Digital Arts Community (DAC)

by | 26 May 2016 | Animation, Art, Design, Emerging Technologies

Robert J. Krawczyk is a Professor and Associate Dean in the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago focusing on digital craftmanship. During his 32 years at IIT, he has developed and taught a series of computer-aided design and digital design courses. His research into digital methods in the disciplines of science, mathematics, architecture, art, and technology has been published and presented internationally in the form of prints, web pieces, sculptural, and architectural studies presented in a body of work spanning over 100 exhibitions, 37 conference papers, multiple book chapters, and a textbook.

Artist Statement: “My God is Machinery; and the art of the future will be the expression of the individual artist through powers of the machine – the machine doing all those things that the individual workman cannot do. The creative artist is the man who controls all this and understands it.” – Frank Lloyd Wright, circa 1901 At the turn of the century, Wright and some of his contemporaries understood the role of technology in their art; I wish to better understand the role of current technology through my own art. My art explores the potential of using digital media as a conceptual generator and as a production method. I write software that explores multiple series of a single concept or idea. The software enables me to express and produce any idea I wish. It helps me to better understand the underlying concepts of my work, as well as, produce exceedingly unexpected results. As with conceptual artists such as Sol LeWitt, the concept, in my case expressed in the software, becomes primary; the results are an interesting byproduct. My overall interest is to investigate methods which can develop forms that are in one sense predictable, but have the element to generate the unexpected; the unexpected in a predictable way. The custom software becomes the instructions for producing the work itself. The search for wonderment has always been basis of my explorations. Surprises come not from the arbitrary but from the meticulous and the orderly and the knowledge that there are no limitations for variation. These are all mere temporary sketches for a greater concept still not discovered. Complete background information can be found at: Media Used: These images were created algorithmically with custom written software, VisualBasic, using a series of related strange attractor equations with coloring schemes that bring out the time element of the computational process. Each was developed by the computation of between twelve-to-fifty-seven million points. A total of 24,000 images were generated from twenty-four equations. Each image was reviewed and then approximately 200 were selected for rendering. The value of the color, red, ranges from early time, nearly black, to recent time, bright red. Color is used to denote time, and the aggregation of color creates the illusion of dimensionality in the images.

Image credit: The Art of Strange Attractors © Robert J. Krawczyk


I recently had the chance to talk with Cynthia Beth Rubin about her role as the Chair for the Digital Arts Community (DAC). She feels her job, as well as her committee’s role, is to encourage and support dialogue where the ACM SIGGRAPH community can have intellectual exchanges in the area of the arts. She feels her role is a bridge between our community’s tech side and our art side.

The DAC Committee worked this past year on defining their mission.

DAC is to foster the evolution of a strong year round digital arts community within the international organization and promote a dialogue between visual artists and the larger ACM SIGGRAPH community.

One of the areas DAC has done this is with their online exhibitions. Their exhibitions have been theme-based, which helps the art community to come closer to the technical community. Through the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee, DAC is allowed to do two shows a year. Curators are selected for each show, and they set the tone for the submissions. They work together as a team to get the social media and publicity out about each show. By having their own translators in multiple languages (Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English), their shows reach a wider audience. They are adding the Japanese translations to their new event. They are also doing text correction/international outreach on submissions, as they have had multiple people outside of North America submitting.

Their next exhibition entitled, “Artworks in Science of the Unseen: Digital Art Perspectives” will go live next week. The exhibition thinks creatively about questions of scale and how unseen processes animate larger effects. They are exploring how technology alters how we experience our landscape and world. The co-curators of the exhibit are Phil J. Gough and Lindsay Zackeroff. DAC’s other exhibitions are also online if you haven’t had a chance to view them.

Another achievement made this past year is in the streamlining of the submission process and how the digital permissions are processed. Cynthia stated that artists do not have a reputation for their for notations and needed help with documenting their pieces. Deborah Cotton, ACM Copyright, Permission Coordinator and Stephen Spencer, ACM SIGGRAPH Director of Publications, were extremely helpful in interrupting ACM guidelines for permissions, especially how they related to the art community. They understood the idea of mashups and the need curators have to navigate with the artists. Cynthia remarked, “We have done a good job at moving this effort forward within the ACM community, and not only the ACM SIGGRAPH community. It was fun and challenging and we created a new awareness for documenting educators in the IP and documenting domain.”

Cynthia’s dream is “when people are writing CS papers, they will look at the videos and artwork and see if they can reference, ideas, examples of what they trying to document by looking at the way the artist use tools, imagery, color, and the next new tool to make their art.”

Related Posts