Leonardo, Volume 38, Issue 3

June 2005

Contents

Editorial

Artists' Statements

Artist's Article

  • Phenomenology and Artistic Praxis: An Application to Marine Ecological Communication
    Get at MIT Press

    The author's ecologically informed art praxis can be traced back to her experiences while deep-diving off Tasmania's eastern coast. These provided a plethora of aesthetic sensations, but also images of the appalling degradation wrought upon the marine environment by humans. Her art focuses upon this juxtaposition between natural harmony and ecological dysfunction. The artist/author outlines her views on artistic communication generally and, specifically, on the role of art as ecological communication and discusses the significance of presenting her multimedia and sculptural installations in “general” public contexts. She discusses three of her artworks and possible future projects.

Special Section: Live Art and Science on the Internet

  • Rape, Murder and Suicide Are Easier When You Use a Keyboard Shortcut: Mouchette, an On-Line Virtual Character
    Get at MIT Press

    The web site mouchette.org is animated by the persona of Mouchette, an on-line identity created by an anonymous artist. The interview presented here sets out the artist's purposes in creating Mouchette and the understanding of on-line experience underlying the work shown on the site.

  • The Raw Data Diet, All-Consuming Bodies and the Shape of Things to Come
    Get at MIT Press

    The author discusses the construction of synthetic female cyborgian agents that expand singular identity into a networked trajectory composed of flowing data that cannibalizes processed information, which mutates into re-expressed, unpredictable patterns.

  • Media Commedia: The Roman Forum Project
    Get at MIT Press

    The authors discuss what they term “media commedia”: performance works melding comedic performance traditions with new media technologies. They focus on The Roman Forum Project, a series of mixed-reality performance projects they produced whose subject is contemporary American politics and media as seen through the eyes of ancient Romans. They discuss the developing relationship between the Internet and public discourse; their use of avatars to explore the boundaries between performance and identity; their use of the Internet as an improvisational space; and the mise en abyme effects of working with mixed realities (including text-based virtual worlds).

Special Section: ArtScience: The Essential Connection

  • Roger Sperry: Ambicerebral Man
  • Complex Curvatures in Form Theory and String Theory
    Get at MIT Press

    The authors use new aesthetic criteria concerning structures and properties to explain parallel concepts within theoretical astroparticle physics and contemporary form/compositional research. These aesthetic criteria stem from complex curvature models developed both in string theory and in artistic perceptual research on transitional surfaces and concavities. The authors compare the complex curvatures of the mathematically derived Calabi-Yau manifold with one of Akner Koler's sculptures, which explores an organic interpretation of the looping curvature of a Möbius strip. A goal of the collaboration is to gain experience and insight into the twisting paradoxical forces in the 3D world and to explore the properties of transparency as applied to the Calabi-Yau manifold and a point cloud translation of Akner Koler's sculpture.

Technical Note

  • Polynomiography: From the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra to Art
    Get at MIT Press

    The author introduces polynomiography, a bridge between the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra and art. Polynomiography provides a tool for artists to create a 2D image—a polynomiograph—based on the computer visualization of a polynomial equation. The image is dependent upon the solutions of a polynomial equation, various interactive coloring schemes driven by iteration functions and several other parameters under the control of the polynomiographer's choice and creativity. Polynomiography software can mask all of the underlying mathematics, offering a tool that, although easy to use, affords the polynomiographer infinite artistic capabilities.

General Articles

  • Jellyfish on the Ceiling and Deer in the Den: The Biology of Interior Decoration
    Get at MIT Press

    Few homes are without at least one or two representations of living things. The author argues that this penchant for organic decoration is related to what Edward O. Wilson calls “biophilia,” an innate urge in humans to have contact with other species. As many people now live apart from the natural world, pictures, statues, dried flowers and other reminders of flora and fauna are ways of satisfying biophilic urges. The author contends that it is important to appreciate this manifestation of biophilia and to foster it as one dimension of the larger purpose of using biophilia to encourage efforts to preserve the living world in the broadest sense.

  • Caution—Objects Are Closer Than They Appear: Perspectively Inverted Pseudoscopic Images behind Accelerated Space
    Get at MIT Press

    Perspective inversion reverses the flow of naturalistic pictorial space, creating a disorienting, anti-naturalistic sense of space. Inverted perspective's subversive power appears limited, however, given that no art-historical examples depict fully inverted objects in systematically inverted “unlimited spaces,” such as landscapes. The author addresses this limitation through analysis of “converse” and “pseudoscopic” 3D images—Charles Wheat-stone's two paradigms for inverting binocular depth. Wheatstone's inverted imagery proves geometrically identical to 3D art-historical precedents that conceal their perspective inversion: namely, relief sculpture, set design and architecture employing three-dimensionally “forced” perspective. As hinted by depth-inverted stereograms, linear perspective employed together with reversed overlapping cues systematically inverts unlimited space in both 2D and 3D pictures.

Leonardo Reviews