The History of Computer Graphics and Digital Art Project

Call for Participation

A data bank of computer graphics and digital art, along with custom profiles of professionals, is being assembled as a part of ACM SIGGRAPH's resources for computer graphics and digital arts educators and practitioners.

The goal is to document the development of computer graphics, digital art, and theories about art in relation to the progress of technology. We would like to establish a collection of images and essays created by artists, scientists, and people who influence these disciplines, showing the inventions in computer graphics and art made possible through technical achievements (hardware, software, languages, etc).

We request participation by those who believe their work has contributed to the fields of computer graphics and digital art. We would like them to describe their specialized fields, bodies of work, and accomplishments in their own words. Since this approach calls for interaction between people representing various fields in the history of inventions, we ask anyone involved in the progress of these fields to become involved—including software/hardware programmers, scientists, curators, art historians, and artists. We hope that being a part of this project may be interesting both professionally and academically, as there is great potential for new approaches in teaching and for the collection of materials for visual learning. In addition, the Web sites for this project, accessible at here and at, will be linked to a new edition of the book by Terrence Masson, author of CG 101: A Computer Graphics Industry Reference, Digital Fauxtography Inc., 2007 (

If you are interested, please read the additional information and fill out the Permission Form below. This will provide us with more valuable information for our data bank, as well as contact information. The Permission Form also includes a release, since resources provided by participants of this project may be used by the ACM SIGGRAPH community for non-commercial (fair use) purposes only (teaching, research, etc.). Participants retain all existing rights to, and ownership of their materials. Participants must enclose their submissions on multi-platform CD-ROM or DVD media, and send all materials to the following address:

Anna Ursyn
School of Art & Design
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639, USA


Surprisingly, no comprehensive resource currently exists describing this fascinating and important history of creative visual thinking with the computer. There are many books on the history of computers and computing that cover relevant topics, but it is hard to find a single book entirely focused on the topic of the history of computer graphics and digital art. Furthermore, no other media exists with a comprehensive list of people whose work has contributed to the fields of computer graphics and digital art. There also are not collections of syllabi that would be helpful in teaching the subject.

A "Birds of Feather" session at the SIGGRAPH 2002 conference was initiated to begin the process of gathering information about the development of computer graphics, art, and critical thinking about art in relation to the progress in technology. This session organized by Anna Ursyn and Anne Morgan Spalter served as a meeting place for ACM SIGGRAPH attendees interested in the rich history of computer graphics, art, and their interrelations. This project is an extension of that session, intended to provide this information to a larger audience of computer graphics professionals and digital artists.

Images, Essays, and Profiles

We ask for images of artistic/scientific creations. Both low resolution (72 dpi) and higher resolution (200, 300 dpi) images would be appreciated for a database, and possibly a book, showing these advances. Please send three (3) samples of your work, with permissions.

We ask for a statement, (400- word maximum), describing one's contribution to computer graphics and/or computer art. We also ask those willing to contribute to this project to fill out the questionnaire below. (If there is no time/interest to do that, this section may also be used as a guide for the essay.)

We also solicit images showing technological milestones; for example: a photo of a specific kind of a chip (with description), an old machine/monitor, an outdated NEXT system. Please contribute each image for an image bank exhibit with a short description of its contribution and how it reflects growth within the field. (Permissions for these are also required.)


Please answer the following questions as completely as possible. The goal is to create a resource that conveys the interrelated histories of computer graphics and computer art. Thank you!

  1. Describe your field. Why are you interested in Digital Art/ Computer Graphics and what (event, need, idea, hope, obstacle) caused your involvement? Summarize your line of development (the essence of your input to the field) in relation to concurrent technology. (100 WORDS MAXIMUM)
  2. Does the computer allow you to think visually about some topic or process in new ways? How has this influenced your work?
  3. Has the field of digital art and graphics progressed in the ways that you expected? What has surprised you? What do you like about its progress, and what do you wish had happened differently? What do you think the future holds for visual computing in science/art? Please make some predictions or wish lists for the near- and long-term future.
  4. Describe your dream environment for enhancing your project ideas. What are your preferred tools for creation, and how do they help you? What tools (hardware/software) you have you used that have had the strongest impact on your work?
  5. Describe how you think specific advancements in technology, (such as wireframe, hidden line removal, scanner, laser, HTML, Java applets, or any other advancement), determined the way the approaches to creating art/graphics evolved?
  6. How would you characterize the milestones, (every ten years), in the development of computer technology? Which ones were most influential in art/graphics? Describe your ultimate accomplishment.
  7. Which persons would you indicate as the pioneers in the particular areas/stages?

Permission Form


  1. ______________________________________________________
  2. ______________________________________________________
  3. ______________________________________________________

AUTHOR(S): ______________________________________________________


DESCRIPTION OF MATERIAL: ______________________________________________________

TITLE OF ACM PUBLICATION: ______________________________________________________


Select one category from the list below (delete all others).

  1. Characters
  2. Architecture
  3. Commercial/Industrial
  4. Photo-realism
  5. Scientific/Medical
  6. Fantasy/Science Fiction
  7. Nature
  8. Miscellaneous

I hereby grant permission for ACM and/or ACM SIGGRAPH and/or Anna Ursyn to include the above-named material (the Material) in any and all forms in the above-named publication. I further grant permission for Anna Ursyn to publish my statements and images/artwork (200-300 and 72 dpi) on a Web site, CD-ROM, immersive display and its library, and a book publication. (Please feel free to cross out those media you do not grant permission for, if needed.) I understand that the creators will be duly credited for their work.

I also authorize ACM and/or ACM SIGGRAPH and/or Anna Ursyn to distribute this submission as part of the above-named publication in print and electronic form, and as part of the ACM Digital Library, on CD-ROM and in translation, or on videocassette, broadcast, cablecast, laserdisc, multimedia, or any other media format now or hereafter known. (Not all forms of media will be utilized.)

I further authorize ACM and/or ACM SIGGRAPH to offer the Material as an education resource on the ACM SIGGRAPH Web site. Such resources may be used by the ACM SIGGRAPH education community for non-commercial (fair use) purposes only (teaching, research, etc.). Participants retain all existing rights to, and ownership of their materials.

I hereby verify that I am the sole owner of and hold the copyright to this Material and have the authority to grant such permission. In the event that any elements used in the Material contain the work of third-party individuals, I understand that it is my responsibility to secure any necessary permissions and/or licenses and will provide same in writing to ACM. If the copyright holder requires a citation to a copyrighted work, I have obtained the correct wording and have included it in the designated space in the text.

I hereby release and discharge ACM, ACM SIGGRAPH and other publication sponsors and organizers from any and all liability arising out of my inclusion in the publication, or in connection with the performance of any of the activities described in this document as permitted herein. This includes, but is not limited to, my right of privacy or publicity, copyright, patent rights, trade secret rights, moral rights, or trademark rights. All permissions and releases granted by me herein shall be effective in perpetuity and throughout the universe unless otherwise stipulated, and extend and apply to the ACM and its assigns, contractors, sub-licensed distributors, successors and agents. The following statement of copyright ownership will be displayed with the Material, unless otherwise specified: "Copyright is held by the author/owner." ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH reserve the right to provide a hyperlink to the author's site if the Material is used in electronic media.

Please check one below:
____I have not used third-party material.
____I have the necessary permission to use third-party material.

SIGNATURE (author/owner)

Revised 02 January 2007

Please Return This Form To:
Anna Ursyn
School of Art and Design
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639