, diagram stage designs, show the progression of costume designs, or document brainstorming and conceptual development.
  • For installations, there might be space diagrams, technical diagrams, and audience flow charts.
  • For interactive pieces, there might be informational or narrative pipelines, research and reference discoveries, and "look" development.
  • For games, there might be narrative pipelines, character sketches, movement studies, etc.
  • Some processes might just be letting us "see" what is happening.
  • A composited Photoshop image might print out all of the layers before flattening and outputting the final work. The audience could then see "all the parts" that create the whole.
  • If you work intuitively and are creating a new work for submission, try to stop and document the work at intervals along the way. Multiple intervals could document the decision-making process.
  • Time-based media (audio or video) can often give us a narrative accounting of what is inside your head.
  • For some pieces, the cultural, anthropological, social, or aesthetic history, issues, and references are important. Background materials could give larger insight into the work, especially when accompanied by editorial interpretations by the artist.
  • Some artists explain their work and process better verbally. These artists might document a short interview on audio or videotape.

If you have questions about process or process documentation, please contact:
Karen Sullivan
SIGGRAPH 2002 Art Gallery Chair

Please note: An Artist Statement and Technical Statement do not constitute process documentation. These are in addition to process documentation.
Important: You must submit both your process documentation and your artwork to the jury. Process cannot be created and submitted after the submission deadline. The jury needs to know what your process will look like, how it will be displayed, and how much room we will need to allow at the time of the jury meeting.

Submissions must be received by: 6 February 2002, 5 pm Pacific time.
> Artwork Submission Guidelines
> Papers Submission Guidelines
> Working Artists Submission Guidelines
> Frequently Asked Questions
> Professional Presentation of Finished Artwork
> Studio Equipment
> Deadlines
> How To Submit Your Work
> Presenter Recognition
> Conference Volunteer Application

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