SIGGRAPH 2007: Global Eyes



  • Vibeke Sorensen -
    • University at Buffalo
    • Arizona State University
    • University of Southern California

Art Show Overview:

Welcome to Global Eyes, the 2007 Art Gallery. This year’s show focuses on transdisciplinary and transcultural approaches to digital art created around the world. Many countries and cultures are represented, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Wales, and the USA. We tried to be as inclusive as possible, welcoming artists from communities that are historically under-represented at the SIGGRAPH conference. Through rigorous and energetic reviews by the Art Gallery Jury and the international Art Gallery Committee’s thoughtful curatorial work, we succeeded in extending our scope to new communities in the developed and developing world, including indigenous communities locally, regionally, and internationally. Our delight with this greater participation is mitigated only by the fact that enormous disparities still exist in resource availability between nations and populations, which limits digital visual culture’s potential to become more globally democratic and inclusive.

We are happy that so many mature artists from around the world submitted work for jury review. The Art Gallery Committee augmented this process by inviting artists whose work directly relates to this year’s global theme, many of whom work in emerging areas of digital art. Growing from transdisciplinary activity across fields as well as cultures, digital ethnographic multimedia is one such area developing in the space between digital photography and video, animation, interactive art and performance, and ethnography.

We are delighted to welcome indigenous artists working in San Diego, Mexico, New Mexico, and Australia, including Cedar Sherbert (Kumeyaay), Damian Lopez Castillo (Zapoteco), Anthony Deiter (Plains Cree I Ojibwe), and r e a (Gamilaraay / Wailwan). In addition, Roderick Coover, Toby Lee, and J.P. Sniadecki are producing important work at the intersection of interactive art, digital video, and anthropology. Kooj Chuhan and virtual migrants work with immigrant communities in the United Kingdom and perform work that gives greater insight into the condition of people in the diaspora.

Because 75-90% of the earth’s people are still not connected by digital technology, and express their knowledge and culture in material media, most of their knowledge remains outside the digital realm. However, important work is being done to preserve and expand our collective human heritage using hybrid physical-digital processes. A transfer and transformation is taking place that expands the language and creative potential of digital media art, making it more intelligent and responsible, providing entry for people in many walks of life. That is why we are welcoming folk as well as fine-art approaches, handcraft and design, artist books, sculpture, and mixed media, while also showcasing contemporary digital artwork that is unique unto itself.

This includes Most Wanted by Taraneh Hemami, a handmade curtain of 87,000 beads; Worldprocessor by lngo Gunther, a series of more than 25 illuminated modified globes; as well as beautiful limited-edition books created by artists who are collaborating around the world, in some cases extending the concept of the travel diary to new forms of collaborative and mobile media art.

Some pieces in the gallery comment on political, social, and environmental problems, and question human relationships to nature, both actively (as our environment faces destruction and species extinction), and in personal, introspective, and philosophical terms. Artists working together with scientists externalize their deepest beliefs and doubts about the mysteries of life and existence. Some take the form of abstract images to reveal underlying organizing principles of the mind, body, and nature; others use visualization, real-time 30 animation, dance and performance, robotics, and interactive installation. Online and immersive works challenge definitions and categories, transcending boundaries of language, time, space, and location in their beauty and daring. Some are meant to make us question our assumptions, while others show us our human frailties and contradictions in playful and humorous ways. Ben Maggos (1981-2005), whose memory we are honoring, created the prescient and moving work What About Job? that explores many of these ideas in interactive, cinematic form.

This year’s show features several invited special exhibitions. We are honored to include a selection from the online international photography collection, directed by acclaimed photographer Pedro Meyer, as well as 20 works from the 2007 Visual Music Marathon (held at Northeastern University) curated by Dennis H. Miller. The Japan Media Arts Festival has provided a special selection of work from their most recent show, including digital prints and animation by the talented 14-year-old artist, Shunsaku Hayashi. And for the first time this year, we are working with the Guerilla Studio to show the work of six Artists-in-Residence: Harriete Estel Berman, Matt Hamon, Philip Mallory-Jones, Mike Simonian, Maaike Evers, and Michael Wright.

We are especially pleased to present an exciting program of innovative electronically mediated performances and site-specific installations by leading international artists. They are taking place in a special weekend engagement (4-6 August) at the state-of-the-art facilities of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Cal-lT2) and the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, at the University of California, San Diego.

Finally, as 2007 is the 25th anniversary of the 1982 SIGGRAPH Art Show, we are exhibiting an electronic archive created by 1982 chair Copper Frances Giloth.

Vibeke Sorensen, Global Eyes Chair


Visual Proceedings:

View PDF: [SIGGRAPH 2007: Global Eyes]


Thanks to the following people and institutions:

Aaron Baker, Arizona State University

Roger Malina, ISAST Leonardo

Marilenis Olivera, 

Stanford UniversityThe Stanford Writing Center and the English and Linguistics Departments for the generous use of their facilities

Stanford University Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Larry Smarr, Director, Cal-lT2

Ramesh Rao, Director, Cal-lT2, University of California, San Diego Division

Sheldon Brown, Cal-lT2 and the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA)

Exhibition Artworks: