Leonardo, Volume 32, Issue 1 | Leonardo/ISAST

Leonardo, Volume 32, Issue 1

February 1999

Contents

Editorial

Special Section: Synesthesia

  • Artistic and Psychological Experiments with Synesthesia
    Get at MIT Press

    Artists and psychologists have been experimenting with synesthesia for centuries. The author provides a historical review to show that artists and psychologists have always had great difficulty manipulating and controlling the phenomenon of synesthesia. Within these limits, artistic experiments with color organs, musical paintings and visual music have primarily uncovered perceptual and emotional aspects of synesthesia. Psychological experiments have produced a variety of methodologies to aid the study of synesthesia. Currently, psychologists approach synesthesia foremost as a neurological phenomenon, while artists generally explore digital devices to simulate synesthesia.

  • Synesthesia and the Arts
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    The term “synesthesia” has often been used metaphorically rather than accurately. Ongoing scientific research shows the condition to be “real,” rather than imagined. The author focuses her discussion on the effects of colorsound synesthesia, or “chromesthesia,” and on a selection of composers and visual artists. The composers discussed include Alexander Scriabin, Olivier Messiaen and Michael Torke. Visual artists discussed include Robert Delaunay and David Hockney.

  • Phytochromography— Screen Printing with Plants: Research into Alternative Ink Technology
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    Doubts about the true nature of recently introduced “water-based” screen-printing inks prompted research into the possibility of producing genuinely water-based inks in which both pigment and thickener are derived from vegetable sources. Literature suggests that not only is this possible but it might even be viable as an industrial process. The author's research concentrates primarily on the development of a range of “process,” or “trichromatic,” screen-printing colors from plants, for which the author has coined the term, “Phytochromography.” To complement this work, the author describes the establishment of an “ink garden” capable of supplying quantities of plant material for further research. Issues relating to the environment, occupational health and sustainability are also touched upon. Initial results of this research show considerable cause for optimism, although some problems remain.

  • WOW'EM: Encouraging an Integrated Generation
  • Virtual Lyrics
  • Gloria Unti, Life and Work
  • Transarchitectures: Visions of Digital Communities
  • Composition: A Series of Exercises in Art Structure for the Use of Students and Teachers
  • Don't Touch the Poet: The Life and Times of Joel Oppenheimer
  • A Day with Picasso: Twenty-Four Photographs
  • Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science
  • Knowledge of Higher Worlds: Rudolf Steiner's Blackboard Drawings
  • Rudolf Arnheim: Revealing Vision
  • Walter Benjamin's Other History: Of Stones, Animals, Human Beings and Angels
  • Electronic Culture: Technology and Visual Representation
  • Cyberwars: Espionage on the Internet
  • Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace
  • Digital Dilemma
  • Behind the Picture: Art and Evidence in the Italian Renaissance
  • Materials Received
  • Leonardo On-Line Bibliographies
  • Leonardo/ISAST NEWS

Special Section: Art and Biology

  • Life Music: The Sonification of Proteins
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    An artist and a biologist have collaborated on the sonification of protein data to produce the audio compact disc Life Music. Here they describe the process by which this collaboration merges scientific knowledge and artistic expression to produce soundscapes from the basic building blocks of life. The soundscapes may be encountered as aesthetic experiences, as scientific inquiries or as both. The authors describe the rationale both for the artistic use of science and for the scientific use of art from the separate viewpoints of artist and scientist.

Artist's Article

  • Computer Stereographics: The Coalescence of Virtual Space and Artistic Expression
    Get at MIT Press

    Vibeke Sorensen describes her technical approach to computer stereographics and discusses in detail the actual genesis of several specific projects. She also discusses the history and future of spatial imaging, including its potential for challenging the centuries-old domination of twodimensional pictorial expression. Sorensen concludes her remarks on a cautionary note, stressing the need to place at least as much emphasis on the exploration of personal ideas and feelings as on the development of new hardware and computational processes. Robert Russett provides an introduction and background to Sorensen's life and work.

Artist's Note

  • Coming Full Circle: Composing a Cathartic Experience with CD-ROM Technology
    Get at MIT Press

    After introducing the general advantages of CD-ROM technology as an artistic medium, the author chronicles her initial experiences with the format. Describing the inspiration for the CD-ROM Full Circle, the author outlines the three principal sections of the piece and their significance to its overall message. The article concludes with a discussion of the advantages of the CD-ROM format in subverting the concert-performance space-time continuum and the importance of this to the impact of Full Circle during its presentation.

Historical Perspectives on the Arts, Sciences and Technology

  • The Role of Artists in Ship Camouflage During World War I
    Get at MIT Press

    Experiments in ship camouflage during World War I were necessitated by the inordinate success of German submarines (called “U-boats”) in destroying Allied ships. Because it is impossible to make a ship invisible at sea, Norman Wilkinson, Everett L. Warner and other artists devised methods of course distortion in which high-contrast, unrelated shapes were painted on a ship's surface, thereby confusing the periscope view of the submarine gunner.

Artists' Statements

Leonardo Reviews