Leonardo, Volume 38, Issue 5

October 2005

Contents

  • Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage
  • Did You Say Space Art? Leonardo's Commitment to Space Art, 35 Years On
  • Revelations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    Get at MIT Press

    The author's 2 years of developing installations for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have led him to an appreciation of how similar his thinking and work process are to those of the laboratory's engineers and scientists. For both, certain ideas and processes at first appear crazy and impracticable, but vision and persistence bring them to realization. The three installations described in this article pertain to a future mission that, if successful, will locate a planet similar to Earth and once again change humanity's understanding of its position in the universe.

  • Welcome to the Neighbourhood: Belonging to the Universe
    Get at MIT Press

    Space travel could be an experience available to everyone. This paper describes Welcome to the Neighbourhood, a combination of sculpture and multimedia designed to help people inhabit the solar system (without leaving the earth). The project aims to empower astronomers and nonastronomers alike to form an authentic conception of their place in the cosmos. The author discusses the sculptures that inspired the idea for the project, including the largest known kinetic sculpture ever built (60 light-years across), and then outlines Welcome to the Neigh-bourhood in the context of a broader discussion of public engagement with science and the role of space art in transforming people's experience of “being in the universe.”

  • Windows to the World, Doors to Space: The Psychology of Space Architecture
    Get at MIT Press

    Living in a confined environment with minimal external stimuli available, such as a space habitat, is a strain on normal human life and puts great pressure on groups and individuals. Designers working on a space habitat not only must work on its functional role, but also must integrate functionality with mental representation and symbolic meaning. Space-connection interfaces such as doors and windows act as “sensory organs” of a building. They allow inside-out communication, but also allow the user to control the flow of light and air, which in a direct or indirect way are communication mediums. In this paper the authors advocate a closer connection among architecture, anthropology and psychology in designing space habitats as part of a new concept of environmental design strategy in space architecture.

  • Color Plate
  • Starslide: A Symbiosis of form and Function
  • Degrees of Freedom: Models of Corporate Relationships
    Get at MIT Press

    The author discusses three models of corporate partnership that support the creation of new-media art: directed altruism, skunk works (product development), and regulated self-interest. Similar activities can occur across these models, but expectations, criteria for assessment and final outcomes may differ. Clarifying the rules of engagement for arts organizations and artists when they work with corporations is critical to success for both artists and companies. This essay provides a framework and examples for each model from Canada, Finland, the United Kingdom and the United States. It evaluates failures as well as successes.

  • Artists in Industry and the Academy: Collaborative Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and the Creation and Interpretation of Hybrid Forms
    Get at MIT Press

    The author surveys contemporary artist-engineer-scientist collaborations in industry and the academy and considers a variety of theoretical and practical issues pertaining to them. Given the increasing dedication of cultural resources to engage artists and designers in science and technology research, the author concludes that more scholarship must analyze case studies, identify best practices and working methods, and propose models for evaluating both the hybrid products resulting from these endeavors and the contributions of the individuals engaged in them.

  • Liberation or Control: Disobedient Connections in Contemporary Works
    Get at MIT Press

    The concept of connection has assumed a very ambivalent status today. Being connected exposes the liberating potential of connected public participation, which has changed our understanding of political and intimate life. At the same time there is a strong fear at work that this very potential could result in a more rigid form of contemporary life. Connection, as understood in this article, is something procedural that can at the same time be disobedient to its own procedure. This disobedience can be concretely observed in certain contemporary artistic works, for example in the project ωPack from Intima Virtual Base.

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