SIGGRAPH 1990: Digital Image-Digital Cinema

  Exhibition Image


Art Show Overview:

The SIGGRAPH ’90 Conference Committee welcomes you to “Digital Image-Digital Cinema”, The SIGGRAPH ’90 Art Show. The art show committee solicited works that demonstrate both aesthetic quality and a significant use of the computer. In these works either the computer is used in the dynamic generation of the artwork or in the viewers’ interaction with the artwork or it contributes to the presentation environment.

The show features paintings, prints, photographs, books, sculptures, environments, interactive installations and videotapes representing a large international community of artists who use the computer in their artistic practice. The jury selected 80 works from among the several thousand submitted. Artists from Austria, Canada, France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States are represented in the art show.

Artists, historians, educators, scientists and critics have submitted essays that address the theme “Digital Image-Digital Cinema”. These authors present a wide range of views regarding the ways in which the computer extends the practice of art, the study of art or its meaning and context.

The SIGGRAPH ’90 Art Show is made possible through the collective effort of artists, authors, jurors, reviewers and a large number of volunteers.  The exhibition demonstrates the vitality of this community and a concern for the computer’s role in both artistic innovation and conservation.  This community is active and searching, as evidenced by its work.  Welcome to the 10th Annual SIGGRAPH Art Show.


Thomas E. Linehan
SIGGRAPH ’90 Art Show Chair


Additional Information:

The theme selected for this supplemental issue of Leonardo is, in part, an acknowledgment of the lack of appropriate language to describe the diverse ways the computer is used in artistic practice. This artistic practice is pro­gressively leading us through a continuum of digital variation. Static images, moving images, interactive images-all are being rendered as digital versions of their former selves. The hyphenated theme “Digital Image-Digital Cinema” is meant to suggest this continuum of practice. Many professional artists and film­makers are pushing aside the traditional boundaries associated with earlier methods and strategies for work.

ACM-SIGGRAPH has sponsored art exhibitions for the past 10 years. These SIGGRAPH art shows have become an important venue for visual artists who are using digital processes in their work. Much of the early defensiveness relating to the computer and art is now fading away. Earlier fears that the computer would mechanize, standardize or trivialize aesthetic values have not proved to be valid. The art community is truly in an exploratory mode with digital processes. The artists selected for the Digital Image-Digital Cinema exhibition have found that digital means extend their artistic reach. The variety and strength of the work in the exhibition demonstrate the power of these digital means and the mastery of the artists who use them.

The authors selected for this catalog chronicle this continuum and variety of artistic practices. The research methods employed by the authors vary from the theoretical to the empirical. The articles examine issues as diverse as the role of digital imagery in art-historical practice (Michael Ester), the degree to which early film theory accounts for current practice in digital cinema (John Berton) and the role that prior knowledge (based on earlier forms) has on our conceptions of the possible in digital imagery (Beverly Jones). Also in this issue Rudolf Arnheim extends his early work in film theory with a new English translation of work origi­nally published in German in 1932. Peter Voci explores the use of the digital image in facial reconstruction for forensic purposes. The strength of the writing and of the artistic practice are found in their diversity.

Thousands of artists worldwide are exploring digital processes for artistic pur­poses. The SIGGRAPH ’90 Art Show presents the work of many of these profes­sionals who are defining the character and nature of a digital art movement. Artists are testing these new means, digital processes, to see if they can extend their purposes. It is likely not only that such an investigation will uncover new ‘means’ for traditional ‘ends’ but also that new artistic ends will become available to the artist.


Thomas E. Linehan
SIGGRAPH ’90 Art Show Chair

Exhibition Artworks:

Traveling Art Show Chair(s):

Traveling Art Show Information:

Computer animation from the “Digital Image/Digital Photography: The 1990 SIGGRAPH Traveling Art Show” exhibit while it was at The Computer Museum in Boston from October 23, 1990 to February 1, 1991