Leonardo, Volume 33, Issue 4

August 2000

Contents

Editorial

Artists' Statements

  • Beyond Tradition and Modernity: Digital Shadow Theater
  • Torn Touch: Interactive Installation
  • Video Space: A Site for Choreography
    Get at MIT Press

    Since the advent of the film art form, the author finds, cinema and dance have engaged in an al-most unbroken courtship, each appropriating techniques and styles from the object of affec-tion. A hybrid form, video dance, has resulted; its recording me-dium may be thought of as its site. The architecture of this site provides a distinctive context for the critique of dances created for it. The collaborative process nec-essary to realize the potential of video dance is found to require a reconstruction of the dancing body as unencumbered by the re-straints of time and space.

  • Rhythm in Multimodal Texts
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    The author presents a hier-archical model of rhythm in lan-guage, music and action and ap-plies it to the integration of these semiotic modes in multimodal texts. The model distinguishes be-tween rhythm and meter; meter is shown to synchronize the rhyth-mic hierarchies of musical instru-ments, as well as of voice, music and action. The author identifies the meanings conveyed by variet-ies of multimodal synchronization.

  • The Specter of the Golem: The Quest for Safer Encaustic Painting Practice in the Age of OSHA
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    The author's use of the mil-lennia-old, multi-dimensional en-caustic painting technique, which uses hot colored wax as a paint-ing medium, led her to the literary and artistic concept of the golem, which she sees as a metaphor for the appropriate use of technol-ogy. This, in turn, prompted the author to learn more about en-caustic from an industrial-hygiene perspective. Owing to the com-mendable handling characteristics of encaustic, many painters after using it never go back to using oil or acrylic paints; however, the act of heating wax creates airborne substances that can cause long-term health effects to artists who do not take common-sense pre-cautions. This article offers infor-mation to help artists set up safer encaustic/conventional painting studios. The author also intro-duces encaustic's long history, describes various encaustic tech-niques and lists permanent pig-ments that are generally safer than other professionally accepted materials.

  • Leonardo Art/Science Network under Legal Attack
  • Letter from Leonardo's Executive Editor
  • How the etoy Campaign Was Won: An Agent's Report
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    In November 1999, the Internet toy store eToys.com initi-ated a trademark lawsuit against “net.art” site etoy.com. etoy and other Internet activists responded by launching TOYWAR, a decen-tralized on-line mobilization against eToys, waged on fronts from shopping servers to on-line investors' forums. The author, one of the “agents” participating in TOYWAR, offers this analysis of the successful campaign of resis-tance, carried out in keeping with etoy's artistic project: “the exhibi-tion of the bizarre practices of the financial world.” eToys eventu-ally dropped its suit, having suf-fered $4.5 billion in lost stock value in the interim.

  • Commentaries
  • Leonardo Web Resources
  • Bachelors
  • Becoming A Graphic Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design
  • The Copyright Book: A Practical Guide
  • Creative Interpretation of the Cosmos
  • Madonna: De Vele Gezichten Van Een Popster (Madonna: The Many Faces of a Popstar)
  • The Moon and the Western Imagination
  • Obras Maestras Del Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes (Masterworks of the Museum of Fine Arts)
  • Psychology of Color
  • Reframing Consciousness
  • Les Sculptures Sonores-the Sound Sculptures of Bernard and François Baschet
  • Invenção 99
  • The Springboard in the Pond: An Intimate History of the Swimming Pool
  • Techgnosis: Myth, Magic + Mysticism in the Age of Information
  • Soundscapes Be)for(E 2000
  • Materials Received
  • Leonardo/ISAST News

Artists' Articles

  • An Exploration of How Objectivity Is Practiced in Art
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    In the binary economy of art and science, art's subjectivity is widely perceived as undermining its contribution to knowledge. Even when invoked by those with a vested interest in art, the potential ascribed to art within this economy does not do justice to the range and critical power of art. Trans-gressing this art-science binary, the author explores how objectivity is practiced within art and argues that the relationship between art and science is not a matter of boundaries but of intertwined in-flections of understanding.

Technical Articles

  • A Renaissance of Color: Particle Separation and Preparation of Azurite for Use in Oil Painting
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    The discovery of a technique for the particle separation and preparation of the blue mineral pigment azurite for use in an oil painting medium aids the compari-son of colors used in the Renais-sance with modern synthetic pig-ments. Chroma or chromatic intensity is presented as the key to understanding the language of color theory. This is supported by the first images ever of azurite cut by a focused ion beam (FIB) in or-der to compare unprepared and prepared particles of the mineral and thus demonstrate the impor-tance of the preparation process. The implications of a natural pig-ment renaissance for artists and restorers are assessed.

Theoretical Perspective on the Arts, Sciences and Technology

  • Color Perception and the Art of James Turrell
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    The author discusses James Turrell's artworks in relation to contemporary disputes about the nature of color. The idea of Turrell's pieces as “pure chromatic sensations” is implausible to per-ceptual psychologists who have adopted the ecological approach of J.J. Gibson. Such psychologists view visual sensations as mere symptoms of the stimulation of the photoreceptors in our retinae. Their idea goes against the tradi-tional theory of color. The ten-dency of philosophers throughout history has been to take colors to be the exemplary instances of simple, unanalyzable qualities. However, the difficulties of prov-ing that these qualities can be traced back to a set of material properties suggest that there is no coherent view on their ontologi-cal status. The author considers current efforts to address this problem, along with the relevance of these attempts to criticism of Turrell's artworks.

Special Section: Leonardo Fights Back!

Leonardo Reviews