SIGGRAPH 1996: The Bridge

  Exhibition Image


  • Jean M. Ippolito -
    • Savannah College of Art and Design
    • University of Hawaii at Hilo

Art Show Overview:

Welcome to The Bridge

We’re here.
We’ve reached The Bridge.
Now let’s cross.

A bridge is a construction spanning a gap between two points. It is usually built high enough above the ground to allow unobstructed passage beneath. There are various kinds of bridges: girder, arch, suspension, and cantilever bridges to name a few. There are movable bridges: the drawbridge, the swing bridge, and the bascule bridge. Bridge is also the name of a card game played by two sets of partners.  To burn one’s bridges means to end any possible means of retreat. Die Brücke, the German equivalent of The Bridge, refers to a group of German expressionist painters of the early 20th century. There are dental bridges, the bridge of the nose, and bridge passages in literature. There are also literal, social, and, of course, metaphorical bridges. Some fear crossing bridges, others find it exhilarating.

Bridges have come to serve as metaphors for meeting challenges,  moving forward, overcoming obstacles, or adjusting to change. Each person approaches a bridge with a different mindset. Some are indifferent, some approach with hesitation and fear of the unknown, others are attracted to the mystery and meet the challenge head on. Still others prefer not to think about the how or why until the time comes when they must: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” So the saying goes.

The Bridge is here, now, at SIGGRAPH 96. We have constructed a bridge between the Contemporary Arts Center and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. A T3 line spans the gap of five city blocks between the two sites, allowing free access via the Internet to either side. The T3-line bridge connects one site of the show to its mirror site; it also connects the contributing artists to each other, the Internet, the World Wide Web, and the show’s visitors.

The Bridge, however, is not just electronic. It is also a metaphorical bridge that connects current issues, bringing together art and technology, bridging gaps between international and regional audiences, spanning issues of gender, race, religion, culture, high art, and the general public.

There is no longer a question about the validity of art made with computer technology. We have crossed that bridge. The purpose of this bridge is to raise awareness and to facilitate an understanding of current issues through the use of art and technology. The show may raise more questions than it answers, but it is designed to draw in a wide range of audiences and to initiate discussion. We hope you find it enticing, provocative, and intellectually stimulating.

Go ahead, do it …

steady now, go forward …

cross …

The Bridge.

Jean Ippolito
The Bridge Chair


Additional Information:

A Note from the Special Projects Coordinator

When I first climbed on board The Bridge as the Special Projects Coordinator, I was both intrigued and mystified at the challenges that lay ahead. Having viewed several SIGGRAPH Art Shows in the past, as only a spectator, I was unaware of the time and preparation involved in putting together an exhibition of this caliber. Now, after hundreds of telephone calls, email communications with artists, 12-hour work days, bitten fingernails, countless tears, and gut-wrenching laughter, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the chair, committee members, artists, and others who contribute to SIGGRAPH Art Shows. Working with The Bridge has “spanned a gap” from my role as idle spectator to my new experience as one as energetic participant. I am grateful to the committee for facilitating my journey across The Bridge.

Lori Crawford

Exhibition Artworks: