SIGGRAPH 2015 is fast approaching and we want you to be ready, so we sat down with Conference Chair Marc J. Barr to learn what has inspired the planning process for what promises to be a true “Xroads” for technological thinkers.
Tell us about the “aha” moment when you realized that SIGGRAPH was important to your personal and professional growth.
That was the first time I attended the conference, which was in Dallas in 1990. I had a problem as a student, and still do, in that I have a number of interests in the areas of art and technology. I was one of those students who was often told to focus on something and couldn’t. I view education as a lifelong pursuit of anything that interests a person, which makes me a bad academic adviser.
Prior to attending SIGGRAPH, I would go to conferences that had a single focus and when I got to SIGGRAPH and saw the mix of people and their various areas of interests, I was hooked. I hadn’t been in an environment like that before.
The theme of SIGGRAPH 2015 is “Xroads of Discovery,” highlighting the many different disciplines and perspectives that come together for this unique conference. What excites you most about this confluence of ideas?
I find the most exciting things happen at the intersections of things, whether it is cultural, social or even food.
What I find to be the strength of both ACM SIGGRAPH and the conference is that we can showcase the individual disciplines, whether they be art, the sciences, etc. at the same time, and, in a very complementary manner, the way these different areas overlap to create something new. This enables people on all sides to experience the unexpected and to take away something new.
For this reason, we chose a quilt theme for the conference’s graphic “look.” A quilt is made up of various individual elements which exist independently and, unlike a jigsaw puzzle, can be pieced together in many different ways. The quilting itself is the thread that ties it all together, like the Silk Road, and makes it into a cohesive object that is both functional and beautiful to look at.
What do you imagine a SIGGRAPH attendee will be learning at SIGGRAPH 2025?
One thing I hope they learn is that we live in a time when predictions of what will be 10 years out are going to most likely be wrong. That said, I think they will find that immersive environments, whether for learning or entertainment as an individual or as part of a community, are ubiquitous. That everyone and everything is as connected as they want to be.
What are the top three things you’re looking forward to during SIGGRAPH 2015?
- The interplay between all of the things we have going on in Hall K [of the Los Angeles Convention Center]: Emerging Technologies, Studio, Art Gallery, Making and the VR Village
- The Digital Lounge
- Watching the attendees having a great and inspiring time
SIGGRAPH 2015 is returning to Los Angeles this year. Why is the location significant to the experience you hope attendees have?
L.A. is the center of the entertainment capital of the world and one with great educational institutions with a rich and diverse population. [Discover all L.A. has to offer.]
In 140 characters or less, convince someone to come to SIGGRAPH 2015.
There isn’t a better experience and value for your time. [Click to tweet.]
Come and learn and be inspired by all of the possibilities or the arts, sciences and technologies. [Click to tweet.]
Heard enough? Register for SIGGRAPH 2015 today.