Leonardo Journal Volume 49, Issue 4, 2016

Leonardo is published five times a year. Leonardo is edited by Leonardo/the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, and published by the MIT Press.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

SPECIAL SIGGRAPH ISSUE

ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art: Steina Vasulka
by Sue Gollifer

ART PAPERS

Introduction

by Edward Shanken

Perceptual Cells: James Turrell’s Vision Machines Between Two Paracinemas

by Alla Gadassik

ABSTRACT: James Turrell’s perceptual cells incorporate the neurophysiological apparatus as an active participant not only in the reception of projected moving-images, but also in the very production and transmission of virtual moving-images. Combining two perceptual phenomena—the stroboscopic effect and the Ganzfeld Effect—Turrell’s perceptual cells integrate the architecture of projection with the architecture of organic vision to produce a single networked extra-sensory medium. This paper performs a phenomenological analysis of Turrell’s Light Reignfall (2011) perceptual cell, following its design, effects on the viewer, and cultural and material history. In the process, the paper situates the perceptual cell between the history of avant-garde cinema (what historians have called “paracinema”) and the history of perceptual psychology and parapsychology (what the author terms “para-cinema”). Between these two paracinemas, Turrell’s perceptual cells activate the aesthetic potential of what the author discusses as “edgeless projection.”

Pulse Shape 22: Audiovisual Performance and Data Transmutation

by Mark Cetilia

ABSTRACT: Pulse Shape 22 is an improvisational audiovisual performance featuring shortwave radio transmissions as the sole source material for real-time audio processing alongside video of the sun projected through cast-glass lenses designed specifically for this piece. The structure of the piece is derived from metrics on energy accumulation over a period of 2.2 nanoseconds resulting from the targeting of 60 laser beams on a single tetrahedral hohlraum in weapons testing experiments as carried out by the Los Alamos Inertial Confinement Fusion unit, at the Omega Laser Facility at the University of Rochester. Pulse Shape 22 is an exploration of architectural space through the use of site- and time-specific information found in regions of the electromagnetic spectrum outside the reaches of the human sensory apparatus. It is an attempt to alter the audience’s perceptions of their surroundings and create a moment of rupture from hidden worlds found in our local environment.

Deletion Process_Only you can see my history: Investigating Digital Privacy, Digital Oblivion, and Control on Personal Data Through an Interactive Art Installation

by Kyriaki Goni

ABSTRACT: In light of recent controversies surrounding massive data collection by corporations and government agencies, digital privacy, the right to oblivion, and data ownership have become increasingly important concerns. This paper describes the author’s artwork, Deletion Process_Only you can see my history, an interactive art installation based on her eight-year personal search history in the Google search engine. While the personal search history maintains a sense of privacy, according to the company’s own declaration, the author reveals this archive to viewers in order to raise awareness and provoke reflection on the aforementioned subjects. The author discusses her motivation, describes the making process and the decisions made at each step of designing the installation, while integrating at the same time a deeper discussion on the place of digital privacy and oblivion within the contemporary approach to art and technology.

Visual History with Choson Dynasty Annals

by Seong Kuk Park, Eun Ju Lee and Jin Wan Park

ABSTRACT: For this paper, the authors selected three historical events taken from the Annals of the Choson Dynasty that represent dramatic and tragic stories about parents and their sons for data visualization. By connecting names with entities indicating conductions from history books, they found interesting patterns that tell stories with embedded relations. The visualized images in this paper were mainly code-generated, based on the data of the Annals, with some graphic embellishment added.

Raised on YouTube: Cultural Data Materialization Using Plants

by Misha Rabinovich

ABSTRACT: Raised on YouTube is an installation and game that grows plants using only the light of projected video and makes ecology legible as a multiplayer game. The challenge of finding the most nurturing video is crowdsourced online. As players watch a webcam feed of the plants surrounded by two-way mirrors, their computer power is diverted to photosynthetic video analysis. The system calculates the photosynthetic score for each video using a basic botanical model. The resulting shape and density of the plant grow bed serves as a data visualization of the energy patterns in the cultural stream. The system provides opportunities to reflect on the effects of long-term exposure to contemporary media and to imagine ecological possibilities of participatory culture.


DATA MATERIALITIES ART GALLERY

Introduction and Art Gallery

by Jonah Brucker-Cohen

Featuring works by

Tine Bech
Squidsoup
Deqing Sun and Peiqi Su
Niklas Roy
Viktor Jan
Dmitry Morozov
Disney Research and ETH
Mogens Jacobsen
THÉORIZ Studio
Benjamin Grosser


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Updated 2 August 2016