Sally Rosenthal

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“Art and math? Art and math? Art and math? I kept trying to figure out how to pursue art and math because for my entire life, I had been told you couldn’t do both. You have to pick one.”

Squidball—a large-scale motion-capture–based game that was tested on multiple four- thousand player (maximum) audiences at SIGGRAPH 2004. Courtesy of Tom Igoe. From New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts.

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Sally Rosenthal is the executive producer of the award- winning independent film Between the Folds. Rosenthal is a trailblazer and pioneer who contributed to the digital revolution with experimental research, animations, film shows, and massively multiplayer cooperative games that created new paths for artists and industries to follow. Rosenthal’s early roots as a futurist started on the prairie in the Midwest as an MFA graduate from the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has chaired, juried, and curated international animation festivals and New Media exhibitions, including the ACM SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater, where large scale cooperative networked games, stereoscopic 3D, and Pixar’s Luxo Jr. were all introduced as milestone achievements. Rosenthal was a cofounder of Big Research with Johnie Hugh Horn, and an inventor at Interval Research. At NASA Ames Research Center, she became the visual icon for virtual reality on the agency’s official poster. Recent collaborations include Squidball, a large-scale motion- capture cooperative game with New York University.Sandor is an Advisory Board Chair, Gene Siskel Film Center, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She serves on the Board of Governors, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a Life Trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a co-founder of the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014, and Fermilab's Artist in Residence in 2016. She was honored by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 2017 for her longstanding commitment to integrating art and science. 

Post-Recording: Untold HERstories: An Homage to SIGGRAPH SIGGRAPH ‘19 LA, July 31, 2019

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“My work focused on Muybridge’s studies on cow motion. My interest was in animation and Muybridge was, of course, an inspiration. My sister was a textile artist. I created a huge file that I printed and sent to her in New York, which she then programmed into a knitting machine to create large-scale pixilated tapestry. The image was one of the frames of video that played next to it, of a computer animation of Muybridge’s cows walking. She used the same image file to make sweaters. The name of the video piece was Cows in the News. I received calls and letters from people who had attachments to cows.”

–Sally Rosenthal

Locomotion Study of a Man in a Surrey with Horse, 1878–81, Eadweard Muybridge 6 1⁄4” 8 3/4” Vintage albumen print 

From the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection, Digital photograph by James Prinz Photography

KEYWORDS

computer animation, game design, virtual reality, and independent film