Leonardo, Volume 34, Issue 2 | Leonardo/ISAST

Leonardo, Volume 34, Issue 2

April 2001

Contents

Editorial

Invited Review

  • Digital Art Takes Shape at MoMA
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    In the art world, technological advances have implications similar to those in science and industry. Digital art exists in a “development stream” that parallels software design; a curator must be skilled at rapid upgrades. On the other hand, the permanence of digital information allows a more complete documentation of artistic development in a swiftly maturing medium and fosters equal access to work from throughout the world.

Artists' Articles

  • Sculpting in Time and Space: Interactive Work
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    The authors have experimented with the Web to develop its potential for creative, collaborative expression and to explore and sculpt the boundaries between physical space and cyberspace. Their work grew directly out of Nina Sobell's interactive video installations of the early 1970s, in which she used the medium to sculpt space and time and to create bridges for shared human experience. Their inspiration in Park Bench has been to address the physical disconnectedness of the information age by creating a safe place to congregate in cyberspace. Their work has inspired the development of new technologies, including a wireless telerobotic video camera for streaming video to the Web from remote locations.

  • My Only Sunshine: Installation Art Experiments with Light, Space, Sound and Motion
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    The author discusses her interactive architectural installation art. As an artist who works with new media, she finds herself refitting existing genres and creating new languages for her particular art form. Her artwork consists of projected interactive computer animation installations. She investigates illusions that transform the viewer's perception of actual space in a synthesis of the real and the virtual.

  • Color Plates
  • Toward a Third Culture: Being In Between
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    Artists working with technology are frequently informed and inspired by exciting scientific innovations, and often turn to contemporary philosophical interpretations of these events, which positions them in between the “two cultures,” a position that creates the potential for a “Third Culture,” as predicted by C.P. Snow himself. This emerging culture is not composed of the scientific elite as some propose, but will emerge out of triangulation of the arts, sciences and humanities. Although media artists are posed to play an important role in bridging the cultural and language gaps, this essay warns against adopting humanist interpretations of scientific work or taking for granted scientific assertions without active dialogue with both.

  • Henri Poincaré, Marcel Duchamp and Innovation in Science and Art
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    In the early years of the twentieth century, the striking scientific developments of the period included a great increase in popular and professional attention to non-Euclidean geometry. One of the leading scholars of the subject was Henri Poincaré, who was also a widely read theorist of the scientific discovery process, keenly concerned with the role of the intuition and the subconscious. His writings, and those of his interpreters, could well have increased the appeal of four-dimensional geometry for artists already attracted to the possibilities presented by these concepts. The working notes of one such artist, Marcel Duchamp, record directly his debt to ideas linked to Poincaré—an example of the interaction of greatly different parts of the wider culture.

  • Digital Ontologies: The Ideality of Form in/and Code Storage—or— Can Graphesis Challenge Mathesis?
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    Digital media gain their cultural authority in part because of the perception that they function on mathematical principles. The relationship between digital images and their encoded files, and in other cases, between digital images and the algorithms that generate them as display, lends itself to a conviction that the image and the file are mutually interchangeable. This relationship posits a connection of identicality between the file and the image according to which the mathematical basis and the image seem to share similar claims to truth. Since the history of images within Western culture is fraught with charges of deception and illusion, the question arises whether the ontological condition of the digital image, its very existence and identity, challenges this tradition. Or, by contrast, does the material instantiation of images, in their display or output, challenge the truth claims of the mathematically based digital file?

  • Expressive AI: A Hybrid Art and Science Practice
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    Expressive AI is a new interdiscipline of AI-based cultural production, combining art practice and AI-research practice. This article explores expressive AI by comparing it with other AI discourses, describing how it borrows notions of interpretation and authorship from both art and AI research practice and providing preliminary desiderata for the practice.

  • The Science Fiction of Technoscience: The Politics of Simulation and a Challenge for New Media Art
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    This article sketches some of the relationships between the technosciences (primarily biotechnology and biomedicine) and science fiction. Taken as a discursive practice, science fiction constructs futurological narratives of progress as well as conditions the very techniques and research that may have taken place. The tensions and inconsistencies within the biotech industry are considered as a zone where science fiction is put to work as negotiator and mode of legitimization. However, as cultural theorists such as Fredric Jameson and Jean Baudrillard suggest, science fiction can also fulfill a critical function, highlighting the contingencies and limitations in biotech's self-fulfilling narrative of future-medicine. A consideration of the emerging category of “net.art” provides one starting point for a critical science fiction practice.

  • Ars Electronica: Facing the Future
  • The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet
  • From Handel to Hendrix: The Composer in the Public Sphere
  • The Discovery of Pictorial Composition: Theories of Visual Order in Painting, 1400–1800
  • Children Draw Music
  • Digital Creativity
  • Eduardo Kac: Teleporting an Unknown State
  • The Internet: A Writer's Guide
  • Materials Received
  • Leonardo/ISAST News

General Articles

  • Where Surfaces Meet: Interviews with Stuart Kauffman, Claus Emmeche and Arantza Etxeberria
    Get at MIT Press

    This article, shaped by the author's interest in convergences between art and science, presents scientists and philosophers of science who explore that convergence. However, since their expertise lies in science, they each speak from a principally scientific point of view. In fact, a common ground that emerges among them is an overt interest in point of view, which takes the form of examining the modeler's investment in and engagement with the model. Each speaker finds some potential there, rather than limitations. Since artists tend to project their subjectivity explicitly into their work and also to be aware of how the forms or media they use influence the representations they make, the interviewees' approaches to modeling do offer points of connection between art and science.

Special Section: The SIGGRAPH 2000 Art Gallery

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