Altered Books

Digital Interventions

Curated by: Hye Yeon Nam

Exhibition Opening: July 2015

Submission Information:

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.

Digital artists and arts specialists from the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Art Community reviewed submissions. Selected digital images were presented in an online exhibition on the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts site hosted at

Criteria for Selection

Works will be selected based upon the following criteria:

  • Aesthetic quality of the work.
  • Inventive use of digital techniques. Options include, but are not limited to:
    • merging digital and analog, creative digital imaging.
    • merging of 2D and 3D (2D digital or 3D digital).
    • incorporating historic materials and contemporary sensibility, including concepts of patterning, relation of text and image, or tactile qualities.
  • Creative Interpretation of the Topic.
  • Screen ready work (1920 x 1080).

eBooks and web-page screen shots are outside of the focus of this exhibition.


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.


Chair of SIGGRAPH DAC Committee:
Cynthia Beth Rubin


Hye Yeon Nam

Hye Yeon Nam is a digital media artist working on interactive installations and robotics. She foregrounds the complexity of social relationships by making the familiar strange and interpreting everyday behaviors in performative ways. Hye Yeon’s art has been showcased in The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C, Times Square, the art gallery Eyebeam and The Tank, the Conflux, the D.U.M.B.O. Art Festival in New York, FILE, SIGGRAPH, CHI, ISEA, E3 Expo, the Lab in San Francisco, and several festivals in China, Istanbul, Ireland, the UK, Germany, Australia, Denmark, and Switzerland. She is currently an associate professor of digital art at Louisiana State University.

Jury Members: Scottie Chih-Chieh Huang, Bonnie Mitchell, and Jacquelyn Ford Morie