Leonardo Journal Volume 43, Issue 4, 2010

Bookmark and Share

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.

ONLINE ACCESS: Subscriptions to Leonardo include access to electronic versions of journal issues available on The MIT Press website.

ORDER: Subscriptions, individual issues and articles can also be ordered from The MIT Press.

PAST ISSUES: Browse tables of contents and abstracts of past issues of Leonardo and LMJ


Conference Arts Director's Statement

by Matthew Hollern

Guest Editorial

by Lira Nikolovska

SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Awards

by Yoichiro Kawaguchi

Art Papers

Art Papers Jury
The Immediacy of the Artist's Mark in Shape Computation

by Jacquelyn A. Martino

ABSTRACT: This paper contributes to the area of computation in the production of artistic form. The author-artist describes a computational system in the form of a curvilinear, parametric shape grammar. Based on an analysis of over 3,000 entries in her traditionally hand-drawn sketchbooks, she describes the grammar that synthesizes drawings in the design language of her evolving style and serves as a tool for self-understanding of her artistic process.

Read an interview with Jacquelyn Martino

Learning from Weaving for Digital Fabrication in Architecture

by Rizal Muslimin

ABSTRACT: This project restructures weaving performance in architecture by analyzing the tacit knowledge of traditional weavers through perceptual study and converting it into an explicit rule in computational design. Three implementations with different materials show the advantages of using computational weaving that combines traditional principles with today's digital (CAD/CAM) tools to develop affordable fabrication techniques.

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs: A Natural Haptic 3D Interface for Interacting Intuitively with Virtual Environments

by Anthony Rowe and Liam Birtles

ABSTRACT: Glowing Pathfinder Bugs is an interactive art project primarily aimed at children and created by the digital arts group Squidsoup. It uses projection to visualize virtual bugs on a real sandpit. The bugs are aware of their surroundings and respond to its form in their vicinity. By altering the topography of the sand, participants affect the bugs' environment in real time, facilitating direct communication between them and computer-generated creatures. This highly malleable and tactile physical environment lets us define and carve out the landscape in which the creatures exist in real time. Thus, virtual creatures and real people coexist and communicate throuh a shared tactile environment. Participants can use natural modes of play, kinesthetic intelligence, and their sense of tactility to collaboratively interact with creatures inhabiting a hybrid parallel world. This paper describes the project and analyzes how children in particular respond to the experience; it looks at the types of physical formations that tend to be built and notes how children instinctively anthropomorphize the bugs, treating projected imagery as living creatures--though with a ludic twist.

Touching Space: Using Motion Capture and Stereo Projection to Create a "Virtual Haptics" of Dance

by Kim Vincs and John McCormick

ABSTRACT: This paper describes the work of a group of artists in Australia who used real-time motion capture and 3D stereo projection to create a large-scale performance environment in which dancers seemed to "touch" the volume. This project re-versions Suzanne Langer's 1950s philosophy of dance as "virtual force" to realize the idea of a "virtual haptics" of dance that extends the dancer's physical agency literally across and through the surrounding spatial volume. The project presents a vision of interactive dance performance that "touches" space by visualizing kinematics as intentianlity and agency. In doing so, we suggest the possibility of new kiinds of human-computer interfaces that emphasize toufh as embodied, nuanced agency that is mediated by the subtle qualities of whole-body movement, in addition to more goal-oriented, tas-based gestures such as pointing or clicking.

Visual Anecdote

by Dietmar Offenhuber

ABSTRACT: The discourse on information visualization often remains limited to the exploratory function -- its potential for disccovering patterns in the data. However, visual representations also have a rhetorical function: they demonstrate, persuade, and facilitate communication. In observing how visualization is used in presentations and discussions, I often notice the use of what could be called "visual anecdotes." Small narratives are tied to individual data points in the visualization, giving human context to the data and rooting the abstract representation in personal experience. This paper argues that these narratives are more than just illustrations of the dataset; they constitute a central epistemological element of the visualization. By considering these narrative elements as parts of the visualization, its design and knowledge organization appear in a different light. This paper investigates how the "story" of data representation is delivered. By means of ethnographic interviews and observations, the author highlights the different aspects of the visual anecdote, a specific point where the exploratory and the rhetorical functions of visualization meet.

Data Portraits

by Judith Donath, Alex Dragulescu, Aaron Zinman, Fernanda Viégas and Rebecca Xiong

ABSTRACT: Data portraits depict their subjects' accumulated data rather than their faces. They can be visualizations of discussion contributions, browsing histories, social networks, travel patterns, etc. They are subjective renderings that mediate between the artists' vision , the subjects' self-presentation , and the audience's interest. Designed to evocatively depict an individual, a data portrait can be a decorative object or be used as an avatar, one's information body for an online space. Data portraits raise questions about privacy, control, aesthetics, and social cognition. These questions become increasingly important as more of our interactions occur online, where we exist as data, not bodies.

Touchpoint: Haptic Exchange Between Digits

TouchPoint Art Gallery Jury

by Richard Elaver


by Tine Bech


by Joseph Farbrook

Cursor Caressor Eraser

by Michael Filimowicz

Final Wisdom I

by John Fillwalk


by Yasuaki Kakehi, Motoshi Chikamori and Kyoko Kunoh

The Lightness of Your Touch

by Henry Kaufman

Tools for Improved Social Interacting

by Lauren McCarthy

Dinner Party

by Hye Yeon Nam


by Joerg Niehage

Empire of Sleep: The Beach

by Alan Price

Lotus 7.0

by Daan Roosegaarde

In the Linie of Sight

by Daniel Suter and Fabian Winkler

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs

by Squidsoup


by Nicholas Stedman

Leonardo Network News

Updated 16 June 2010