Twenty five years ago, ACM SIGGRAPH sponsored its first juried public exhibition of experimental two-dimensional, three-dimensional, interactive, and time-based works by artists and scientists experimenting with computer graphic technologies. Prior to the 1982 Art Show, several informal art shows had taken place in the late 1970s, and in 1981, Darcy Gerbarg curated the 1981 SIGGRAPH Art Show. The popularity of the previous shows convinced the SIGGRAPH organization to fund the 1982 open competition.
As chair of the SIGGRAPH 82 Art Show, Copper Giloth archived the documents, slides and videotapes from this exhibition. In the fall of 2007, five senior art students in her information design course at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (Zinj Guo, Dona Ramponi, Jen Zolga, Lindsay Weber and Vesna Vrankovic) reviewed these materials.
The students’ task was to inventory and organize them, and devise a strategy for making them available to the community. Using this information, they designed and constructed a web site documenting the exhibition.
In the 25 years since this exhibition, both the vocabulary for describing the technology and the tools used to make most of the works from the show have changed dramatically. Thus the very process of making the site confirmed the need to document the history of computer art. Work on the site is ongoing. As we reach back to the innovations of 1982, we continue to add new information to the site and revise the existing content to make it a more complete resource.