Keynotes

The Joint Symposia will share the following three keynotes.


Jeff Han (for SBIM)
Title to be confirmed


Andrew Pearce (for NPAR)
“Stylistic Approximations of Realism in DreamWorks’ Animated Films”

Computer animated films vary widely in their devotion to photorealism, however, even the most realistic films push stylization into the geometry, surfaces, animation, rendering and even dynamics. A movie’s creative team strives towards believable, but artistically directed representations. This talk presents examples of where our mathematical models in computer graphics are left behind as we take sudden unexpected left turns into the magical non-photorealistic world of the film director.

Andrew is Director of Research and Development at DreamWorks, where he works to develop software in support of upcoming animated features. For the past few years, he was at ESC Entertainment as Head of Production Tools for 5 feature films, most notably The Matrix sequels. Andrew started his career at Alias developing software for Maya, PowerAnimator and Studio.


Jeffrey Ventrella (for CAe)
“The Art of Code; the Code of Art”

Software is part machine; part language. I am interested in the language part. Artists who write software for generating artworks necessarily engage in a linguistic activity. Even if the intended final experience is non-symbolic, subrational, and sensory, the artist must construct a computable text that enables – and to some degree, describes – the final experience. This creates a dual situation for the maker of computational art – more so than most artmaking processes. Some artists strive to fuse the textual with the sensory; some artists expose the mathematical and computational dynamics as part of the aesthetic experience. Others choose to keep the code as an invisible engine: a necessary text, but not part of the aesthetic experience.

In this talk, I will give a brief overview of algorithmic art. I will also show a few examples of my own work: in one example, the underlying math/code is unrelated to the final experience; in another example, the underlying math is integral to the aesthetic experience. I will offer a look into the future of algorithmic/computational art, with considerations of new gestural interfaces, new artist-friendly programming environments, and the effect of Moore’s Law on increasing depth in virtuality, simulation, and immersion.

Will software of the future become so complex that artists can no longer experience their code as “well-crafted poems that compile to generate sensory experience”? Will we cross a singularity in which the text becomes impenetrable … even to the artist? My prediction is that many artists will always want to have a human-readable, computable text as a counterpart to their artworks, either as an aspect of their own creative process, or as a component of the viewer/participant experience.

Jeffrey Ventrella is an artist and a programmer. Throughout his career he has crossed boundaries – between academia and industry, and between art and science. Jeffrey has published papers and presented widely in North America and Europe. He got his first Master’s degree from Syracuse University and his second Master’s degree from the MIT Media Lab (the Visible Language Workshop). He co-founded the virtual world There.com, and is the inventor of “flexi-prims” for Second Life. Jeffrey is the creator of Gene Pool, an artificial life game, as well as many interactive playthings available on Ventrella.com. Recently, he completed his first book: Virtual Body Language, which will be available through ETC Press in late summer, 2011.