Leonardo, Volume 43, Issue 3

June 2010

Contents

Editorial

Special Section: Reimagining the Moon

  • Many Faces: Reimagining the Moon
  • Cinderella Lunar Mission: Everyone Has a Chance to Set Foot on the Moon
    Get at MIT Press

    The author compares the original story of Cinderella with the modern fairy tale created by the news media in covering the Apollo Program. This comparison builds the basis for the design of Cinderella Lunar Mission, a pseudo-lunar mission consisting, variously, of an installation, fake news reports, a lunar mission network game and real-world action www.cinderellalunarmission.com. Inspired by Cinderella's glass slipper, the exclusive sign of her identity, Cinderella Lunar Mission examines the idea of shifting identity and ways of fabricating new fairy tales using such digital technologies as programmatic text, network games and barcode identification.

  • Moon Music: A Composition of Art and Science in Dialogue
    Get at MIT Press

    Leonardo da Vinci's careful descriptions of the reflection of light by the moon inspired the author to compose a piece for choir on ways of perceiving the moon. In The Two Moons, Leonardo's words are contrasted with two additional texts: facts from a textbook on astronomy and a poem by Denise Levertov. The author discusses the challenge of transforming text and idea into musical sound. Further he discusses exploring natural phenomena by means of parallel efforts in art and science.

Special Section: SIGGRAPH 2009 Awardee Statements

  • Form, Grace and Stark Logic: 30 Years of Algorithmic Drawing
    Get at MIT Press

    This essay outlines the personal experiences, influences and ideas that underlie 60 years of Roman Verostko's artwork and that drew him to embrace “algorithmic art.” The author spells out qualities of form unique to computer-assisted algorithmic drawing as well as the genre's pitfalls and discusses his good fortune to have been an active participant in what Peter Weibel has labeled the “Algorithmic Revolution.” For his pioneering work, Roman Verostko was awarded the 2009 SIGGRAPH Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Lynn Hershman Leeson in Conversation with Gabriella Giannachi
    Get at MIT Press

    Lynn Hershman Leeson has been called the most influential woman working in new media today. Here she discusses her acclaimed work in photography, video, installation, interactive and net-based media, the honors for which now include the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from SIGGRAPH.

Color Plates

Articles and Notes

  • Re-Animating Greg Lynn's Embryological House: A Case Study in Digital Design Preservation
    Get at MIT Press

    Greg Lynn's Embryological House was an early work of digital architecture: a work in which the computer was a fundamental part of the design process. It was the subject of a case study in digital preservation by the Daniel Langlois Foundation's project for the Documentation and Conservation of Media Arts Heritage (DOCAM) and the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA). Research identified characteristics of digital architectural artifacts that are key to their long-term preservation. The results imply a shift in the focus of preservation from the artifact to its transformation in a digital context and a re-evaluation of preservation strategies and principles.

  • The Crystal Interface in Contemporary Art: Metaphors of the Organic and Inorganic
    Get at MIT Press

    What the author calls the “crystal interface” presents an opportunity to historicize and theorize the remarkable fascination with crystals found in contemporary art theory and practice. In aesthetics, science and art production, the crystal materializes intimations of transparency, of vitalistic transformation or of a purist stability. It powerfully articulates a line or gradation between the organic and inorganic. The author's goal is to create a context in which to understand the recourse to the crystal in contemporary art, specifically in the work of Roger Hiorns, David Altmejd and Gerard Caris. As a frame, the author examines Schopenhauer's, Worringer's and Deleuze and Guattari's adoption of the crystal as metaphor and material exemplar.

  • building_space_with_words: An Interactive Multimedia Installation Exploring the Relationship between Physical and Virtual Space
    Get at MIT Press

    The authors, a social scientist and a visual artist, collaborated to produce building_space_with_words, an interactive multimedia installation. The project investigated the relationship between physical and virtual space and more specifically what happens when the physical properties of space become intangible and discourse becomes the main material. Drawing on studies of organizational space and of on-line communities, the authors created an environment that materialized virtual and physical interactions. This paper describes the elements—the maze, the sound, the tag wall, the tag journey and the blog—that created the installation and the concepts that inspired the work.

  • The Electric Retina: An Interplay of Media Art and Neuroscience
    Get at MIT Press

    The Electric Retina is an interactive sculpture built by the artist Jill Scott. This project is the result of her residency at the Institute of Zoology (Zurich) neurobiological laboratory and is an artistic interpretation of the lab's research on zebrafish vision. This trans-disciplinary collaboration has served to communicate scientific findings to the general public. Moreover, learning different styles and modes of communication required for interfacing with the general public and with the artist has been a worthwhile experience for the scientists involved.

  • The Current Emphasis on Science and Technology in Nigeria: Dilemmas for Art Education
    Get at MIT Press

    Nigerian educational policies continue to emphasize the development of science and technology. Arts are being relegated to the background as a result of this emphasis. This paradigm shift has affected visual arts education in Nigeria. The number of those seeking admission into science- and engineering-based courses has risen tenfold in spite of the limited infrastructural facilities available, while the number seeking admission to creative arts continues to dwindle yearly. Those who had been preparing for courses in engineering and science but could not secure admission are often absorbed into arts-based industrial design courses. Students in industrial design with science backgrounds are able to develop their creative potential, which is necessary in developing economies. This paper suggests that art training in Nigeria should embrace integrated science subjects.

  • Blending Art and Science: Collapse (suddenly falling down)
    Get at MIT Press

    Collapse (suddenly falling down) was a dance/theater/media production that brought together a diverse group of artists and scientists to explore the varied ways that social and natural systems collapse and the responses of human societies. This paper focuses on the nature of the collaboration, the unique products it produced and the lessons learned. Three art-science collaboration themes emerged: (1) implementation of a large-scale stereo display for 3D data; (2) exploration from a visual design perspective of digital scans of natural hazard sites normally used for scientific research; and (3) integration of optical tracking for interaction between performers and visualizations. Each theme is explored in detail and each member of the team reflects on lessons learned from the process.

  • Perceptual Disruption and Composure in Bridget Riley's Fall
    Get at MIT Press

    The geometry of the conspicuous variations in the apparent contrast observed in Fall, a representative painting by Bridget Riley, is analyzed here with a computational model of human vision. Observed contrast patterns constitute a source of perceptual rivalry between compositional elements in the artwork, causing visual tension. The analysis further brings to attention previously unnoticed abstract order—a global structure that may visually anchor perception during active viewing of the artwork. The combination of the different compositional layers drives sophisticated visual effects, setting the painting apart from similar patterns that are often used as scientific experimental stimuli.

Special Section: ArtScience: The Essential Connection

Leonardo Reviews

  • Bill Viola in Conversation with Adam Weinberg, 27 October 2009, The Whitney Museum's 2009 Annenberg Lecture. Event web site: 〈http://whitney.org〉
  • Everyday Creativity: Shared Languages Collective Action 7th Creativity and Cognition Conference, 27–30 October 2009, Berkeley Art Museum and the University of California at Berkeley
  • Ex-foliations: Reading Machines and the Upgrade Path by Terry Harpold. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A., 2009. 365 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN: 978-0-81-665101-6; ISBN: 978-0-81-665102-3
  • Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses by Jussi Parikka. Peter Lang, New York, U.S.A., 2007. 327 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN 978-1-43-310093-2; ISBN: 978-0-82-048837-0
  • Sonic Mediations: Body Sound Technology edited by Carolyn Birdsall and Anthony Enns. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K., 2008. 286 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 1-84718-483-9
  • Camoupedia— A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and Camouflage by Roy R. Behrens. Bobolink Books, Dysart, IA, U.S.A., 2009. 464 pp., illus. Paper. ISBN: 0-9713244-6-8
  • Otaku: Japan's Database Animals by Hiroki Azuma; Jonathan E. Abel and Shion Kono, trans. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A., 2009, 200 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN: 0-8166-5351-5; ISBN: 0-8166-5352-2
  • Invisible Vision: Could Science Learn from the Arts? by Sabine E. Wildevuur. Bohn Stafleu Van Loghum, Uitgever, NL, 2009. 190 pp., illus. ISBN: 978-9-03-135101-5
  • And While I Have Been Lying Here Perfectly Still: The Saskia Olde Wolbers Files by Philip Monk. Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, Canada, 2009. 136 pp., illus. Paper. ISBN: 978-0-92-197253-2
  • Art for a Modern India, 1947–1980 by Rebecca M. Brown. Duke University Press, Durham, NC, U.S.A, and London, U.K., 2009. 196 pp., illus. ISBN: 978-0-82-234375-2
  • Speclab: Digital Aesthetics and Projects in Speculative Computing by Johanna Drucker. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, U.S.A., and London, 2009. 264 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN: 978-0-22-616507-3; 978-0-22-616508-0
  • Leonardo Reviews On-Line

Transactions

  • Creating Special Visual Effects with Moiré Patterns in Stereoscopic 3D and 4D Computed Tomographic Art
    Get at MIT Press

    Moiré pattern refers to an interference pattern that is observed when two sets of grid lines overlay one another. With special 3D rendering technique such as the “Rainbow Technique” for tomographic art generated from computed tomography (CT), the Moiré pattern can be utilized for its aesthetic effect, particularly in stereoscopic motion images to create a special visual effect. The use of the Moire pattern is featured in my piece Deep Within in the new media art exhibition “Digit@logue” curated by Ellen Pau held in Hong Kong Museum of Art in 2008.

  • Emotion Gesture Art
    Get at MIT Press

    Emotion gesture art is a new type of user modeling and representation in a form of aesthetic art. It consists of a unique combination of color, sound and animation (shape) that in itself creates the same emotional feeling for spectators. Emotion gesture art takes the body posture expression and remaps the communication of emotions into an aesthetic representation. This paper also presents an emotion gesture art installation (eG-art), a system prototype for affective computing. This installation will allow a smart blend of a system for affective computing with aesthetic art representation.

  • Cry of Nature: A Plant Interfaces with the World Using Music
    Get at MIT Press

    Plants react to the environmental variables like heat, humidity, wind, light and even touch of a person or the presence of someone in the vicinity, and these changes are reflected to the bioelectric potential of the plant. So it is envisioned that using these changes in bioelectricity a plant may communicate with the world by synthesizing sounds. Within this study a plant interfaces with the world using our Cry of Nature platform that converts these bioelectrical responses to sounds.

  • Tracing Moments
    Get at MIT Press

    The interactive art system +-now captures moments in the past and present for dreamy, reflective play. It is composed of sand, imagery and interaction. This paper traces the creative process from initial landscape studies to museum installation in 2008. Key design concepts discussed include the origin and use of sand and emergence.

  • Exploring the Method of Hypothetical Artwork Modelling: Case of the Primary Colours Fallacy
    Get at MIT Press

    The author explores the explicatory powers of the method of hypothetical artwork modelling on the problematic taken from colour theory. While constructing two hypothetical artwork models, the author tries to show that the painters' fallacy concerning primary colours is not necessarily a fallacy at all.

Leonardo Network News

Endnote