Help SIGGRAPH 2023 Envision the Future!

by | 2 February 2023 | Conferences

A Night at the Opera in the Year 2000 cartoon by Albert Robida

Image credit: A Night at the Opera in the Year 2000–Albert Robida (1882)

In celebration of SIGGRAPH’s 50th conference, SIGGRAPH 2023 is seeking illustrated 6” x 4” images of how the world might look in 50 years! Inspired by the early 20th century “En L’An 2000” postcard series depicting life in the year 2000, our hope is to display a collection of thought-provoking, visionary postcards at the conference.

At the turn of the 19th century, Jean-Marc Côté, Albert Robida, Villemard, and a group of unknown artists created “En L’An 2000,” a series of 87 illustrations (possibly more), depicting the lifestyle of those living in the distant year of 2000. From flying emergency service workers strapped in bat-like wings to an underwater tram powered by a blue whale, they imagined a world very unlike the one they lived in. These beautiful illustrations were originally produced as cigar box inserts, and some were displayed at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900.  Later they were reworked as postcards but remained unpublished until Isaac Asimov stumbled across a complete set by chance, and in 1986 published them in his book “Futuredays: A Nineteenth Century Vision of the Year 2000.

Image credit: Françoise Foliot La radio à la maison

The innovations and accomplishments in the field of computer graphics and interactive techniques have significantly impacted the world since they were presented at the first SIGGRAPH conference in 1974 in Boulder, Colorado. Back in 1974, would we have imagined people in 2023 walking around with a computer thousands of times faster than the 1970s room-sized mainframes in the palm of their hands? How could we have known that the rendering algorithms developed in the ‘70s would enable us to realistically simulate surgical procedures and create the three-dimensional worlds we inhabit via an avatar today? Would we have envisioned a future where we could 3D print just about anything, from mechanical parts to flexible toys, and even prosthetic limbs in our homes? Could we have known that the interactive techniques and input devices we were developing would change social interaction and entertainment allowing people from around the world to develop personal relationships remotely and play multiplayer virtual reality games online?

Who, back in 1974, would have imagined a world where we could hold a SIGGRAPH conference entirely online? It worked and helped us stay connected, but in 2023 we will be back in person in Los Angeles.

The 50th SIGGRAPH conference celebration will provide us with an opportunity to reflect on the past but also envision how our research, creativity, and innovations will radically change the world in the next 50 years. It’s for that exact reason that SIGGRAPH 2023 wishes to follow in the footsteps of the “En L’An 2000” project and showcase postcards reflecting the SIGGRAPH community’s wildest dreams, aspirations, and fears about what the future will look like in 50 years.

Image credit: France in XXI Century: Electric Scrubbing Jean-Marc Côté. (1899)

What We Need

We’re looking for artists (professional or amateur) to illustrate what they think the world will look like in 50 years, particularly from a technological viewpoint. Will we be living in space colonies like “The Jetsons”? Will we have an AI running for president? If you can imagine it, draw it!

How We Need It

There’s no requirement on what medium is used to create your postcard. Digital images must be submitted via the SIGGRAPH 2023 website. Technical requirements are as follows:

  • Image size: 6” x 4” (15.24cm x 10.15cm)
  • Must be at 300 dpi.
  • Must be submitted no later than 22 February at 22:00 GMT

Where to Put It

In order for your submission to be considered, please log into the submission portal, select the “Make a New Submission” tab, and select the 50th SIGGRAPH Conference Celebration form. You can start your submission journey on the History program page of the SIGGRAPH 2023 website.

SIGGRAPH is where people come to see the future, and this year, we’re making that a little bit more literal. Whether you are a long-time attendee or are attending your first SIGGRAPH conference, we hope that you will submit your vision of the future. And don’t forget to come to Los Angeles to see what the future has to hold at this year’s conference.

Image Credit: Françoise Foliot La radio à l’école

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