SIGGRAPH Spotlight: Episode 75 – Art, Media, and Ecology

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Image credit from left to right: Anna Friz; Gabriela Munguía; Tom Sherman, photograph by Jeremiah Chechik, 1975; August Black

In this episode of SIGGRAPH Spotlight, SIGGRAPH 2024 Art Papers Chair August Black welcomes distinguished artists and researchers Anna Friz, Gabriela Munguía, and Tom Sherman to discuss the art, media, and science overlap. Through the lens of this year’s Art Papers program theme, “Ambient Like the Weather,” the guests give insight into their current projects, commentary on Marshall McLuhan’s idea of acoustic space, and thoughts on emerging media formats and spaces.  

Want to join in on this conversation? Join us at SIGGRAPH 2024 in Denver, 28 July–1 August, to be wowed by the latest in art and media.

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About Our Guests

Anna Friz is a transmission, sound, and media artist, who creates broadcasts, installations, short films, and live performances. She continually returns to themes of transmission ecologies and the intimacies of signal space, environment and land, infrastructures, time perception and durational performance, and critical fictions. Since 1998, she has created radiophonic works internationally in which radio is often the source, subject, and medium of the work; she also composes for theater, dance, film, and public practice performance.

Anna is a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow, and has been a Rydell Visual Arts Fellow, a Hellman Fellow, and a Prix Palma Ars Acoustica awardee, along with numerous grants and commissions. She has exhibited and performed widely across North America and internationally. Her radio artworks have been commissioned by national public radio in Canada, Australia, Austria, Finland, Germany, Denmark, and Spain, and heard on public and independent airwaves all over the world. In recent years she has presented work at Ars Electronica Festival (Linz, Austria), the Museum of Arts and Design (New York), The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the New York Times Magazine, Wave Farm (Upper Hudson Valley, New York), esc Median Kunst Labor (Graz, Austria), Tsonami Festival de Arte Sonoro (Valparaíso and Santiago, Chile), Heroines of Sound Festival, Berlin Germany), Soundhouse  at the Barbican (London, U.K.), Espace Multimedia Gantner (Belfort, France), and RE:SOUND Festival (Aalborg, Denmark). Anna holds a Ph.D. in communication and culture from York University, Tkaronto/Toronto, and is currently Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Gabriela Munguía, a Mexican transmedia artist and researcher based in Buenos Aires, integrates diverse Latin American cosmovisions with interdisciplinary and speculative thinking at the intersection of art, science, and open technologies. Her work addresses issues related to geo-biopolitics, studies of human and non-human phenomena, and environmental justice. As the founding facilitator of the Invisible Ecologies LAB, a nomadic artistic research initiative, she fosters connections among environmental humanities, science, and technology. Munguía is also a co-founder and member of the Electrobiota collective, AIseeds Project, Colectiva EcoEstéticas, and the Observatory of Interspecies Studies. She currently serves as the Director and Professor of the Advanced Diploma in Environmental Humanities at the Intersection of Art and Technology at UNTREF. Recently, she received the Prince Claus-Goethe Institute Mentorship Award for Cultural & Artistic Responses to Environmental Change, the CIFO-Ars Electronica Award, and a Prix Ars Electronica Honorary Mention in Interactive Art. Her work has been featured in esteemed exhibitions and festivals across the Americas, Europe, Iran, and Egypt.

Tom Sherman is a visual and media artist who writes. His texts form the basis of his video, performance, and audio works. His art has been featured in hundreds of exhibitions, festivals, and broadcast and network venues, including the Venice Biennale, Vancouver Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada, Museum of Modern Art, Ars Electronica, Tate Britain, Documenta X. He was an International Commissioner for the Venice Biennale, founding Co-editor of Fuse magazine, and founding Head of the Media Art Section of the Canada Council of the Arts. He founded, with Bernhard Loibner, the performance duo Nerve Theory, broadcasting hundreds of radio works on Kunstradio (Vienna) and throughout Europe. Sherman has published 10 books, including Cultural Engineering, National Gallery of Canada, 1983; Before and After the I-Bomb: An Artist in the Information Environment, Banff Centre, 2002; Exclusive Memory: A Perceptual History of the Future, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 2023; Marshall Needles Mosquitoes, Impulse [b], Toronto, 2023. He received the Bell Canada Award for excellence in video art in 2003 and Canada’s Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2010. He taught video art and media art history at Syracuse University, New York, from 1991-2022, and splits his time between Syracuse, New York, and Port Mouton, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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