Leonardo, Volume 41, Issue 5

October 2008

Contents

Editorial

Artist's Article

  • From the Kinesphere to the Kinesfield: Three Choreographic Interactive Artworks
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    This article describes the characteristics of three of the author's movement-based interactive installation projects: Shifting Ground, trajets and Raumspielpuzzle, completed between 1998 and 2003, and the kinesfield, a term developed by the author in the course of her doctoral research in interactive and choreographic art. The concept of the kinesfield is employed to describe the relational dynamic of movement interactions that traverse the body and material forms in unbounded space.

Artist's Note

  • The Return of Images: Photographic Inquiries into the Interaction of Light
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    Edgar Lissel has been using the camera obscura for more than 10 years. He converted a transporter into a mobile pinhole camera and transformed living quarters and museum displays into walk-in pinhole cameras. Since 1999, Lissel has been working with bacteria, using their phototropic properties to produce his images. The bacteria move out of the shadow into the light. In the photographic installations Mnemosyne I and Mnemosyne II, he uses fluorescent color pigments to fix the images. Like a memory, the image is stored and emitted by the pigments.

Color Plates

General Articles

  • The Media-Art Exhibition TenYearsAfter_v4.0_OuterSpace
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    TenYearsAfter is an annual media art exhibition based in Korea, begun in 2003, organized by Kwang-yun Wohn and curator Mira Kim to facilitate collaboration among engineers, scientists, artists and designers. Unlike other major media-art exhibitions, TenYearsAfter has included artworks by mainstream media artists, independent experiments, and products and research results by artists and non-artists alike. The fourth exhibition in this series, TenYearsAfter_v4.0_OuterSpace, organized by the authors, was held in 2006. This article elaborates on the process of organizing this event and contemplates the implications of annual media art events in the Korean media art context.

  • Landscapes of Feeling, Arenas of Action: Information Visualization as Art Practice
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    Discussing his recent artworks alongside those by Abigail Reynolds, Lucy Kimbell and Christian Nold, the author examines emerging phenomena in the digital and wider fine arts whereby information visualization practices are approached as creative media. By laying bare points of convergence and divergence between artistic and scientific approaches, the article develops a number of arguments that show how the pictures produced by information visualization may be reframed within wider aesthetic and critical frameworks. Thus the author explores how models of image production derived from processes of scientific inquiry expand possibilities for the visual arts to develop new types of hybrid images that consist of data grounded both in material realities and in symbolic and aesthetic elements.

  • Artistic Research on Life Forms: Exploring the Intersections of Science, Art and Life in the Context of Globalization
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    Contemporary art practices are characterized by the transformation of completed or finalized objects into open works, fluid spatial situations and relations in the social field. Art processes raise the question: Can the complex structure of artworks provide an analogy and methodology that art researchers can use to co-design our culture from anthropological, philosophical, aesthetic and sociopolitical perspectives? This paper addresses this question through an examination of the artistic use of, and critical commentary on, media and available technologies, and of the artistic treatment of life forms found in the work of the younger generation of Slovenian artists (Tratnik, Berlot, Peljhan, Lovšin and others). The strategies these artists employ in their projects significantly strengthen the case for a re-articulation of the aesthetic, the ethical and the political, through a transition in various territories: art, (biotechnological) science, technology, new media and everyday reality.

General Note

  • When Is Information Visualization Art? Determining the Critical Criteria
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    This paper initially examines the differences between functional and aesthetic forms of visualization for information visualization. The author then shows such a dual categorization to be ineffective as a critical scheme for evaluating artwork that utilizes comparable visualization techniques. Adopting Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito's classification of artistic production, the author argues for the use of “genre art” and “research art” as more suitable criteria for the analysis and assessment of such artwork.

Special Section: Nanotechnology, Nanoscale Science and Art

  • Nanotech, Blur and Tragedy in Recent Artworks by Gerhard Richter
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    The author considers Gerhard Richter's work on nanotechnology, highlighting how these pieces continue the artist's ontology on photographic blur and, as such, raise questions about truth and reality with respect to the mass media's visual presentation of nanotechnology. The four works discussed include: Erster Blick (2000) and Graphit (2005), the mural Strontium (2004) and the suite of sheets numbered 737 to 754 in the continuous image installation Atlas. Examining these works, the author notes Richter's general skepticism about the benefits of technology, shown through his allusions to war and terrorism, and contrasts Richter's artworks with utopian visions of nanoscience in the mass media.

Theoretical Perspective

  • Reconsidering Pictorial Representation by Reconsidering Visual Experience
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    In one sense, the visual experience of a thing in a depiction is similar to seeing the actual thing. In another sense, the experience is quite different, involving a “twofold” simultaneous awareness of the picture surface and what it depicts. The author argues that the standard ways of explaining depiction in terms of perception fail to properly accommodate the complex twofold nature of pictorial experience. He proposes an alternative account, based on an “enactive” approach to perception.

Special Section: Leonardo Celebrates Leonardo da Vinci

  • Resurrecting Leonardo's Great Lady: A Collaboration
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    Sculptor Marilène Oliver and cardiothoracic surgeon Francis Wells collaborated to deconstruct Leonardo da Vinci's drawing The Great Lady in order to reconstruct it as a three-dimensional sculpture. Employing lessons learned from contemporary radiology, they simulated cross sections of The Great Lady that were drawn in pen and ink onto a stack of acrylic sheets. Here Oliver and Wells give independent accounts of the project, not only sharing how their relationship with Leonardo's drawing evolved over the course of the project but also exposing the differences in approach by the scientist and the artist to a science-art project.

Special Section: ArtScience: The Essential Connection

From the Leonardo Archive

  • Sky, Scale and Technology in Art
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    Otto Piene discusses his projects with new media as well as the history and tradition of techological art. Topics range from archaic megalithic structures to large-scale, outdoor contemporary works articulated and enhanced by electronic forms of expression. Piene discusses his concept of ‘sky art’ and examines his attempts to expand the physical proportions of art and to communicate publicly with a large audience. Other issues raised include the beneficial effects of integrating art and science, the need to reevaluate and update art education and the importance of developing new forms of technological art that will improve communication and more effectively express human concerns.

Leonardo Reviews

  • When Walls Become Doorways: Creativity and the Transforming Illness by Tobi Zausner. Harmony Books, New York, 2007. 374 pp. ISBN: 978-0-307-23808-5
  • Circles: Science, Sense and Symbol by Nicholas Wade. Dundee University Press, Dundee, U.K., 2007. 206 pp., illus. Paper. ISBN: 978-1-84586-019-6
  • A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western Millennium by Robert Friedel. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2007. 576 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN 10: 0-262-06262-3; ISBN 13: 978-0-262-06262-6
  • Shimmering Screens: Making Media in an Aboriginal Community by Jennifer Deger. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A., 2006. 267 pp. Paper. ISBN: 0-8166-4922-7
  • Traces of Light: Absence and Presence in the Work of Loïe Fuller by Ann Cooper Albright. Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, CT, U.S.A., 2007. 229 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN: 0-8195-6843-0; ISBN: 0-8195-6842-2
  • The Cry at Zero by Andrew Joron. Counterpath Press, Denver, CO, U.S.A., 2007. 120 pp. Paper. ISBN: 978-1933996-02-8
  • From Agit-Prop to Free Space: The Architecture of Cedric Price by Stanley Matthews. Black Dog Publishing, London, U.K., 2007. 285 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN 10: 1-904772-52-8; ISBN 13: 978-1-904772-52-1
  • Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2008. 316 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN 10: 0-262-11311-2; ISBN 13: 978-0-262-11311-3
  • Colin St John Wilson: Buildings and Projects by Roger Stonehouse. Black Dog Publishing, London, U.K., 2007. 509 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-1-904772-70-5
  • YLEM Journal: Artists Using Science and Technology Loren Means, Editor. San Francisco, U.S.A. May–June 2007. Vol. 27 No. 6: “Autonomous Robots That Paint.” 16 pp., illus. b/w. Journal website: 〈www.ylem.org〉
  • Leonardo Reviews On-Line

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