Leonardo, Volume 35, Issue 4

August 2002

Contents

  • Frank Malina and UNESCO: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • Iannis Xenakis: 1922-2001
  • Peruvian Video/Electronic Art
  • Growing Semi-Living Sculptures: The Tissue Culture Art Project
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    Tissue engineering promises to replace and repair body organs but has largely been overlooked for artistic purposes. In the last 6 years, the authors have grown tissue sculptures, “semi-living objects,” by culturing cells on artificial scaffolds. The goal of this work is to culture and sustain for long periods tissue constructs of varying geometrical complexity and size, and by that process to create a new artistic palette to focus attention on and challenge perceptions regarding the utilization of new biological knowledge.

  • Drawing with the Hand in Free Space: Creating 3D Shapes with Gesture in a Semi-Immersive Environment
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    This article presents a new medium in which organic surfaces are drawn in 3D space with the hand. Special interface hardware includes a head-tracked stereoscopic display and sensors that track the body and handheld tools, allowing the artist to share the space of the artwork. Additional tools move and deform the shape. This method provides a fluid, unstructured access to three dimensions, ideal for quick, spontaneous ideation and investigation of complex structures.

  • The Continuous Line In Space and Time.
  • Aesthetic Programming: Crafting Personalized Software
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    Marrying traditional methods of computer programming with an artistic temperament allows the birth of a new phenomenon: the aesthetic program. The work of the author and his students builds on visual ap-proaches in programming as well as in software modeling, leading toward a gradual evolution from program to model. The need for the aes-thetic model is increased with the importance of personalized, individually tailored media, as found with web-based style sheets and the economic movement termed “mass customization.” The author and his students have formulated the rube Project methodology around the use of 3D web-based virtual-world model construction. Initial results suggest that these models are artistic, while containing symbolism and concise metaphoric mapping sufficient to be executable on a computer.

  • Artificial Life and Philosophy
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    Artificial Life is developing into a new type of discipline, based on computational construction as its main tool for exploring and producing a science of life “as it could be.” In this area of research, the generation of complex virtual systems, in place of the traditional empirical domain, has become the actual object of theory. This entails a profound change in the tradi-tional relationship between ontological, epistemological and methodological levels of analy-sis, which forces us to recon-sider the differences apparently firmly established between science and philosophy. Even if the frontiers between these two kinds of knowledge do not completely disappear, new, dynamic, complex, technologi-cally mediated interactions are being developed between them.

  • A Kantian Prescription for Artificial Conscious Experience
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    Research in artificial intelli-gence, artificial life and cogni-tive science has not yet provided answers to any of the most perplexing questions about the mind, such as the nature of consciousness or of the self; in this article the authors make a suggestion for a new approach. They begin by setting their project in the broader cognitive science context and argue that little recent research adequately addresses the question of what are the necessary requirements for conscious experience to be possible. Kant addresses this question in his transcendental psychology, and although Kant's work is now over 200 years old the authors believe his approach is worthy of re-examination in the current debate about the mind.

  • What Does a Very Large-Scale Conversation Look Like? Artificial Dialectics and the Graphical Summarization of Large Volumes of E-Mail
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    E-mail-based conversations between thousands of people-very large-scale conversations (VLSCs)-now take place in a variety of on-line public spaces such as Usenet newsgroups and large listservs. This article describes the author's prototype Conversation Map system, which can automatically analyze and graphically summarize thousands of e-mail messages exchanged in VLSCs. Example conversation maps of nine VLSCs are presented. Finally, the sociolinguistic analysis performed by the Conversation Map is discussed as a form of artificial dialectics, and the graphical summaries produced by the system are considered as potential common ground between participants in a VLSC.

  • Schizophrenia and Narrative in Artificial Agents
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    Artificial-agent technology has become commonplace in technical research from com-puter graphics to interface design and in popular culture through the Web and computer games. On the one hand, the population of the Web and our PCs with characters who reflect us can be seen as a humaniza-tion of a previously purely mechanical interface. On the other hand, the mechanization of subjectivity carries the danger of simply reducing the human to the machine. The author argues that predominant artificial intelligence (AI) ap-proaches to modeling agents are based on an erasure of subjectivity analogous to that which appears when people are subjected to institutionalization. The result is agent behavior that is fragmented, depersonalized, lifeless and incomprehensible. Approaching the problem using a hybrid of critical theory and AI agent technology, the author argues that agent behavior should be narratively under-standable; she presents a new agent architecture that struc-tures behavior to be comprehen-sible as narrative.

  • Art in the Information Age: Technology and Conceptual Art
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    Art historians have generally drawn sharp distinctions be-tween conceptual art and art-and-technology. This essay reexamines the interrelationship of these tendencies as they developed in the 1960s, focus-ing on the art criticism of Jack Burnham and the artists in-cluded in the Software exhibition that he curated. The historiciza-tion of these practices as distinct artistic categories is examined. By interpreting conceptual art and art-and-technology as reflections and constituents of broad cultural transformations during the information age, the author concludes that the two tenden-cies share important similarities, and that this common ground offers useful insights into late-20th-century art.

  • Reply to Roger Malina
  • The Dream Drugstore: Chemically Altered States of Consciousness
  • Uplifted Spirits, Earthbound Machines: Studies on Artists and the Dream of Flight, 1900–1935
  • Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution and the Origins of Personal Computing
  • Presences of/Présences De Iannis Xenakis
  • Leonardo on Painting
  • La seconde chance d'Icare. Pour une éthique de l'Espace
  • Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde
  • The Body/Body Problem: Selected Essays
  • La Rioja
  • Art, Science, Technology: A New Step in St. Petersburg
  • Spectacular Bodies: The Art and Science of the Human Body From Leonardo to Now
  • Art, Obsession and Possession: Is Freud Still Interesting?Hans Bellmer: The Anatomy of Anxiety
  • Materials Received
  • Leonardo/ISAST NEWS

Extended Abstract

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

  • The Scientific and Philosophical Scope of Artificial Life
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    The new interdisciplinary science of ALife has had a connection with the arts from its inception. This paper provides an overview of ALife, reviews its key scientific challenges and discusses its philosophical implications. It ends with a few words about the implications of ALife for the arts.

Special Section: SIGGRAPH Art and Culture Program

New Media Dictionary

Commentaries

Book Reviews

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