The 1994 SIGGRAPH ART and DESIGN SHOW by Deanna Morse

Chair, Art and Design Show, SIGGRAPH

Almost one hundred works are included in the Art and Design of SIGGRAPH, to be shown at the annual conference at end of July in Orlando. The show includes 53 hanging pieces, 3 sculptures, 9 installations, 5 essays (including an interactive essay) and 22 computer assisted animations.

The SIGGRAPH '94 Art and Design Show continues the tradition of showcasing a survey of the best recent works in art, design, and animation. The show is broad-based and media inclusive. We considered entries in fine arts, design, interactive installations, art-based or multimedia essays and animation. The '94 show also includes site specific works, shown outside of a gallery setting. We also produced an Art and Design Show video, with comments from the jurors designed to place the work in a context.

We see some themes in the works this year. Several of the pieces represent a search for cultural roots. Some reflect the experience of being a tourist. Several look at family and memories. There were works that interspersed reality and fantasy elements. Some are obviously playful. There were a few with overt political statements. Many of the pieces considered the human form, and several were self-portraits. The animation included a number of collage pieces, and stories or story fragments.

As with all art, this show challenges our perspectives, stretches the limits of the expected, embraces change, and considers the meaning of visual language, codes and symbols. Unlike many art shows, all of these artists are working with "tools" that were invented during their lifetimes, providing comment on the present.

The primary criterion for acceptance, as stated in our call for participation, was aesthetic. As you might expect, the work was evaluated with "traditional fine arts" criteria, including use of compositional elements, color, line, form and tone. In addition, the jurors considered the aesthetic intention of each, judging the artworks on what we felt the artist was trying to achieve. We selected works that approached artistic design and creation in original ways. We looked for work that would challenge our perspectives. We included art that was visually exciting or had a strong emotional content. We asked for works that could not have been created without the wide variety of computer tools that artists use today. As computer generated works, the art bears the mark of the media that assisted with its creation. Some works are graphic displays of mathematical concepts. In these, the computer has determined a distinctive appearance, a syntax, that makes the work easily recognizable as computer art. In other works, where the artist has used the tools for more traditional artistic intention, these marks are less obvious. In many of the interactive works the computer serves another function. By redefining the relationship of the viewer and artwork, the computer serves as a medium as well as a tool.

Within SIGGRAPH, the Art and Design Show is one of the few places individual voices are expressed through technology. Much of computer graphics work is collaborative, and here is one opportunity to consider the statement by a single artist. Unlike most of the conference, this art work is not intended to be in the service of commercialism. The Art and Design Show is one of the few places at the conference where the computer is used to offer comment on the role of technology in society today.

We hope that you get a chance to attend the conference and see the art and design show. SIGGRAPH runs July 24-29, 1994 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. For more information, contact:

Smith Bucklin and Associates
401 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Tel 312-644-6610