Leonardo, Volume 38, Issue 1

February 2005

Contents

Editorial

After Midnight

Artists' Statements

Extended Abstract

Artists' Articles

  • A System of Digital-Botanic Architecture
    Get at MIT Press

    Looking to historical precedents in Louis Sullivan's System of Architectural Ornament (1924) and to botanic inspiration derived from the TumbleTruss Project, the author aims to explain how visual biomimetics and digital production can present ways to conceive, visualize, generate, draw and model physical forms from natural elements such as shells, seeds, plants, rocks, etc. In particular, the author explains how designs “grown” in plant-generating software can be deployed in other software and built as stereolithography (STL) models to illustrate a new system of architectural and sculptural design and production.

  • Quintet.net: An Environment for Composing and Performing Music on the Internet
    Get at MIT Press

    Quintet.net is a real-time interactive environment for intermedial composition and performance on local networks as well as the Internet. Since its premiere in 2000, the environment has been used in several large projects connecting players in Europe and the U.S.A., a Munich biennale opera project among them. Quintet.net implements, in a virtual environment, the metaphor of five performers under the control of a conductor, thus dealing with important aspects of symbolic, aural and visual communication among the participants and the network audience. A composition development kit has been added to the environment (which consists of Client, Server, Listener, Conductor and Viewer) to facilitate the development of pieces that take full advantage of the wide continuum between composition and improvisation.

  • Atmospherics/Weather Works: A Spatialized Meteorological Data Sonification Project
    Get at MIT Press

    Atmospherics/Weather Works is a performance, installation and distributed software project for the sonification of storms and other meteorological events, generated directly from data produced by a highly detailed and physically accurate simulation of the weather.

Artist's Note

  • Protein Sculptures: Life's Building Blocks Inspire Art
    Get at MIT Press

    The author takes a literal look at the foundation of our physical existence by creating sculptures of proteins, the universal parts of the machinery of life. For him, it is less important to copy a molecule accurately in all its details than to find a guiding principle and follow it to see whether it yields artistically interesting results. The main idea underlying these sculptures is the analogy between the technique of mitered cuts and protein folding. The sculptures offer a sensual experience of a world that is usually accessible only through the intellect.

General Articles

  • Interacting with an Intelligent Dancing Figure: Artistic Experiments at the Crossroads between Art and Cognitive Science
    Get at MIT Press

    The authors (a neurophysiologist and two computer artists) give an account of a collaboration that took place within the framework of a study—cum— artistic experiment on virtual interactive figures at the boundary of art and cognitive science. This study, called “‘Intelligent’ Interactivity (Connectionism, Evolutionary Science and Artificial Life) in Digital Arts in Relation with the Physiology of the Perception of Action and Movement,” was supported by the Cognitique 2000 Program on Art and Cognition, an initiative of the French Ministry of Research.

  • Graphic Primitives and the Embedded Figure in 20th-Century Art: Insights from Neuroscience, Ethology and Perception
    Get at MIT Press

    Recent investigations into both cognitive science and the functional derivation of the visual brain as well as evolutionary dynamics have led to new and exciting ways of interpreting art. Abstract art has often been regarded as beyond the purview of such interpretations because of the very fact that it is abstract. However, as a visually guided activity, abstraction is eminently suited to an analysis from this perspective. This essay will demonstrate how such an approach can reap rich rewards in the understanding of why and how art came to progress from an earlier representational phase to one of abstraction by examining some of the 20th century's most influential trends.

Historical Perspective

  • Musical Color-Painting: In Memory of Yu. A. Pravdyuk
    Get at MIT Press

    On 17 May 2002 the master of the art form known as musical color-painting, Yury Pravdyuk, passed away in Kharkov, Ukraine. Pravdyuk was the inventor of an ingeniously simple instrument for color-painters and the author of approximately 150 inimitable color-dynamic compositions to accompany the music of composers of different eras and peoples. How the idea of musical color-painting was born and Pravdyuk's creative path is the subject of the present article by one who had been a close assistant of Pravdyuk since 1965.

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