SIGGRAPH '21: ACM SIGGRAPH 2021 Art Gallery

Full Citation in the ACM Digital Library

An interview with ALEX

An Interview with ALEX is a 12-minute interactive experience that engages the participant in a job interview with ALEX, a powerful artificial intelligence HR employed by a speculative tech giant called "Open Mind Corporation." Through a science-fiction lens, the experience reveals how artificial intelligence (AI) and the gamification of work can be used as subtle tools of control in the interest of those in power.

"Can the subaltern speak?": critical making in design

The Bandari women from the southern coast of Iran are famous for their intriguing masks, known as Niqab masks. Legend has it that the practice started during Portuguese colonial rule as a way of protecting the wearer, not only from the harsh sun of the Persian Gulf, but also from slave masters looking for pretty women. Viewed from a contemporary perspective, these masks can be seen as a means of protecting women from patriarchal and colonial oppression.

Cangjie's poetry

Cangjie's Poetry is an interactive art installation that provides a conceptual response to the semantic human-machine reality. In the Cangjie's Poetry art installation, an intelligent system constantly observes the surroundings through the lens of a camera, writes poetry using a symbolic system based on its interpretation of the surroundings, and explains the evolving poem in natural language to audiences in real-time. This work prioritizes the ambiguity and tension between machinic vision and human perception, the actual and the virtual, past and present.

Common datum

The air we exhale is 100% saturated with water. The air in the lungs is essentially saturated with water at 37 C, which is about 44 mg/liter. The average lung capacity of an adult is about 6 liters. Once exhaled, the air cools to the ambient temperature, leaving the air supersaturated. If it is cool enough it will form a visible cloud. When our breath comes in contact with a cold surface, it will leave visible condensation.

Figure 1

Figure 1. is a visual essay on the proliferation and mediation of the "digital body" in the contemporary politics of images. It is an attempt at locating the virtual body in the processes of production, circulation, and consumption of images concerning continuing computational advancements.

Hexells: self-organizing textures

Hexells is a self-organizing system of cells that was designed to synthesize and maintain various textures through local communication between the cells. It is inspired by natural pattern formations found on plants and animal skins. The cellular automata (CA) update rule is modeled using a small neural network inspired by Mordvintsev et al. [2020]. We created a WebGL demo that allows users to explore and interact with more than one hundred learned CA texture-generating behaviors. The chosen projection shows the system behavior at local and global scales at the same time.

Isle of reflections

Isle of Reflections is an interactive lighting installation that can only be remotely explored via videotelephony. Viewers visit the island filled with iridescent lights and colorful reflections through Zoom, a popular web-based video communication tool. When the viewers see the lights and shadows that respond immediately to their voice through the screen, they recognize that they are interacting with a distant physical space in real-time. The viewers move between "breakout rooms" in Zoom to explore this virtual island filled with an immersive spectrum of light and color. Each room provides live scenes of the island from different viewing angles.

Models for environmental literacy

Models for Environmental Literacy is a series of experimental digital animations combining drone photogrammetry with A.I. generated narratives. These videos creatively and critically explore the challenges of describing a landscape, an ecosystem, or the specter of environmental collapse through human language. The project further explores how language and vision are impacted by the mediating agency of new technologies. How do we see, feel, imagine, and talk about the environment in this post-digital era, when there are indeed non-human/machine agents similarly trained to perceive "natural" spaces? This project explores these questions, as well as emerging relationships with environmental surveillance, drone/computer vision, and A.I.

Movement in capture

Movement in Capture is an environmental visual story presented as an installation of 4 videos that explores the impact of pollution on ocean life. Dancers' movements were recorded with motion capture technology as they identified with marine creatures forced to live in a polluted environment.


Opera is a massive 8K size animation installation project that portrays our society and history, which is filled with beauty and absurdity. This ambitious piece can be simply defined as a contemporary animated edition of the Renaissance fresco mural paintings. Driven by the spirits of Bosch, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and others, the animation enables viewers to experience a range of in-depth emotions through this epic reflection of human life: it is hopeful, funny, thoughtful, yet scary and sad. This piece is not only a living piece of art, but an invitation to question the mechanisms of your society and behavior.

Straightened trees

This series features silver gelatin prints of trees shot on large-format film and then straightened with custom code, giving strip malls, telephone poles, and restaurant signs the curves that once belonged to the elms, palms, and oaks they stand beside. It uses media less associated with technology, in part to emphasize algorithmic and human processes rather than technological tools. Using custom code, the natural curvature of each tree is "corrected." Manufactured objects, i.e., buildings and power lines, twist and contort around the artificially plumbed tree. Each photo is shot on large-format film, the only medium that captures enough detail to straighten the tree without pixelly artifacts. Because the trees need to include human-made objects (such as buildings) straight-on, they are often shot from a car's point of view. That aspect, plus the fact that all were shot in North America, emphasizes the classic photographic road trip (e.g., Lee Friedlander's America By Car).

Suga': a live virtual dance performance

Suga' is a live volumetric dance performance experience presented in Mozilla Hubs' social virtual reality space. The performer appears as a live-streamed 3D video within a photogrammetry scan of the Annaberg Sugar Mill Ruins in the U.S. Virgin Islands, when in fact she is performing from her living room. She traces the point cloud rendering of the mill with her movements as if preparing the space for ritual, recalling events that happened there. Through movement and soundscape, the performer tells the story of her own deep connection and mixed relationship to similar sites as a Black woman growing up in the Caribbean.


Is there any other way for us to understand the world through Human and AI integration? Understand_V.T.S.HAOS is an installation that substitutes senses. It helps explore and ponder in the process of cultivation. This work conducts an experiment in which the possibility of the cooperation between natural and artificial algorithms is assessed, and serves as an approach to human enhancement. That is, it investigates how well our brains (natural) work with AI (man-made).

Visualization of imaginary stroke movement in painting and calligraphy

Beholders can feel the imaginary movement from the artist's brushstrokes in visual artworks. This psychological phenomenon has been recorded in the world's art literature, and its physiological basis has been found by neuroaesthetics researchers. However, past practice and research have neither tried to fetch the "data" of the imaginary stroke movement from the brain nor re-created artworks in new forms based on it. By drawing lessons from "copying," a common practice in art skill training, we develop two interactive "painting" applications which enable the user to draw their perceived stroke movement on reference artworks.