Staff Writer

What: SIGGRAPH Traveling Art Show Opening Night Reception
When: Friday, June 11
Time: 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Where: Ewing Gallery in the Art and Architecture Building

An exhibit celebrating the use of computers in contemporary art will reside temporarily at the Ewing Gallery.
"The pieces incorporate multiple media aside from just computer graphic technology," said the exhibit's chairperson, Huguette Chesnais, who spoke for two international societies representing computing technology students and professionals.
"Some of the works were realized through use of traditional media," Chesnais said. "But all of them employed use of computing machinery in their creation."
"The computer part is quite important," Chesnais said.
Another expert elaborated.
"In the fine art category, artwork can be made using traditional media such as paint or pencil or etchings," said Greg Weinstein, a former president of the East Tennessee Computer Society. "Or it can be made out of inventive new media that can be realized through use of technology."
Remembering early computer art shows, Weinstein says the technology has evolved at an exponential rate.
"Years ago the UT student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery used to do an art show where they made pictures using alphabetic characters on line printers - on standard green bar high speed computer printout paper - and then they would sell them for a buck a piece as a fundraiser," Weinstein says.
"People considered that computer art and that's not what we are talking about. What we are talking about is some of the most sophisticated and inventive multimedia two-dimensional artworks in the world."
Much of the computer-aided art can be pigeonholed easily into the usual genres of the contemporary arts.
"Some of them are abstract art, but a few of them are figurative," Chesnais said.
The works, however, also can be difficult to characterize.
"A few are so hard to describe that I'm not sure that the field has even clearly defined it," Weinstein said.
The show's opening night reception will be hosted by the East Tennessee Association for Computing Machinery, a chapter of the oldest and largest international society for computing technology students and professionals.
ACM works closely with SIGGRAPH, a 35-year-old special interest group focused on computer graphics and interactive techniques, in uniting and organizing students and professionals from various fields of computing technology. SIGGRAPH connects computer masters from all over the world in an effort to advance the art world into the technology age, a movement analogous to the trend of increased use of computer technology in everyday life.
The works exhibited as part of the ACM SIGGRAPH international, traveling art show change annually. At a conference, the works are selected by a jury choosing from submissions sent in from around the world.
"The submissions came in March 2003," Chesnais said. "The works were exhibited in San Diego at the annual conference in May."
A jury whittled the field down to a workable number.
"There were 150 works that were selected from the 600 submissions," Chesnais said. "Out of those I made the further selection of 45 works."
The exhibit is the first time this art show has passed through Knoxville.
The opening night reception will be opened by a speech by Stewart Dickson, a visualization researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratories. Music will be provided by the Dennis Dow Jazz Quartet.