Art Gallery

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Art Gallery Reception
Tuesday, 27 July, 2-3:30 pm, Art Gallery

Celebrate the intersection of art and technology in TouchPoint: Haptic Exchange Between Digits and the Special Issue of Leonardo. Talk with the artists, designers, and Art Papers authors about their work. And meet the members of the SIGGRAPH 2010 committee who organized this year's Art Gallery.

TouchPoint: Haptic Exchange Between Digits

The work exhibited in the SIGGRAPH 2010 Art Gallery investigates the polysensory nature of human experience in a technologically enhanced environment. The exhibition explores the permeable membrane of the techno-human interface, where we engage an array of tools to materialize and visualize artifacts of creative expression. Integral to the work is human haptic interaction, involving the "viewer" and/or the artist through a unique physical interface.

Our sensory systems, like the aesthetic experiences they ascertain, operate simultaneously on several channels. Touch, for example, is not a binary system, but a complex structure of multiple sensory mechanisms, synthesizing such information as pressure, temperature, hardness, vibration, and weight. This sensory amalgamation is exploratory in nature, developing haptic awareness through the active combination of kinesthetic and tactual evidence. An object brought to the hand cannot be described like the one explored by the fingers.

While the initial focus of the exhibition was on the sense of touch, the jury felt it was relevant to extend the breadth of sense experience. Therefore, the selected works include a range of sensory involvement, including scent and audio interactions. Some works are more solely focused on bodily presence, while others address the virtual hand in the machine. Overall, the multi-layered polysensory experience of the artwork has become the dynamic focus, forcing vision to share the pedestal of privilege with other sense modalities.

Richard Elaver
Juried Art Chair
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

TouchPoint Artworks

Lotus 7.0
Lotus 7.0 is a “living” wall made of smart foils, electronics, and lamps that interact with human behavior. Based on the concept of photosynthesis (light transformed into food), a smart foil develops and opens when lit. When someone walks past, hundreds of squares fold open in an organic way, creating new relations between private and public space. Here, physical space becomes immaterial, in this poetic morphing of space and human interactions.

Daan Roosegaarde
Studio Roosegaarde_explorations in art & technology

Strata-Caster is an online virtual art installation created on a private island in Second Life ( As they travel in a wheelchair, viewers become acutely aware of their physical and virtual status, and are invited to re-examine their position in life in relation to all others (both physical and virtual).

Joseph Farbrook
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

In the Line of Sight
In the Line of Sight is a light installation that uses 100 computer-controlled tactical flashlights to project low-resolution video footage of suspicious human motion into the exhibition space. Each flashlight projects a light spot on the wall. All flashlights combined create a 10 by 10 matrix representation of the source footage, featured on a video monitor in an adjacent part of the gallery. In the Line of Sight is an artistic exploration of low-resolution video projections exploring electronic images, not as simulations of reality but as objects anchored in the physical space.

Daniel Sauter
University of Illinois at Chicago

Fabian Winkler
Purdue University

ADB is a snake-like, modular robot designed for haptic interactions with people: writhing, wriggling, twisting, and squeezing in response to how it is held and touched. It can be used to explore intimate and emotional relationships with technology through direct physical contact. ADB adapts and reciprocates the energy users apply to it. When touched, it comes to life. When stroked, it seeks more of you. When harmed, it defends.

Nicholas Stedman

Kerry Segal

To experience hanahanahana, the participant applies perfume to a leaf-shaped piece of paper and holds or shakes it in front of the wall. A flower image then appears in each bud-like device. The degree of transparency of the flower changes gradually according to the strength of the floating scent, while color and shape also vary according to the sort of fragrance applied to the paper. Participants can enjoy temporal and spatial variations of floating air with olfactory sensations from the scent, visual sensations from the projection screen, and tactile sensations from the wind.

Yasuaki Kakehi
Keio University

Motoshi Chikamori

Kyoko Kunoh

Final Wisdom I
In this interactive installation, participants shape their experience through gesture, touch, and proximity. The work is engaged via an interactive software framework that provides an interface to the physical world through objects that react to touch, sound, and pressure, and present viewers with a shifting environment of media as they navigate and shape their experience with a work of spatialized poetry.

John Fillwalk
Ball State University

Hans Breder
Hans Breder Foundation

Donald Kuspit
Stony Brook University

Neil Zehr
Ball State University

Carlos Cuellar Brown
Razorhead Music

Jesse Allison
Ball State University

This interactive sound sculpture is a fussy, tumbled creature that has its own (electronic) voice. When the creature is touched, and the electromagnetic field around it is disturbed, sound emerges. Undisturbed, it hums happily, but when it is touched it squeaks and reacts to human presence. The work combines a circuit that directly measures electrostatic changes in the environment and a custom-designed, phase-locked loop system that drives an audio speaker.

Tine Bech
University of the West of England

Tom Frame
Surrey Space Centre

Cursor Caressor Eraser
This interactive installation and net artwork contemplates the erotic image and themes of sensuality in time. Interactors touch and caress a sculptural, sensitive interface derived from body molds: casts of the body arranged as a “landscape” for exploration. Caressing gestures produce erasures of digital photographic imagery, resulting in visual palimpsests. These erasures thematize temporal dialectics of touch and bodily encounters with others, such as forgetting and remembering, or recognition and strangeness. A simple gesture (a stroke across a touchpad or the movement of a mouse) creates a series of rich variations of bodies in flux.

Michael Filimowicz
SIAT, Simon Fraser University

Melanie Cassidy

Andres Wanner
SIAT, Simon Fraser University

Empire of Sleep: The Beach
Empire of Sleep is an interactive virtual installation viewed in stereoscopic 3D on a large rear-projection screen. Participants interact using a hand-held camera to take photographs of the scene, triggering the virtual camera to move to new points of interest. Surreal-looking figures, clothed in early-20th-century bathing suits, are scattered about on several isolated sand bars somewhere on an open and calm body of water. They first appear to be there for recreation, but there is a pensive mood, as if some unusual event is taking place beyond the viewer's awareness.

Alan Price
The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design

In samplingplong, an interface consisting of physical objects - electronic junk, plastic toys, compressed-air valves, pneumatically operated components, coiling cables, and wires - is arranged on a tablecloth, where they become interactive instruments. Activated by mouse-over and mouse-click, an improvised ensemble evolves to created miniature compositions of dense rhythmic clicks, hisses, whirs, hums, and crackles. The result is a tapestry of sound that bursts forth from the floral-like web of cables and tubes. The installation can be experienced by rolling the projected mouse-cursor over the improvised instruments to generate small sound events that allow the user to play spontaneous improvisations. Clicking these objects starts short programs of loop-like compositions (small "techno-compositions en miniature"), rhythmic patterns of analog (or real) sounds, or physical low-tech simulations of electronic music. All represent an ironic comment on interactivity.

Joerg Niehage

The Lightness of Your Touch
In this piece, a larger-than-life torso reacts to a viewer's touch. The body's skin moves subtly as a hand moves over the surface. If the hand is held down for a moment and then taken away, an impression of the hand is left behind. This imprint soon lifts off the surface and begins to blow around as if it were a leaf or tissue caught in a breeze. Many people can touch the surface at the same time and share in the interaction.

Henry Kaufman

Dinner Party
In this interactive installation, a single chair and a place set for one person seem to provide a solitary dining experience. But the interaction offers communication between the "diner" and imaginary creatures. The participant moves objects on the table, and the objects cast virtual shadows that conceal animated creatures.

Hye Yeon Nam
Georgia Institute of Technology

Crystal Campbell

Martín Nadal

Zachary Lieberman
Parsons The New School for Design

Jeremy Rotsztain

Carl DiSalvo
Georgia Institute of Technology

Kueiju Lin
National Tainan University of the Arts

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs
In the shared environment of a sandpit, Glowing Pathfinder Bugs allows virtual creatures and real people to coexist and communicate. The sand operates as a tactile interface, allowing participants to define physical landscapes to which the digital creatures respond in real time. The result is a form of animal husbandry, a sense of controlling and caring for the bugs.

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs was commissioned by Folly for PortablePixelPlayground.


Tools for Improved Social Interacting
This series of wearable devices (the Anti-Daydreaming Device, the Happiness Hat, and the Body Contact Training Suit) uses sensors to condition the the wearer to better adapt to expected social behaviors. The work explores the potential for technology to shape how we think, feel, and act. It also questions our social expectations and attempts to improve our understanding of their function and worth.

Lauren McCarthy
University of California, Los Angeles

In the News
SIGGRAPH 2010 Video