Leonardo, Volume 35, Issue 2

April 2002

Contents

Editorial

Artist's Article

  • Mnemonic Notations: A Decade of Art Practice within a Digital Environment
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    The author's work Mnemonic Notations represents the evolution of one computer graphic file, first generated in 1990. The author has modified the file for over a decade in response to exposure to many ideas and influences. The Mnemonic Notations file has been output and visually represented as paintings and prints. Mnemonic Notations files were also used as the basis of the Mnemonic Notations CD-ROMs and interactive installations, as well as digital photographic works dealing with fictional documentations.

Artist's Statements

  • The Cosmophone: Toward a Sensuous Insight into Hidden Reality
  • Fugitive and Archival: The Disappearing Print and the Drawing Left Behind
  • Genetic Art and the Aesthetics of Biology
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    The creation of Alba, the first mammal genetically engineered to be a work of art, accents the increasing number of artists who take as their medium plants, cells, genes and other biological materials. Like traditional artists, these bioartists raise traditional art issues; but since their work collapses the gap between art and science, representation and biological form, they also marry the rich tradition of manipulating nature for aesthetic reasons, the ethical complexities created by today's biotech revolution and the historical ramifications of applying aesthetic judgment to humans.

  • Synthetic Harmonies: An Approach to Musical Semiosis by Means of Cellular Automata
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    The authors explore the creation of artificial universes that are expressible through music and internally comprehensible as complex systems. The semiotic approach this paper presents could also allow the development of new tools of investigation into the complexity of artificial-life systems. Through codification systems using musical language, it is possible to understand the patterns that the global dynamics of cellular automata produce and to use the results in the musical domain. In the authors' approach, music can be considered the semantics of complexity. The authors identify analogies between elements of cellular automata and elements of musical form, creating a narrative musical framework that has allowed them to develop a productive, computational and semantic methodology. Music fosters an increased capability for analyzing and reconstructing complexity, providing unexpected insight into its organization.

  • Modeling the Emergence of Complexity: Complex Systems, the Origin of Life and Interactive On-Line Art
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    The origin of this paper lies in the fundamental question of how complexity arose in the course of evolution and how one might construct an artistic interactive system to model and simulate this emergence of complexity. Relying on the idea that interaction and communication between entities of a system drive the emergence of structures that are more complex than the mere parts of that system, the authors propose to apply principles of complex system theory to the creation of VERBARIUM, an interactive, computer-generated and audience-participatory artwork on the Internet, and to test whether complexity can emerge within this system.

  • Color Plates
  • ArTbitration: Human-Machine Interaction in Artistic Domains
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    In this article, the authors analyze the process of humanmachine interaction in the context of artistic domains, as a framework for exploring creativity and producing results that could not be obtained without such interaction. “ArTbitration” denotes a process aimed at improving users' aesthetic judgment involving evolutionary computation and other computational intelligence methodologies. The authors interpret it as an interactive, iterative optimization process. They also suggest ArTbitration as an effective way to produce art through the efficient manipulation of information and the proper use of computational creativity to increase the complexity of the results, without neglecting the aesthetic aspects. The article emphasizes the spoken, visual and musical domains, since these are generally characterized by the lack of a systematic way to determine the quality of the result.

  • SBART 2.4: An IEC Tool for Creating Two-Dimensional Images, Movies and Collages
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    In this article, the author gives an overview of SBART 2.4, an interactive system used to create abstract two-dimensional images, collages and movies. The system, one of the successors of Karl Sims's system, runs on a small computer that uses a function to calculate the color value of each pixel as a genotype. All of the ranges and domains are three-dimensional vectors. The system utilizes a multi-field user interface to enhance the diversity of production and has optional facilities that allow the creation of collages of external images or short movies.

  • Evolutionary Cooperative Design Methodology: The Genetic Sculpture Park
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    The Genetic Sculpture Park seeks to engage artists and observers in a creative dialogue and to empower novices in the creation of complex computer-graphic models. Each visitor to the park experiences a unique set of sculptural forms and takes part in a cooperative conversation with the computer to produce more aesthetically pleasing designs. Inspired by Darwin's theory of evolution, the project uses genetic algorithms to allow visitors to “breed” forms tailored to their individual sense of aesthetics. In this article, the authors recount investigations into evolutionary design methodologies (using shampoo bottles and three-dimensional head models) and describe their implementation in the Genetic Sculpture Park, an interactive Java/Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) world.

  • Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture
  • Visualizations: The Nature Book of Art and Science
  • Ptolemy's Geography: An Annotated Translation of the Theoretical Chapters
  • I Levitate. What's Next
  • How to Build a Mind: Toward Machines with Imagination
  • Art, Technology, Consciousness: Mind@Large
  • Spacefaring: The Human Dimension
  • Winded: Works for Organ and Tape by, of and for Kenneth Gaburo
  • Playtime
  • 8 Pieces
  • Ars Electronica 2001
  • Prometheus-2000: International Conference on the Destiny of Light-Music at the Threshold of the New Century
  • Light, Darkness, and Colors
  • Materials Received
  • Leonardo/ISAST News

General Articles

  • The Ecological Imperative: Elements of Nature in Late Twentieth-Century Art
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    The author draws attention to visual artworks of the 1980s and 1990s in which artists, drawing upon diverse trends, disciplines and artistic generations, applied materials directly from the surrounding environment in pieces called eco-installations. The text attempts to explain certain creative postures and artistic decisions in the context of our advanced civilization—its achievements and threats alike. The eco-installations—subtle, subdued, gentle, fragile, fleeting, whose finite existence (like that of living organisms doomed to pass away) reflects the artists' own decisions—are in urgent need of identification, analysis and documentation. Among artists recognized in international circles, the author situates two Polish artists perhaps less well known than their colleagues.

Special Section: A-Life in Art, Design, Edutainment, Games and Research

  • Relazioni Emergenti: Experiments with the Art of Emergence
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    Progress in the scientific understanding and simulation of natural evolutionary mechanisms may be creating the basis for a new stage in evolution: the coming of artificial beings and artificial societies. Culture itself, aesthetics and intelligence are coming to be seen as the emergent, self-organizing qualities of a collectivity, evolved over time through both genetic and linguistic evolution. This paper sketches the development of hybrid digital worlds, in which artificial beings are able to evolve their own cultures, languages and aesthetics. Finally, the authors discuss their interactive audio-visual art installation Relazioni Emergenti, based on artificial-life environments. In this work, digital beings can interact, reproduce and evolve through the mechanisms of genetic mutation. People can interact with these artificial beings, creating hybrid ecosystems.

Special Section: Genetic Algorithms in Visual Art and Music

Theoretical Perspective on the Arts, Sciences and Technology

  • Entropy and Stability in Painting: An Information Approach to the Mechanisms of Artistic Creativity
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    The author presents a method for identifying the sequence of stages of the creative process in painting, specifically an artist's decisions about such parameters as genre, composition, color structure, etc. The method is based on the calculation of the coefficients of informativity relating to the distribution (and hence, entropy) of the artist's works over the above parameters. Using this method, 240 paintings by three famous Russian artists (Pavel

Technical Article

  • The Construction of Jackson Pollock's Fractal Drip Paintings
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    Between 1943 and 1952, Jackson Pollock created patterns by dripping paint onto horizontal canvases. In 1999 the authors identified the patterns as fractal. Ending 50 years of debate over the content of his paintings, the results raised the more general question of how a human being could create fractals. The authors, by analyzing film that recorded the evolution of Pollock's patterns as a function of time, show that the fractals resulted from a systematic construction process involving multiple layers of painted patterns. These results are interpreted within the context of recent visual perception studies of fractal patterns.

Statement

Leonardo Reviews

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