Leonardo Journal Volume 48, Issue 5, 2015

Leonardo is a print journal, 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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Art and Atoms: A Chemical Paradox
by Tami Spector

Artists’ Articles

The Semiotics of the Moon as Fantasy and Destination

by Michael Betancourt

ABSTRACT: This essay surveys a 20-year period of the author’s studio-based research into “spatial montage” and windowing, elaborating on his use of space imagery in a symbolic system describing the critique of fantasy::reality through symbols that are still used in the contemporary world---how the mythic dimensions of interpreting the “heavens” collide and contradict contemporary scientific interpretations. “Visionary” art is the dynamic focus, with the Moon as the central icon, providing a direct means for the author to consider ambiguities and complexities of symbolic transformation: earlier descriptions of heavens and Earth provide a visionary subtext to scientific exploration. The author considers himself a “revisionary” artist whose work engages the implicit semiotics of visionary film/visual music to problematize the pseudo-scientific theories found there.

Model & Metaphor: A Case Study of a New Methodology for Art/Science Residencies

by Nola Farman

ABSTRACT: Traditional artist-in-science-residency schemes have tended to focus on artists using scientific tools and technology as a medium for their art. What kind and quality of work might occur, however, between scientists working on cutting-edge solar energy research and a visual artist (a sculptor) when they are integrated in a truly collaborative environment? Is it good for the art? Is it good for the science? The authors describe a new methodology for art-science interactions whereby they have integrated arts practice within a scientific environment. A critical aspect of the methodology for the residency was the development of an interaction framework that ensured that both artist and scientist had equal voice in discussions involving the art and science of the project within an environment of mutual respect. The integration led to the development of outcomes that would not have occurred otherwise.

Egocentric Perspective: Depicting the Body from Its Own Point of View

by Robert Pepperell

ABSTRACT: We are almost always visible to ourselves. Depending on how you are seated, reclining or standing, you will see parts of your nose, legs, hands, arms, shoulders or trunk from your own point of view. Yet these everyday features of our visual world are rarely depicted---and hardly ever in a way that accords with our perceptual experience. This paper will consider why we tend to ignore this “egocentric perspective” and how it can be represented.

Artist’s Note

Microbioenergy Theaters

by Mick Lorusso

ABSTRACT: The author describes two recent sculptural projects with bacteria that produce electricity while decomposing organic matter, in a technology known as a microbial fuel cell. These works encourage a ludic relationship to microbes, allowing us to acknowledge their aptitude for building ordered societies that sustain many life systems in the environment and within us. Relationships between humans, technology and microbes emerge in these theatrical scenarios.

General Articles

Drawing in Mathematics: From Inverse Vision to the Liberation of Form

by Dorothy Buck, Tom Coates and Alessio Corti

ABSTRACT: The literature on art and mathematics has focused largely on how geometric forms have influenced artists and on the use of computer visualization in mathematics. The authors consider a fundamental but undiscussed connection between mathematics and art: the role of drawing in mathematical research, both as a channel for creativity and intuition and as a language for communicating with other scientists. The authors argue that drawing, as a shared way of knowing, allows communication between mathematicians, artists and the wider public. They describe a collaboration based on drawing and “inverse vision” in which the differing logics of the artist and the mathematician are treated on equal terms.

Creative Craft-Based Textile Activity in the Age of Digital Systems and Practices

by Gail Kenning

ABSTRACT: Domestic craft-based textile activities, such as knitting, crochet, hand weaving and lace making, are often viewed as being of limited creative potential. The perceived lack of creativity arises, in part, out of the extent to which these activities copy, reproduce and re-create existing pattern forms and use preexisting templates. This paper reports on the findings of an experimental research project that explored the creative potential of crochet lace making using digital media, technologies and practices. It provides critical analysis of how new technologies, practices and theoretical frameworks have implications for ongoing domestic craft-based textile activities.

Historical Perspective

Lost in Edition: Did Leonardo da Vinci Slip Up?

by Dirk Huylebrouck

ABSTRACT: Leonardo da Vinci committed mistakes in geometry, analytical mechanics and arithmetic. The publication of his work was not always done carefully. These revelations have opened up the mystery surrounding the genius artist-scientist’s alleged errors. In this paper, the author explores these errors and their possible sources and potential implications.

Special Section: Highlights from the IEEE VIS 2013 Arts Program (VISAP’13)

DataRemix: Designing the Datamade

by Ruth West, Roger Malina, John Lewis, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Alejandro Borsani, Brian Merlo and Lifan Wang

ABSTRACT: ArtScience is emerging as one approach for creating novel ways of seeing and new ways of knowing. The authors propose a role for ArtScience research and creative work in contributing to the necessary shifts to go beyond the current crisis of representation. DataRemix, a recombination and reappropriation practice intended to trigger novel subjective experiences and associations, is described.

Thermal Image

by Barry Moon and Hilary Harp

ABSTRACT: Thermal Image is a networked electromechanical sculpture which seeks to draw attention to the idea of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) index, an alternative to the Gross National Product, by presenting a physicalization of data scanned from Twitter feeds from 20 cities around the globe.

The Art/Science Curriculum in the Classroom and in the Cloud

Using Creative Process to Guide Integrated Art and Engineering Courses

by Jill Fantauzza

ABSTRACT: This paper describes the design of two university courses that integrated practices and processes from the visual arts and engineering. In both cases, patterns of creative process were used as a means of integration. Researchers found that by focusing on process as a way to structure the integration of these two disciplines, students were able to create emergent, hybrid artifacts along the spectrum between art and engineering, beyond the range of their previous work. Creative process became the backbone that allowed students to integrate knowledge, materials, techniques, and culture across the art and engineering disciplines.

Art Curriculum in Partnership with Canadian Physics Lab

by Ingrid Koenig

ABSTRACT: When art students at Emily Carr University take a hybrid humanities/studio class with a scientific theme, they are challenged to materially transform abstract concepts. Students interact with physicists and make work on site at TRIUMF, Canada’s National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics. Strategies for art and science partnership models are tested in a curricular Transformation Art Lab as well as the RAW DATA project, where students view studio faculty struggling with similar challenges.

The Transdisciplinary Cloud Curriculum

byPaul Thomas and Steven Zides

ABSTRACT: In this paper, the author looks at the evidence from the international Leonardo Education and Arts Forum on art/science cloud curriculum workshops he instigated in Copenhagen and Prague in 2012. These workshops discussed the aims of affecting a shift in perception toward a foundational understanding of new paradigms for research and learning that challenge and transcend disciplinary boundaries. The curriculum privileged a metacognitive interrogation of content and (re)visioning of traditional disciplinary research methodologies using a syncretic integration of heuristic and practice-based inquiry.

Special Section: Leonardo Abstract Services: Top-Ranked LABS Abstracts 2014

ABSTRACT: LABS reports by Silvia Casini, Jayne Fenton-Keane, Aleksandra Kaminska, Nicholas A. Knouf, Victoria Marchenkova, Karen O’Rourke, Daniël Ploeger, Nina Sellars and Hugo Solis


Animating Fermi---A Collaboration between Art Students and Astronomers

by Laurence Arcadias and Robin Corbet

ABSTRACT: Undergraduate animation students at the Maryland Institute College of Art teamed up with scientists from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to produce a set of animations on several astronomy topics. Here, the authors describe the process and discuss the results, educational benefits and the cross-cultural experience. These animations are available for free online.

Visualizing Biological Complexity in Cephalopod Skin: A Synergy of Art and Science Technologies

by Elizabeth Kripke, Stephen Senft, Dmitry Mozzherin and Roger Hanlon

ABSTRACT: A cross-disciplinary team of artists and scientists is working to illuminate the detailed properties of dynamic coloration in squid, cuttlefish and octopus. They have synergistically fused the 3D animation software Blender with scientific bio-imaging techniques to better visualize the organization of cephalopod skin and its intricate web of nerve connections. This paper presents the practical benefits of the collaboration: how scientific detail has enriched artistic appreciation of these exquisite marine species and how artistic visualization has enriched scientific understanding of how cephalopods dynamically manipulate color.

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About the Cover
Gemma Anderson and Tom Coates, Sliceform, three-dimensional Fano Variety model consisting of interlocking two-dimensional, laser-cut slices, 2012. Each paper slice that makes up the sliceform is etched with images, originally created as copper etchings made by Anderson, related to that Fano Variety. A laser was used to cut these images directly onto the paper. (© Gemma Anderson. Photos: Nick White.)


Updated 28 September 2015