Guerilla Studio's Wild Ride

July 24, 2006 1:40 am

Henry David Thoreau sets the theme for this year’s Guerilla Studio experience: “Dreams are the touchstone of our character … Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined.

Your tour hostess for this adventure is, Guerilla Studio Chair, Kimberly Voigt, who knows all about pursuing her dreams. Kimberly has an unquenchable thirst for learning, coupled with an inexhaustible desire to share what she has learned in new and innovative ways. Her artistic background in sculpture, jewelry, environment and interactive performance, qualifies her to be Guerilla Studio’s perfect spokesperson. Her dedication to art and artists, along with her electric energy, reflects the theme of this year’s Guerilla Studio, which is packed with even more visual excitement and artist/audience interaction than past years.

Kimberly Voigt graciously took time out of her busy schedule to give us a sneak preview of what to expect at this year’s conference. With so much happening at SIGGRAPH, be sure to put the Guerilla Studio events on your “must experience” list … it promises to be an exciting adventure!

In the past participants in the Guerilla Studio have been thought of as the rebels of SIGGRAPH … with its eclectic exhibits, from art to performing art. What wild and crazy innovations can we expect this year from the Guerilla Studio bunch?

We have so many innovative and exciting things happening in the SIGGRAPH 2006 Guerilla Studio. To kick off the Guerilla Studio we have two opening events on Sunday afternoon. Guerilla Studio’s Iterated 69 Sessions is an interactive multimedia performance featuring live music with pre-recorded and crowd detection triggered computer animation. The piece references the visual language of the VJ culture and the musical sensibilities of noise guitar and art rock, while incorporating audience participation through computer vision in an interactive jam session. Through the week, 2D and 3D artwork from Guerilla Studio attendees will be modified by the performance data and shown alongside some of the original artwork generated during the performance.

Interactive Multimedia Performance © SIGGRAPH 2006

Following the Iterated 69 Sessions will be the premier viewing of the Guerilla Studio Documentary. During SIGGRAPH 2005, Patricia Clark and her audio/visual team spent the week filming and documenting the rich history of people, events, stories, and technologies that make-up the Guerilla Studio. SIGGRAPH attendees can learn: how and when the Guerilla Studio started; what is the Guerilla Studio; why is it unique and special to SIGGRAPH and the conference attendees; who are the people that create the magic that is the Guerilla Studio.

I think one of the more eclectic projects we are presenting this year is the Soma: Physical Media Meditation project. Heather Raikes and Genessa Krasnow will lead immersive media yoga sessions and ambient meditation zones in a sanctuary for the integration of body and mind. Soma, a word connoting both physical body and ritual offering, explores new dimensions of physical experience while bringing opportunities for yoga practice; deep breathing, meditation, creative contemplation, and energetic rejuvenation or maybe a few precious moments of peaceful bliss to SIGGRAPH participants. Soma’s also inviting Guerilla Studio participants to generate thematic imagery, digital mandalas, sound and video content for inclusion in the Guerilla Studio Meditation Stream. This will develop over the course of SIGGRAPH and be projected in the Soma sanctuary.

The 3D Area is presenting the Tangible User Interface. A Polhemus stylus digitizer, linked to a physical 12" x 12" RP panel, will be used to navigate and control a hyperlinked 3D model of downtown Phoenix. Guerilla Studio attendees are invited to interact with the urban core of Phoenix via this novel interface. A 3D projection of Phoenix (and other regions as they come on line) will appear on the wall of the 3D area.

A team of technologists from Purdue University will be presenting the TeraGrid to SIGGRAPH attendees in the Animation Area. The TeraGrid is a computing infrastructure combining high-performance computers, data resources and tools, and high-end experimental facilities around the country. Combined, the TeraGrid sites provide more than 102 teraflops of computing capability and more than 15 petabytes of online and archival data storage including over 100 discipline-specific databases. One of the TeraGrid resources provided by Purdue University is the TeraDRE, a distributed rendering environment with over 2000 render nodes. Visitors to the Guerilla Studio will learn about the Purdue TeraDRE, including information about how to access and use the system.

Lyn Bishop will be leading an international collaborative project in the spirit of collaboration, global networking, and education. Throughout the week artists and attendees will be collaborating, in real-time, on networked projects with students located across the globe in Bangalore, India.

Joanna Berzowska, founder of XS Labs and Professor at Concordia University will be working with a team of researchers to present a very special one-day Soft Computation and Physical Interaction Workshop. The field of electronic textiles (also called "smart fabrics") is quite fashionable right now. On one end of the spectrum, there are pragmatic applications such as military research into interactive camouflage or textiles with nanobots that can heal wounded soldiers. On the other end of the spectrum, work is being done by artists and designers in the area of reactive clothes: "second skins" that can adapt to the environment and to the wearers, that can express aspects of their personalities, their needs and their desires, and represent aggregate social information.

Electronic Textiles © SIGGRAPH 2006

This one-day workshop will introduce participants to the idea of electronic textiles and to the principles of soft circuit design through hands-on demos and experimentation. Every participant will build a squeezable “soft switch” that illuminates (a simple interactive textile with stitched sensors and beaded components).

These are just a few highlights of projects, activities, workshops and technologies that SIGGRAPH attendees can experience in the Guerilla Studio 2006.

SIGGRAPH is best known for its polished exhibits, well thought-out and executed finished projects. Yet, the Guerilla Studio has turned the tables once more on the SIGGRAPH norm, calling for incomplete projects, how has this innovative concept been accepted? Did you indeed receive many incomplete projects?

To clarify, the Guerilla Studio 2006 Call for Participation wasn’t a call for incomplete projects. It’s a misconception to think of the projects in the Guerilla Studio as incomplete. More accurately, the Guerilla Studio offers artists, technologists, and educators a technologically innovative and an intellectually provocative forum for collaborative and creative interactions through the development of onsite projects.

Thank you for clarifying that question, please give us additional details as to what kind of projects will be exhibited.

We were looking for interesting and cutting edge projects that fully understand the dynamic and inventive nature of the Guerilla Studio, the multi-faceted onsite technologies, the abundance of intelligent and creative people working onsite, and the ability to connect the technologies in imaginative ways with the attendees in a project that’s developed and created onsite as the conference evolves.

Creating a project in the Guerilla Studio in less than a week, while also experimenting with new technologies, collaborating with the potentially unknown, and having to innovate on the fly represents an exciting challenge. This is how the Guerilla Studio has turned the tables on the SIGGRAPH norm. We had a great response from the community! Twenty-two submissions came in through the official CFP and we accepted five projects to work in the Guerilla Studio with our creative team of experts and the SIGGRAPGH attendees.

In the Working Artists/Collaborative Projects category, what new technologies were submitted this year?

Enter the Graffiti Research Lab project redefines the 21st Century graffiti street rebel. James Powderly and Evan Roth from Eyebeam will present workshops and demonstrate technologies that combine the aesthetic and intent of street art with DIY electronics, graphics software, digital fabrication tools and the Internet. Workshop participants will contribute to the creation of a geek mural that will redefine public spaces at the conference.

21st Century graffiti © SIGGRAPH 2006

The Interactive Holographic Window project presented by Flavia Sparacino from Sensing Places, a spin-off from the MIT Media Lab, will be working with Guerilla Studio attendees by capturing their 3-D photographs and videos on the SIGGRAPH floor. These digital images will be simultaneously transformed in holo-portraits and holo-landscapes and displayed on a commercial auto-stereo display, which will be used by people inside the Guerrilla Studio to interact with people outside, through the Interactive Holographic Window. Potential additional outcomes will be 3-D printing and texturing of the 3-D photographs, and in some instances the creation of interactive responsive holo-portraits of the participants.

Interactive Holographic © SIGGRAPH 2006

Jin Wan Park’s Painterly Rendering with Designed Imperfection is an installation that will digitally render portraits of SIGGRAPH conference attendees that resemble traditional paintings. The process will be displayed in real-time on a 50 inch PDP monitor, and the output will be printed to paper via color inkjet and provided to the subject.

Painterly Rendering © Jin Wan Park

Michael Frumin’s project Recontextualize your Online Avatar with OGLE (OpenGLExtractor) and a 3D printer or Google Earth will work with Eyebeam's open-source software package OGLE (OpenGLExtractor) for capturing 3D-geometries from applications using OpenGL. Studio participants will capture 3D-geometries of avatars and other forms from a variety of video games. Attendees can alter and remodel their selected avatars which can then be fabricated with 3D-printers, exported into GoogleEarth, or saved for future re-use in other applications.

Will there be opportunities for attendees to experience motion capture first hand?

Motion capture is always a big hit in the Guerilla Studio. We have PhaseSpace once again supporting the Guerilla Studio 2006 with their cutting edge motion capture system. This year PhaseSpace opened up the traditional onsite sign-up sessions to attendees before the conference. Through the PhaseSpace website SIGGRAPH attendees can book their 15-minute motion capture session before they even get to the conference!

Will there be a variety of educators this year? How will they be presenting their artistic theories—through public-interaction or lectures?

In addition to the numerous lectures, workshops and demonstrations in the Guerilla Studio I’m very pleased to be able to bring the Interactive Classroom back to the Guerilla Studio this year. The classroom will be a more formal and intimate setting enabling attendees to follow along with the presenters on systems provided in the classroom, or they can work on their own laptops provided they have the appropriate software installed on their systems.

Educators from all over the world are coming in to the Guerilla Studio to present workshops, tutorials, and lectures on a broad range of cutting edge topics, software applications and new technologies. SIGGRAPH attendees will be able to engage in everything from Podcasting workshops, interactive documentary workshops, smart fabric and wearable computing workshops to multi-level tutorials in Photoshop, Corel and a variety of 3D modeling and animation applications. We also have artists presenting talks about how they integrate technology into their creative process and their aesthetic as well as technologists breaking down their technologies, how they operate and how professionals working in computer graphics can benefit from utilizing the technologies.

I realize it is too late to submit material for this year’s conference, but it is never too early to prepare for next year. What advice can you give artists who wish to be a part of next year’s SIGGRAPH Guerilla Studio experience?

I think the most valuable advice I can extend to artists interested in participating in the Guerilla Studio 2007 is to come and experience the 2006 Guerilla Studio. Once you’ve experienced the magic of the Guerilla Studio you’ll be more prepared to create a project proposal that addresses the integration of onsite technologies, innovation and collaboration within a context that supports the Guerilla Studio mission. See you in Boston!

We invite you to visit:

Kimberly Voigt's Art

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As they sit down and talk candidly with
Guest Columnist Dee-Marie

July 24, 2006

Article Comments

nickcharles ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 29 July 2006

Excellent interview Dee-Marie! Thanks Kimberly for taking time out to show us what Guerilla Studio is presenting this year. I'm especially interested in the Iterated 69 Sessions multimedia performance. Very, very cool!

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