The Guerilla Studio at SIGGRAPH 2004
Photos and article by Monika May, Additional photos by John Brock

The L.A. convention center became an incubator of new ideas, interactive techniques and computer art for a short hot week August 8th -12th as the mavens of SIGGRAPH opened shop. As usual there were far too many things to do see and experience at this years' convention. Hard decisions had to be made, and schedules had to morph as the adventure developed.

One particularly captivating area of SIGGRAPH was the Guerilla Studio. Which had almost become extinct, but came raging back because of popular demand. This unique, wonderful niche was an invigorating respite from the hubbub of activity that surrounded this creative oasis. Whenever I found my head ready to explode from information overload, I would find myself drifting back into the warm womb of the Studio, wondering what zany geek like thing they were exploring.
The Studio was heavily equipped with state-of-the-art computers a partial list of hardware included: 20 brand new G5's with Sony Artisan 23"monitors. Intel built 60 custom systems, for the studio, with Pentium 4 HT 3.20 GHz processors, 1 GB of memory, video cards supplied by NVidia, and monitors supplied by Viewsonic. Software included but was not limited to: Adobe CS Suite, Maya, Final Cut Pro, Painter, Luscious Art, Knock Out, Combustion, Cinema 4D, Deep Paint, 3D Studio Max, SoftImage, Lightwave, Studio Artist, Genuine Fractal, Premiere, After Effects etc, etc.
Michael Wright from Otis College of Art and Design and M. RagsdaleWright Studio produced a "Wall of Fame" made from attendees photos taken on site, which were manipulated real-time and printed.
Many of the systems were color calibrated and color matched to printers to assure superior quality output. Color-management training was available by professional master printers. Attendees could bring in, or create art that was printed with state-of-the-art Epson 9600's, 7600's, and 4000's color printers. What an outstanding opportunity to create art up to 30"x 40" on canvas, watercolor, or inkjet high quality paper; and all for the price of a ticket. This was one of the greatest perks of the conference.
A plethora of peripherals were available including: cameras, video cameras, scanners, CD burner, motion capture rig, and numerous other toys.
Some of the fascinating tools that were showcased in the studio were: A giant sand painting machine that poured sand into intricate shapes, many of the paintings it created required hours to complete. This project was the brainchild of ASU, Kreysler and Associates, and Makai Smith. If you did not have time to have a manicure done before the conference... Fear not - Imaginail printers were available. You could get a beautiful set of nails, in a matter of minutes, of course you had to battle the 45-minute line the first couple of days, then it was reservation only. You could have yourself photographed with dinosaurs and printed onto a lenticilear card, which achieved a pseudo 3D effect on a 2D surface.

For all the folks that don't have easy access to creating motion capture at home. PhaseSpace heard your requests. They brought in their latest 2-person real-time high-resolution optical motion capture technology. It was fascinating to see dancers, actors, martial artists, and character artist create their own motion captures. This area was alive with activity for days on end as attendees vied for their turn to capture their visions.

In the far corner Scott Van Note from PRISM at ASU was quietly creating beautiful translucent algorithmic sculptures. He describes his work as sculptures that use the computer as a tool. His inspiration flows from the thought that all physics and math are derived from nature. Therefore he makes sculptures that refer back to nature. The stunning works reflect light and shadow in fabulous curvilinear forms.

Just imagine a hall full of computer graphic fans joyously huddled in groups exploring for hours on end. Peter Braccio, again, outdid himself as the Studio Chair. It seemed as things just ran themselves, which is a feat when coordinating so many components and people. The vibe of the Studio was one of family not just a bunch of computer nerds showing off equipment. Volunteers were more than happy to help attendees with their needs and questions. As a hands-on environment sometimes this was a challenge, but it seemed everything was handled with an air of total professionalism and fun.

Probably the highlight of the Studio was the 3rd annual Cyber Fashion show, this adventure led into the world of high-tech body adornment. Psymbiote Isa Gordon hosted the way into future realms of body-technology integration. The runway teamed with innovation featuring: smart clothes, cyber club wear, luminous apparel, and sexy models. The room was packed to capacity, as models displayed among many things: Steve Mann and his WearComp EyeTap, Department of Geography's wearable geographic information system, Bristol Wearable Computing and the CyberJacket and eSleeve, Charmed Technologies' Charmed Badge, the 5dt data glove, and MicroOptical binocular and monocular head-up displays.
Other Features of the Fashion Show included: wearable aromatherapy neckwear, cyber club wear, and clothing that would light up at the increase of your partner's heart rate. Some of the clothing utilized very alternative materials, as pictured to the right, an outfit made from recycled rubber and fire hoses. All in all it was a very exciting time in the Guerilla Studio. The bottom line though, what made the Studio so great was the people. This wonderful environment created a space where attendees and volunteers could interact in the spirit of fun, learning and experimentation. All bets were off on what could and would happen but one thing was sure that it was going to be captivating! I personally am excited to see what Peter Braccio and the crew come up with for next year.
Article by Monika May
of Rocky Mountain Siggraph