first reflections on SIGGRAPH

SIGGRAPH is usually an opportunity for me to bounce around with a group of my friends and colleagues, learn interesting new things and get into deep creative conversations. Unfortunately, i’m finding that i’m beyond exhausted from my overcomittments this summer and only spending time with my closest friends. In addition to this lack of danah-bounciness, i’m a bit disappointed with SIGGRAPH.

SIGGRAPH is a combination of art, animation, graphics techniques and technical savvy (plus a lot of folks trying to sell wares). I realized that i’ve never actually gone to a Papers session because i can read the papers and there are usually really interesting Panel sessions held simultaneously. I’ve always loved Panels as an opportunity to look at graphics at a more meta level. Unfortunately, there are none this year. Additionally, the Papers talks have an uber emphasis on techniques (mostly 3D techniques, of course). This is sad because, well, i still don’t find much use out of 3D in my work.

One good thing that was apparently added last year was this Fast Forward papers review. Basically, you go and each of the 81 Paper presenters has 52 seconds to describe what they’re going to talk about. This is *perfect* for people with the amount of attention span that i have.

The other good thing is that i had a great conversation with a member of the conference committee on the purpose of Sketches (which actually made me very proud to be a Sketch at SIGGRAPH). The purpose is to provide graphics researchers with a sense of what people are doing to extend graphics beyond the research domain and to provide a groundwork for new research.

Of course, the Electronic Theatre was wonderful and there are a handful of good pieces in the Emerging Technologies (a fun spotlight, a neat interactive dance piece, a well down thermal human detector, etc.). There is also a really bizarre submission at ETech – it involves haptics, condoms and chewing… food simulation, of course. Not sure how i feel about this.

Tonight is the Brown Reunion dinner, which is my complete favorite and tomorrow is my talk (::gulp::). Oh and San Diego continues to confuse me, but at least i get to play around with my best friend as she learns to drive stick (only motivating me further to never drive stick… ever.)

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