Leonardo, Volume 39, Issue 2 | Leonardo/ISAST

Leonardo, Volume 39, Issue 2

April 2006

Contents

Editorial

After Midnight

  • Moments of the Maiden: Time, Space and Intercultural Communication in Tokyo
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    A dispatch on the arts, technologies and cultures in the metropolitan community served by the Narita airport.

Statements

Special Section: CAA 2005

  • Hybridity: Arts, Sciences and Cultural Effects
  • The Desire for Transparency in an Era of Hybridity
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    Our culture has come to appreciate hybrid representational practices not only in digital media but also in traditional forms such as television and film. Nevertheless, our culture's fascination with a contrary representational practice—its “desire for immediacy”—remains strong. The desire for immediacy manifests itself not only in popular entertainment forms, but also (with unfortunate results) in the popular understanding of forms of scientific representation.

  • Innovation and Visualization: Trajectories, Strategies and Myths
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    The extent to which thinking about art has been shaped by the predominantly descriptive approach of the past is a topic in need of review. This paper summarizes historical influences that stimulated the textual turn and traces the evolution toward more visual communication.

Artist's Article

  • Digitizing the Golem: From Earth to Outer Space
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    Sonya Rapoport, a multimedia artist, traces five decades of her career, coalescing art, science and technology. She provides a personal history in a scientific context that leads her from painting and abstract expressionism to computer-assisted interactive installations and webworks. The artist uses the metaphor of the golem, her self-described avatar, as a means to question and explain the autobiographical evolution of her iconography, choice of media and style. Her journey includes the influences on her interdisciplinary art expression in which anthropology, chemistry, botany, religion and topics of gender and transculture are intermittently treated with parody, humor and mysticism.

  • Framing the Land and Sky: Art Meets Cosmology in a Sustainable Environment
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    People have studied the sky from time immemorial: the recurrence of celestial events has been demarcated by signs in the landscape, from simple megaliths to elaborate monuments at architectural scale. The author introduces her project Sunset Farm, establishes links with historical precedents and explores the potential of an art expression where the celebration of cosmological events coincides with sustainable design and production of alternative energy. Furthermore, this art form could promote different layers of awareness in the viewer's perception of land and sky.

General Note

  • Proteins, Immersive Games and Music
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    The authors present their research on using virtual reality (VR) in the presentation of protein music and immersive games. They first describe the core components of VR technology for protein modeling, visualization and interaction. They then present their implementations of VR protein games and protein-derived computer music. Instruction in protein-structure learning is discussed in the context of the authors' trial project in the Chinese High School in Singapore and an exhibition at Singapore Art Museum.

Historical Perspective

  • Psychological Implications of the History of Realistic Depiction: Ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy and CGI
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    Art historian Ernst Gombrich argued that learning to create convincing realistic depictions is a difficult, incremental process requiring the invention of numerous specific techniques to solve its many problems. Gombrich's argument is elaborated here in a historical review of the evolution of realistic depiction in ancient Greek vase painting, Italian Renaissance painting and contemporary computer-generated imagery (CGI) in video games. The order in which many problems of realism were solved in the three trajectories is strikingly similar, suggesting a common psychological explanation.

Theoretical Perspective

  • Cognitive and Evolutionary Speculations for Biomorphic Architecture
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    Evolution in natural environments has endowed humans with a cognitive system that is specialized in processing information about living things. Yet the presence of living things in the human living environment is ever decreasing, which leads to the underdevelopment of this system. The author speculates that biomorphic architecture or design can counteract this trend, which would have positive implications for various aspects of human functioning and could provoke subtle shifts in certain areas of human thinking.

Special Section: ArtScience: The Essential Connection

  • Frederick Banting, Painter
  • Bridging the Arts and Sciences: A Framework for the Psychology of Aesthetics
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    The investigation of aesthetic processing has constituted a longstanding tradition in experimental psychology, of which experimental aesthetics is the second-oldest branch. The status of this psychology of aesthetics, the science of aesthetic processing, is briefly reviewed here. Building on this heritage and drawing on a host of related scientific disciplines, a framework for a strongly interdisciplinary psychology of aesthetics is proposed. It is argued that the topic can be fruitfully approached from at least seven different perspectives, each with multiple levels of analysis: diachronia, ipsichronia, mind, body, content, person and situation. Eventually, this work may coalesce into a unified theory of aesthetic processing.

Leonardo Reviews

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