Tuesday, July 31, 2012

SIGGRAPH Conference Questions and Issues: What is the Purpose of the Keynote Speech

The annual SIGGRAPH conference is almost here. As I grimly face another SIGGRAPH a series of questions comes to mind. Often these questions repeat every year, sometimes there is a new one or an old goes away, but usually these questions are the same year after year.

I dont know who to address them to. Who should I ask these questions of ? I dont know, but if you know, please tell me and I am sure you will give me good advice.

But first, the disclaimer.

I want to thank everyone who works so hard to put on SIGGRAPH every year. SIGGRAPH is for the most part a volunteer organization, which by definition means most of the people involved do not get paid for their work. And I am sure that things are chaotic and there are many points of view and that people are working hard and with integrity. Therefore, nothing said in this or any other discussion of SIGGRAPH on this blog should be taken as an attack or anything similar to that. I appreciate the efforts of everyone involved and want to take this opportunity to thank them.

The first question(s) are about the Keynote Speaker.

1. How is the Keynote Speaker chosen ?
2. Does the Keynote Speaker have to know anything about computer animation?
3. Should the Keynote Speaker have attended SIGGRAPH at least once in their life?
4. I thought a Keynote Speaker was someone who was senior in the field, someone who had spent a great deal of their career trying to build the field, and/or possibly someone who had something to say about the current state and potential future of our field.

I am sure that Jane McGonigal is an interesting person. It may even be that SIGGRAPH should give her a platform to speak to us. Maybe Jane is also qualified to be our Keynote speaker, after all, since I have no clue how these speakers are chosen, it is impossible for me to judge if she should be the Keynote speaker.

And then finally, since SIGGRAPH is wildly over scheduled, is there a way to view the Keynote speech after it is given, possibly remotely. Ideally I would want to do that for all Keynote speeches given at SIGGRAPH in the past as well.

Does anyone know the answer to these questions ?

Does anyone know who I should be asking these questions of ?

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