Meet - SIGGRAPH Art Gallery Chairperson - Linda Lauro-Lazin

deemarie · July 4, 2005 11:35 am

I was very honored that Linda Lauro-Lazin, SIGGRAPHs Art Gallery Chairperson, took time out of her very busy schedule to discuss art, artists and SIGGRAPH with me. Not only is Linda Lauro-Lazin an Adjunct Assistant Professor, of Computer Graphics and Interactive Media at Pratt Institute ... she is also, an award winning artist, and has exhibited her artwork internationally for over twenty years, with seventeen years of digital art experience.
From the early 1980s to the present, computer graphics has grown and refined itself many times over. You once noted that in the early era, images often had a hyper-real sheen to them and were dominantly in the science fiction genre. Today, you and many others might say that computer artists have to work hard to get rid of the too perfect planes and surfaces. With that foundation, what do you look for in a computer generated still image, that tells you the artist has gone beyond the programming and created an expression worth viewing? The work really must have a reason to use computer graphics. I look for artwork that has integrity of form and content. If it can be created using another medium or tool then it misses an important opportunity. The artist should be able to answer the question: What is inherently digital in the work? It was in this vein that I spoke of allowing the pixels to be seen many years ago. And more importantly some of the strongest digital artwork has content that fully integrates the medium as well. Sometimes the programming is at the root of the expression.
Message2326687.jpg #86b Jonathan Meyer [artist]. Screen-Based image courtesy SIGGRAPH 2005 - used with permission - all rights reserved.
From the perspective of the viewer, what is art? As simple a question as this seems, the masses often chose images that have hype and popularity, or historical reverence, or something that they like, or something that matches a dor in a room. But what is art? What makes one image art and another image just a pretty picture, or just a controversial picture? From the perspective of the creator, what is art? Is art an expression that has meaning to the creator, which the viewer must figure out, or is it the goal of the creator to identify what the viewer would appreciate and create that? Marcel Duchamp addressed the what is art? question beautifully in his essay The Creative Act. All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. This becomes even more obvious when posterity gives its final verdict and sometimes rehabilitates forgotten artists. [Marcel Duchamp, The Creative Act Art-news, Vol. 56, no. 4 (summer 1957)] This concept becomes even more pronounced with interactive artwork.
Message2326685.jpg LIQUID EDEN (The Discreet Paradise of Networks) Stephanie Owens [artist] Screen-Based image courtesy SIGGRAPH 2005 - used with permission - all rights reserved.
Is there such a thing as good art and bad art, or do you feel that all images are simply on a scale ranging somewhere along a subjective line that is defined by the viewer or defined by the creator? Good and bad are highly subjective judgments concerning art. If the creator of the work calls it art then it is art: good or bad. Defining the goodness or badness of the art can be elusive especially when the viewer has a shift in attitude about a work of art. Renderosity is a community with many hobbyists and people who are just entering the realm of Computer Generated art, as well as many advanced users who have mastered the applications of their choice. What advice do you have for the people who are just starting out in the CG world and what advice do you have for the computer gurus to help them create art? My advice is the same for all artists: keep doing the work as much as possible. Allow yourself time to work every day. While you work try to identify the style and elements of the work that are unique to you. Find your own voice and refine it. This requires research and certain alertness. Try to recognize the context that your work fits into. Look at other artists who are making work that you resonate with. Try to identify what it is about that work that makes that connection and learn from them. Renderosity offers a terrific community for artists to do just this. When someone submits a computer generated still image for your review, aside from format and entry requirements, what do you look for to decide if a work is truly art that must be shown to others? What inner feelings and reactions tell you that the image is outstanding above the norm? I look for freshness, a unique style. I am interested in provocative artwork: work that makes the viewer think: work that re-contextualizes itself; work that shifts the way that we see things in our everyday world. Where do you see computer graphics going in the future? If you could predict what issues that the software companies must address in the next three years, what would they be? Lets see My crystal ball sees amazing amounts of bandwidth and the resulting capacity of artists to collaborate with other artists in real time from their individual studios.
Message2326679.jpg Oral Fixations Jessica Hodgins [artist] Screen-Based image courtesy SIGGRAPH 2005 - used with permission - all rights reserved.

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Message2255156.jpgTech Views is a regular featured column with Renderosity Staff Writer/Sr. Tech Editor Eric Post [EricofSD].
July 4, 2005

Article Comments

LillianH ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 05 July 2005

Great interview! I can't wait to go to Siggraph again this year! Best wishes, Lillian

EricofSD ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 05 July 2005

If it is half as fun as last year, I will be beside myself. Hope to see the entire Renderosity gang. Remember, this is the last year for a while that SIGGRAPH will be on the West coast. Ya know, I like what Linda said about "What is inherently 'digital' in the work?" We really do have to think about why we are creating in digital rather than oil or graphite or pastel, etc. Most importantly, I'm sure we all agree that, as Linda says, Renderosity does offer a terrific community. The more we share and collaborate and learn, the more we grow. See you all in L.A. this summer!