Leonardo, Volume 36, Issue 3

June 2003

Contents

Editorial

Special Section: Global Crossings: The Cultural Roots of Globalization

  • Of Story and Place: Communicating Ecological Principles through Art
    Get at MIT Press

    The author argues for the importance of art in the exploration of ecological interrelationships. Art can help engender an understanding of and connection to the natural world, illuminate values and illustrate the myriad of ecological processes. Various artistic strategies used by the artist are discussed, including performances that document close observation of place, site-specific artwork that offers the opportunity to look at the natural and cultural environment in a new way, and digital imaging and web design that encourage a careful reading of representation through juxtaposition of imagery.

  • Synthetics: A History of the Electronically Generated Image in Australia
    Get at MIT Press

    This paper takes a brief look at the early years of computer-graphic and video-synthesizer–driven image production in Australia. It begins with the first (known) Australian data visualization, in 1957, and proceeds through the compositing of computer graphics and video effects in the music videos of the late 1980s. The author surveys the types of work produced by workers on the computer graphics and video synthesis systems of the early period and draws out some indications of the influences and interactions among artists and engineers and the technical systems they had available, which guided the evolution of the field for artistic production.

Artist's Statement

  • Color Plates
  • Intelligent Bathroom Fixtures and Systems: EXISTech Corporation's Safebath Project
    Get at MIT Press

    EXISTech Corporation's computer networks, control systems and image-sensor technology facilitate hygienic touchless control of plumbing fixtures. Two of EXISTech's sensors are described here in detail: an active infrared faucet sensor and a passive infrared autoflush sensor. These devices allow internetworked plumbing systems to help facility managers and law-enforcement personnel remotely monitor the operation of bathroom fixtures. Intelligent fixtures and systems based on quantimetric sensing technology enhance the privacy of law-abiding users by eliminating the need for invasive policing of restrooms. New computer-vision algorithms also automatically detect accidents, as well as vandalism and contraband disposal, to assist remote monitoring by law enforcement.

  • New Media Dictionary
  • Leonardo Network News

Artist's Article

  • Polarization Microscopy as an Art Tool: Border Crossing between Art and Nature
    Get at MIT Press

    Until recently, polarization microscopy has been little developed as an art tool. It holds, however, an enormous aesthetic potential. The author first reviews the theoretical and technical background of polarization microscopy and then discusses how selected microscopic structures imaged via polarization microscopy can be represented according to the artist's individual aesthetic choices, the most important of which is color design by interference. The conscious perception of the pictures by the observer is discussed on the basis of our present knowledge of cognitive neurosciences. Polarization microscopy leads to a crossing of the boundaries between nature and the forms of non-representational painting.

General Articles

  • Augmented Sculpture: Computer Ghosts of Physical Artifacts
    Get at MIT Press

    This paper describes an approach to computer-based sculpting concerned with the creation and modification of digital models based on physical abstract sculptures. The authors begin by presenting a survey of current methods for the creation of computer-based sculpted artifacts. They proceed to present some original methods and tools based on the Function Representation of geometric models. They introduce a specialized computer language, called Hyper Fun, that facilitates the modeling of complex objects. In addition to presenting computer-generated textured and animated models of pre-existing sculptures, they also show how novel shapes can be generated using the Hyper-Fun system. Finally they outline two advanced projects concerned with creating a sculpture-based augmented reality that allows for the interactive participation of the observer.

  • Cognitive Dance Improvisation: How Study of the Motor System Can Inspire Dance (and Vice Versa)
    Get at MIT Press

    This paper describes several dance improvisation techniques inspired by the study of the motor system. One technique takes experiments on interlimb coordination from the laboratory to the dance studio. Another technique, termed fixed-point technique, makes use of the fact that one can change which part of the body is fixed in space. A third technique is based on the idea that one can maintain the action, as it were, by “reversing the acting limb.” All techniques target a specific capacity of the motor system and as such may inspire new psychophysical experiments. The present approach to generating movements, which merges dance improvisation with insights from cognitive neuroscience and biokinesiology, may also be fruitfully extended to robotics.

Artists' Statements

Commentaries

Leonardo Reviews

  • Extrasensory Perceptions by Chris Chafe and Greg Niemeyer. Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, U.S.A., 2002. Audio CD CCGNESP01-2
  • holes—linings—threads Web site: ⟨http://www.felber.dircon.co.uk/holesliningsthreads⟩. Artist: Alicia Felberbaum
  • ISEA2002: Connecting Art and Technology with Transportation, Transit, Tourism, and Theory Nagoya, Japan, 27–31 October 2002
  • The Master and Margarita at the Volksbuehne, Berlin, Germany. Directed by Frank Castorf, after the novel by Russian poet Michail Bulgakov
  • Body and World by Samuel Todes. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2001. 292 pp. Paper. ISBN: 0-262-20135-6
  • One Place after Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity by Miwon Kwon. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2002. 218 pp., illus. ISBN: 0-262-11265-5
  • The Judgement of the Eye: The Metamorphoses of Geometry—One of the Sources of Visual Perception and Consciousness by Jürgen Weber. Springer-Verlag, Vienna, Austria and New York, NY, U.S.A., 2002. 200 pp., illus. Paper. ISBN: 3-211-83768-X
  • Writings by Vilém Flusser. Edited and with an introduction by Andreas Ströhl. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A. and London, U.K., 2002. 256 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 0-8166-3564-1
  • Crumple, the Status of Knuckle by Dave Cooper. Fantagraphics Books, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., 2000
  • Exploring Consciousness by Rita Carter. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A. and Weidenfeld Nicolson, London, U.K., 2002. 320 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 0-520-23737-4
  • Lewis Carroll, Photographer by Roger Taylor and Edward Wakeling. The Princeton University Library Albums. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A., 2002. 288 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 0-691-07443-7
  • Music and Technology in the Twentieth Century edited by Hans Joachim Braun. The Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, MD, U.S.A., and London, U.K., 2002. 256 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 0-8018-6885-8
  • Materials Received