[ISEA97] Artist Statement: Bonnie Mitchell – As Worlds Collide

Artist Statement

The separation of media and various dimensions is well understood by those who engage in the creation of visual art using a computer. The hierarchical evolution from 2D to 3D to time-based art defines complex relationships with inherent boundaries and limitations. For the artist, the challenges are numerous as the structure of digital technology reinforces the separation of media. Computer simulation of traditional art media such as paint has taken form as 2D bitmapped work, whereas 3D computer imagery follows a tradition of architectural renderings and sculpture. Time-based work derives its heritage from performance, film, and animation. With such diverse inheritances, the merging of media and technological approaches to the creation of computer art presents challenges. Interactive multimedia has been praised as the medium in which multiple forms of expression come together to create a new form of communication. Yet, most WWW pages are static, devoid of 3 dimensional data, nor time-based, expressive work. An occasional animated gif often adds glitter to the page but does not often enhance the content. Sites that include VRML often do so as separate worlds that you enter via a window or application after leaving the 2D world of Web graphics. Sites that include Quicktime, MPEG, Shockwave, Java, QTVR, or other technologies that enable time-base expression often work with isolated content. The strength of the interactive multimedia movement on the Internet has not been its success in merging media but instead in its enabling of experiential interaction. Virtual communities are formed, and shared experiences emerge via global exchange of visual and text-based expression. Cultural and social boundaries disappear as individuals articulate meaning via interchange and collaboration. Structured events that harbor concepts of free exchange of visual expression, whether it be 2D, 3D or time-based, provide anchors that secure meaningful experiences. As Worlds Collide is a WWW based international collaborative art project that integrates the principles of 2D, 3D and time-based expressive worlds. Participants from across the globe are invited to collaborate in constructing images, 3D worlds, and time-based work that transcends the boundaries of any one medium. Interaction with the environment provides not only the ability to contribute but also the unfolding of shared creative vision. Influence and inspiration coupled with individual visual style and conceptual realization provide building blocks for the manifestation of collective creative outcomes. After the series of events that allow creative contributions, As Worlds Collide will stand as a monument to the universal idea of collaboration and shared creative expression. The realization of the project enables exploration of ideas and compositional strategies that differ from independent artistic outcomes. As we isolate ourselves from others in the confines of the digital technology-based habitat we have created, collaborative WWW art sites provide an outlet for those who recognize the importance of sharing visual ideas and experiences. As Worlds Collide attempts to satisfy this need while disintegrating the separation of media. Assistants: Yi He, Rich Sangillo, Jeff Stone, David Slattery.

  • Bonnie Mitchell (U.S.A.). is an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University’s Art Media Studies/Computer Graphics Department. She currently teaches 3D modeling/animation, virtual environments and art, and interactive multi-media (CD and WWW). She received her MFA in Visual Design/Computer Art from the University of Oregon in 1992. Ms. Mitchell is internationally recognized for her collaborative Internet-based art works. Early in 1993, using FTP and email, she organized the ChainArt project, which involved over 130 people from 15 different countries. In 1994, she coordinated the Digital Journey project; 1995 the Diversive Path project, and also in 1995 she organized the ChainReaction project which premiered at SIGGRAPH 95 and ISEA95. ChainReaction currently has over 350 images and over 140 participants in 16 countries. Her most recent WWW collaborative project is entitled As Worlds Collide and focuses on the integration of 3D and 2D imagery. Bonnie Mitchell also works with stereo imaging, installation, and 3D modeling to explore spatial environments and experiential relationships to natural elements. Her work was recently exhibited as part of Arcadell; Bunch of Digital Art and the ISEA96 Art Show. Recently Bonnie Mitchell has presented at SIGGRAPH 97, typoMedia: Germany, FATE: Virginia, RIT, CAA, the NY State Media Festival, American Academy of Art, Chicago Womens Art Caucus, SIGSCE: Barcelona, and SIGGRAPH 96. Bonnie Mitchell’s WWW work has been published in several books and magazines as well as receiving numerous awards.