Interactive Tech Art at This Year’s SIGGRAPH Conference

Art & Sculpture Craft & Design Internet of Things Technology
Interactive Tech Art at This Year’s SIGGRAPH Conference

SIGGRAPH will hold its 43rd international conference and exhibition on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques on July 24-28 in Anaheim, California. As part of the event, they’ve put together an impressive little art exhibition showcasing some thought-provoking digital and interactive art. Former Make: contributor Jonah Brucker-Cohen was the Art Chair for the show and Doug Repetto, founder of Dorkbot, sat on the gallery sub-committee.

Here are a few of the pieces that I particularly liked. You can see all of them on this gallery page.

Metaphase Sound Machine

Inspired by physicist Nick Herbert’s work, Metaphase Sound Machine speaks to our increasing dependency on the information and electronic noise that permeates our everyday lives.

Pixelbots: A Display Formed by Mobile Pixels

Using swarm robotics, Pixelbots is a form of empathetic display exploring how information might be manifest in the near future. “Pixelbots can be arranged dynamically and fluidly on a physical platform and take material shape in the form of clusters or designed dynamic shapes. The screen itself becomes a fluid entity that can be harnessed and remixed into any shape, color, or manifestation one desires.”


Doors is a portal on the middle ground between virtual and physical spaces. Sensors surround the structure of an actual door and track visitors’ movements, changing the portal on the screen’s perspective in an anamorphic system that adjusts to the visual angle of the viewer in real time.


Submergence” is a walkthrough environment consisting of 8,064 individually addressable LEDs suspended from a ceiling to create feelings of presence, movement, and envelopment when one is interacting with it. Without a VR headset, the physicality of the environment challenges the ways in which we experience data flows and makes us think more creatively about how information could be represented in physical spaces.”

Plinko Poetry

Plinko Poetry is a networked installation that uses the Plinko Game from the American game show “The Price is Right” to create real-time poetry from constantly-updated Twitter feeds. Players drop chips into the board, where they randomly hit pegs, and create poems from words passing by from Twitter streams.”


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn