Leonardo, Volume 35, Issue 3

June 2002

Contents

Editorial

The Leonardo Gallery

Artist's Article

  • Chaos and Form: A Sculptor's Sources in Science
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    In the 1960s the author sought to rethink the basic concepts of sculpture-space, matter, gravity and light-by studying the theories of relativity and quantum physics, the connection of space to time and matter to energy, and the relationship of all these to gravity. Subsequently, trying to understand the fundamental forms in nature, she discovered a continuity underlying them: Spirals are not only forms of growth or turbulence, but are also the link between spheres (forms of balance and minimum volume/energy) and waves (forms of energy/motion). Flow phenomena shaped the new style of her landscape sculptures, which are expressions of fluid dynamics and other nonlinear processes.

Artists' Statements

  • AUDIUM: Sound-Sculptured Space
  • Art Education and Urban Aesthetics
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    The widespread problem of visual illiteracy prevents people from perceiving the aesthetic quality of their surroundings. This inability represents a barrier to full participation by the public in debates over the kinds of cities they want to live in, and yet the physical qualities of the environment strongly affect the social and psychological well-being of its inhabitants. This article argues that art educators have an important role in fostering the awareness, understanding and appreciation of urban aesthetics. It then recounts the author's field study, which investigated the effectiveness of three instruments for developing understanding of urban aesthetics. The article concludes with some suggestions for art educators interested in developing programs for studying the urban environment.

  • Color Plates
  • Simulated Aesthetics and Evolving Artworks: A Coevolutionary Approach
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    The application of artificial-life principles for artistic use has its origins in the early works of Sommerer and Mignonneau, Sims and Latham. Most of these works are based on simulated evolution and the determination of fitness according to aesthetics. Of particular interest is the use of evolving expressions, which were first introduced by Sims. The author documents refinements to the method of evolving expressions by Rooke, Ibrahim, Musgrave, Unemi, himself and others. He then considers the challenge of creating autonomously evolved artworks on the basis of simulated aesthetics. The author surveys what little is known about the topic of simulated aesthetics and proceeds to describe his new coevolutionary approach modeled after the interaction of hosts and parasites.

  • New Naturality: A Generative Approach to Art and Design
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    In the field of generative art and design, design concepts are represented as code. This generative code functions as DNA does in nature. It uses artificial life to generate a multiplicity of possible artworks, artificial events, architectures and virtual environments. In the generative approach the real artwork is not merely a product, such as an image or 3D model. The generative artwork is an Idea-Product. It represents an artificial species able to generate an endless sequence of individual events, each one different, unique and unrepeatable but belonging to the same identifiable design Idea. The author's project, Argenia, realizes the “new naturality” of artificial objects.

  • Internet Studios: Teaching Architectural Design On-Line between the United States and Latin America
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    This article analyzes the pedagogical use of high-end computer graphics and low-and high-bandwidth Internet technology for international architectural education among numerous universities in the Americas. The findings can be applied to any discipline that involves a large number of participants within a design setting. The experiments have allowed design studios from seven schools of architecture in the U.S. and South America to work concurrently in a semesterlong design studio. Most of the collaboration was accomplished by using low-bandwidth Internet communication such as web publishing, chat, computerassisted design software and other technologies such as ISDN broadcasting. The author anticipates future experimentation with high-bandwidth technologies on the Internet2 Abilene Network.

  • Life Drawing and 3D Figure Modeling with MAYA: Developing Alternatives to Photo-Realistic Modeling
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    This paper discusses the organization and motivation for a workshop devoted to the experimental use of 3D computer graphics to model the human figure. The workshop introduced a simple technique for modeling a leg by lofting a series of circles into the appropriate shape using sketches drawn from life. This approach links the expressive world of drawing to the impersonal mechanical tasks of computer modeling. The workshop also served as an introduction to 3D modeling and the MAYA 3D Computer Graphics Software Graphical User Interface. The drawing exercises of Kimon Nicolaïdes are discussed and provide inspiration to explore alternatives to photo-realistic modeling that reflect the artistic legacy of early modernist experiments such as cubism and futurism.

  • Composing an Interactive Virtual Opera: The Virtualis Project
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    Designing the computer-based interactive opera Virtualis has led the authors to develop new tools for working with music, especially in three-dimensional spaces designed for representing and manipulating it, as well as an interaction model based on physical forces rather than on the user's intentions. Although opera and computing are two dissimilar interactive situations, the software environment presented in this article is intended (1) to combine them through the generalization of certain operatic functional relationships and (2) to offset the relative absence of the spectator from the classical performance of drama.

  • The Split-Brain Human Computer User Interface
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    The author describes his prototype for a split-brain user interface developed for the interactive documentary Anita und Clarence in der Hölle: An Opera for Split-Brains in Modular Parts. Using documentary video from the 1991 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, this interface delivers two independent video and audio streams in parallel to each hemisphere of the brain. Inspired by accounts of split-brain research and anticipated by experiments of the Surrealists, this interface-like work in augmented virtual reality and wearable computing aims at “enhanced” interaction while creating a new aesthetic experience.

  • CAD and Creativity: Does the Computer Really Help?
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    We are frequently told by its exponents that computer-aided design (CAD) liberates designers and gives them new ways of envisioning their work, but is this really true? CAD in architecture is examined to see to what extent it has enhanced creativity in design. This is partly done by applying a test of creativity advanced by contemporary architect Herman Hertzberger. In this analysis, CAD is found somewhat wanting, and some suggestions are made as to why this might be so.

  • Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life
  • Metaphors of Memory: A History of Ideas About the Mind
  • The Liberating Power of Symbols: Philosophical Essays
  • Music and Memory: An Introduction
  • Vincent Van Gogh: Chemicals, Crisis, and Creativity
  • Blast: Vorticism 1914–1918
  • Design Connoisseur: An Eclectic Collection of Imagery and Type
  • George Nelson: The Design of Modern Design
  • The Postdigital Membrane: Imagination, Technology and Desire
  • Synaesthesia: The Strangest Thing
  • Inhuman Reflections: Thinking The Limits of the Human
  • Uncommon Ground: Architecture, Technology and Topology
  • Displaying the Marvelous: Marcel Duchamp, Salvador DalÍ, and the Surrealist Exhibitions
  • Materials Received
  • Leonardo/ISAST News

General Articles

  • Learning from the Cornell Box
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    The Cornell Box serves as a visual emblem of the divide between arts and sciences first articulated by C.P. Snow over 40 years ago. To historians of American art, “Cornell Box” refers to the shadow boxes of Joseph Cornell; in the world of computer graphics the Cornell Box is the evaluative environment in which the Cornell University Program of Computer Graphics refined its radiosity rendering algorithms. Considering both boxes with reference to the perceptual thought of James J. Gibson allows us to generate a site for collaboration at the intersection of light and art for designers and computer scientists devoted to the development of new digital media.

Historical Perspective on the Arts, Sciences and Technology

  • Aleksandr Drevin, Nadezhda Udal'tsova: An Exhibition That Never Was
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    This juxtaposition of autobiographical statements written in 1933 by Aleksandr Drevin and Nadezhda Udal'tsova, together with an introduction to their artistic careers and a select chronology designed to place them in the context of their times, is intended to show how early twentieth-century Russian art evolved in parallel to Western thought and artistic practice, taking into account contemporary developments in non-Euclidean geometry, physics, mathematics, the laws of perspective and the awareness of the impossibility of “realistically” representing spatial forms on a flat surface, which, at the time, were exercising many minds. The artists, though from very different backgrounds, were closely involved with one another, as husband and wife and as close colleagues in art. Their artistic course is traced through and beyond the experimental 1910s and 1920s.

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

  • Artificial Evolution and Lifelike Creativity
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    This paper discusses the aims and goals of artificial evolution in relation to two of the founding features of A-Life: how to characterize the domain of the possible and the criterion of lifelikeness. It is argued that artificial evolution should aim to understand the evolution of organizations and that this will bring about a better understanding of possible evolutions that could have taken place on Earth.

Special Section: SIGGRAPH Educators Program

Special Section: Creativity and Cognition

Book Reviews

Leonardo Reviews

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