Altered Books – Digital Interventions

Curator’s Statement

The online exhibition by the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community, Altered Books – Digital Interventions, celebrates the book as an object that can carry experience, represent language, tell a narrative, convey culture, or archive memory in the context of contemporary arts.

We consider the Altered Book as an artistic production made through the process of de-construction and re-construction of the book form.  We are interested in Digital Interventions yielding screen-based still imagery that uses the legacy and symbolism of books, scrolls, manuscripts, and/or clay tablets as a point of departure.

Historically, the book was a symbol of intellectual life, the vehicle of the communication of history, ideas, and culture. Through the invention of the printing press in the 1400’s, the range of readers dramatically broadened due to increased accessibility, a trend which continued into the Industrial Age and the eventual introduction of paperbacks. In the Digital Age, the physical book is even easier to produce and reproduce, but at the same time it has faced a new challenge, as it is no longer the primary means of dissemination of information and concepts.

The Printed Book, as many of us knew it in our youth, is rapidly moving into the sphere of treasured objects that appeal to our full range of senses, even as they remain bearers of culture and information. Books join the territory already populated by medieval manuscripts, ancient scrolls, and even clay tablets. We have come to love them for their physicality, for the actual experience of touching, feeling, and smelling them, as much their content.

What happens when artists approach these complex objects with digital techniques that intervene both conceptually and technically? How can words be transformed from linear stories into objects that are both art and artifact? Artists in this exhibition have stitched together illustrations, extracted images from words, layered contemporary meaning onto books of memory, and broken new ground with wonderful intermingling of media.  There are so many ways to tell a story.  This is exhibition celebrates the story of the book itself as it moves into history.

Curators, Altered Books – Digital Interventions:
Copper Giloth
Hye Yeon Nam

Chair of SIGGRAPH DAC Committee:
Cynthia Beth Rubin

Curatorial Committee:
Scottie Huang
Bonnie Mitchell
Jacki Morie


The Digital Arts Community is growing in both numbers and conceptual exploration. Thanks to everyone involved, and we welcome you to join us at:

ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community Committee
Cynthia Beth Rubin, Chair
Jacquelyn Ford Morie
Greg Garvey
Hye Yeon Nam
John Hyatt
Copper Giloth
Sue Gollifer
Jim Demmers
Bonnie Mitchell
Scottie Chih-Chieh Huang (黃 致傑)

Website Design and Execution
David Arredondo
Jim Demmers
Tanya Balderas
Fernando Torres

Kristy Barkan, Project Manager, ACM SIGGRAPH
Ken Bauer, System Administrator, ACM SIGGRAPH
Deborah Cotton, Copyright Permission Coordinator, ACM
Jim Kilmer and the ACM SIGGRAPH Information System (SIS) team
Stephen N. Spencer, Publications, ACM SIGGRAPH
Barb Heifer, Communications, ACM SIGGRAPH
Jeff Jortner, President of ACM SIGGRAPH

Print Design
Michelle Devlin
Hye Yeon Nam

Exhibition Review Committee:
Copper Giloth, co-curator
Hye Yeon Nam, co-curator
Scottie Chih-Chieh Huang (黃 致傑)
Bonnie Mitchell
Jacquelyn Ford Morie

Artists and Works

Chiara Boeri
My Books © 2010 – 2012

Sophia Brueckner
Romance Series © 2014

Joseph Farbrook
Booleanimage © 2010

Colette Gaiter
Monkey Girl Weds Alligator Boy © 2014

Jean-Pierre Hébert
In Visible Cities © 2012 – 2015

Kathy T. Hettinga
4 3 2 CRY, Fracking in Northern Colorado © 2014

Xavier Ho and Phillip Gough
Wordscapes © 2015

Taylor Hokanson
Palimpsest © 2014 – 2015

Dorothy Krause
Losing Ground © 2010

Leslie Nobler
Artist’s Books and Scrolls © 2014 – 2015

Carlos Rosas
Metamorphosis Log Books © 2015

Sharon Steuer
Branded by Her Genetic Mutation © 2015

Marion Tregartha
Jabberwocky © 2015

Anna Ursyn
Data Deluge © 2012 / Hard Jazz Book © 2014

Leslie Wilson
I Had a Little Husband © 2015

Adrianne Wortzel

Jing Zhou
Life is a Verb: The Book of Spoken Wisdom © 2012

Links to “Altered Books” by the Curatorial Committee