Siggraph 1982 + ’83 Art Show: Help Needed

sigg82.jpgCopper Giloth, chair of the SIGGRAPH ’82 art show, has been working with a team of students to compile documentation of the exhibition. They are trying to contact these individuals: Michael Assante, Richard Balabuck, Robert Faught, Richard Frankel, Harold Hedelman, James Hockenhull, Tony Johnson, Eihachiro Nakamae and Dean Winkler. Please contact giloth[at]

Looking Back 25 Years: Siggraph’82 Art Show: 25 years ago, ACM Siggraph sponsored its first juried public exhibition of experimental two-dimensional, three-dimensional, interactive and time-based works by artists and scientists experimenting with computer graphics technologies. Prior to the 1982 Art Show several informal art shows had taken place in the late 1970’s and in 1981 Darcy Gerbarg curated the 1981 Siggraph Art Show. The popularity of the previous shows convinced the Siggraph organization to fund the 1982 open competition.

As chair of the Siggraph’82 Art Show, Copper Giloth had been the keeper of the documents slides and videotapes from this exhibition. In the fall of 2007, five senior art students in her Information Design course at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Zinj Guo, Dana Ramponi, Jen Zolga, Lindsay Weber, and Vesna Vrankovic, reviewed these materials. The students’ task was to inventory and organize these primary resource materials and devise a strategy for making them available to the community. The slide set, exhibition catalog and artist interviews were their only resources as they began collecting images of all the artwork in the show. They created an artist database to track materials on hand and what was missing, and then used online resources and direct contact with artists to acquire additional images and documents related to the exhibition. Using this data, they designed and constructed a Web site documenting the exhibition. Amherst Regional High School seniors, Beryl Gilothwest and Lexi Abrams-Bourke, are finalizing and correcting the data on the site.

All of the students working on this project are between 21 and 23 in age; they were not even born at the time of this exhibition. Most of them didn’t know the term “frame buffer”. Their generation has grown up with small compact computers, sophisticated graphics software as well as accessible and cheap printing. They are accustomed to seeing high-resolution synthetic images in movies and videogames. Most of them collect images with a digital camera or the camera in their cell phones. In the 25 years since this exhibition both the vocabulary for describing the technology and the tools used to make most of the works from the show have changed dramatically. Thus the very process of making the site confirmed the need to document the history of computer art.

In the end, the purpose of the Web site is to make an accurate representation of the show available to the community through the inclusion of images of all works in the exhibition including, plotter drawings, serigraphs, books, sculptures, murals, videos, drawings, Ektachrome, Cibachrome and Polaroid prints and frame buffer display. The Web site also includes the exhibition catalog, documentation of the interactive installations, excerpts of interviews with 20 artists from the show, articles about the exhibition, artists’ statements and other original documents.

Here is a list of the interviews available so far:

1. Rick Balabuck and Michael Collery
2. Colette and Charles (Jeff) Bangert
3. Muriel Cooper and Ron McNeil
4. Tom Dewitt Ditto, Vibeke Sorenson, and Dean Winkler
5. Frank Dietrich and Zsuzsanna Molnar
6. Tom Eatherton
7. Tom Eatherton and Terill Moore
8. David Em
9. Bill Etra
10. Rob Fisher interviewed by Louise (Etra) Ledeen
11. Darcy Gerbarg
12. David Geshwind interviewed by John Mabey
13. JoAnne Gillerman
14. Cynthia Goodman
15. Howard Gutstadt and Bill Etra
16. James Hockenhull
17. Harry Holland interviewed by Louise (Etra) Ledeen
18. Kris Holmes
19. Margot Lovejoy interviewed by Cynthia Goodman
20. Robert Mallary interviewed by Cynthia Goodman
21. Marvin Minsky interviewed by Louise (Etra) Ledeen
22. David Morris
23. Phil Morton
24. Francis Olschafskie
25. Ed Post
26. Ron Resch
27. Joan Truckenbrod
28. Stan Van Der Beek
29. Jane Veeder

Copper Frances Giloth
Director of Academic Computing
Office of Information Technologies
Associate Professor of Art

Jul 28, 12:04
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