Leonardo, Volume 43, Issue 5 | Leonardo/ISAST

Leonardo, Volume 43, Issue 5

October 2010

Contents

Editorial

Color Plates

Artists' Articles

  • Auditory Tactics: A Sound Installation in Public Space Using Beamforming Technology
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    The term “auditory tactics” refers to the contextual listening attitudes and competencies adapted to various private and public auditory contexts, spheres and aural architectures. Auditory Tactics, created for the Pure-Data Convention 2007 in Montréal, is a spatial sound installation designed to interfere and play with the auditory tactics of passersby in a public space by projecting sounds from more private spheres. The novelty of the authors' work is the use of beamforming: a sound projection technology that allows the creation of directional sonic beams resulting in sonic illumination and shadow zones that dynamically interact with architectural surfaces. The authors report the results and lessons of this first artistic experiment with sound beams as a creative sound-projection method.

  • The Living Cosmos: A Fabric That Binds Art and Science
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    The authors, an astronomer and an artist, have collaborated on a series of seven mixed-media constructions and prose pieces that follow the flow and themes of Impey's book on astrobiology, The Living Cosmos. The book summarizes recent research on astrobiology, from the origin of life on Earth and its environmental range on this planet to the search for life in the solar system and beyond. The artist's work encapsulates these ideas with its use of material objects, textures, images and metaphors that mirror the elements of the scientific approach to astrobiology.

General Articles

  • Connecting Art and Science for Education: Learning through an Advanced Virtual Theater with “Talking Heads”
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    The authors present an innovative virtual theater in which the language of performance joins advanced technologies for educational goals. On the stage of this pioneering theatrical environment human actors interact with 3D faces (“talking heads”) on a wide screen. These synthetic characters are endowed with emotional expressions and voices and resemble famous personalities such as Pythagoras and Einstein. The performance aims at the exposition of difficult subjects in various fields and making learning enjoyable and entertaining.

  • Sound and Silence in the Line: Re-Reading Turkish Islamic Calligraphy for Interactive Media Design
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    The purpose of the research reported is to argue that “formal” design solutions of past cultures can generate innovative ideas in interactive media design. The authors ask how a traditional art in which body motion is used, namely Turkish Islamic calligraphy—Khatt—can help create innovative solutions for digital interaction design. Taking inspiration from Khatt, the authors have developed a project with the aim of allowing an audience with no prior calligraphy background to experience the performance process of calligraphy by reproducing it themselves. By creating a performance interface that provides predictability components, the authors have correlated the visual compositions with sound.

  • Viral Architecture, Viral Landscapes: The Impact of Modern Science on Helen Chadwick's Art
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    This article addresses certain enduring interests that the British artist Helen Chadwick (1953–1996) pursued over the course of her career. While she produced a diverse range of work using a wide range of media, the article will focus on her theoretical considerations of the conjunction of self and world, emphasizing her interest in, and the importance she attached to, the understanding of nature and our place “within” it. She was dissatisfied with received explanations of this relationship, which in her view remained more or less within a Newtonian, mechanical framework. Her research and practice signaled an alternate approach, a “viral technique,” informed by and accommodating her interest in modern biology and physics.

  • On the Problem of “Reverse Perspective”: Definitions East and West
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    The author considers the history of the theory of “reverse perspective” in the 20th century. She identifies six distinct views on reverse perspective, some of which are mutually exclusive. The first four definitions have circulated in both Western and Russian scholarship, while two further views proposed by Russian authors are little known in the West. The most useful contribution of Russian theory to the subject is the suggestion of a pictorial space fundamentally different from the three-dimensional space frequently taken for granted by Western viewers.

Theoretical Perspective

  • Relating Theory, Practice and Evaluation in Practitioner Research
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    The authors have developed a model of practice-based research from observations and studies of practitioners undertaking Ph.D.s in digital art and specifically interactive art. Trajectories of research and practice have been identified that have common elements but are driven by different practitioner goals and preferences. The authors present a model of practitioner research that represents the relationship between theory, practice and evaluation, and they describe how different trajectories of research and practice lead to the development of theoretical frameworks by practitioners. Whilst the common features of the trajectories are important to identify so that the characteristics of practitioner research can be understood more generally, the authors believe that having scope for individuality is vital to such research.

Transactions

  • The eMobiLArt Project from a Curatorial Perspective
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    The three curators of the eMobiLArt project developed collaboration within the curatorial group and with other people involved including participating artists and organizers. This article is focused on how the various tasks evolved during the project process. A reflection on the outcomes (artworks and exhibitions) and the role of curators in such a collaborative experimental project is also included.

  • The e-MobiLArt Project: An Experiment in Collaboration at the Intersection of Art, Science and Technology
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    e-MobiLArt was a project tailored around the process of collaboratively creating interactive installations. This paper presents an introductory overview of the most important activities of the e-MobiLArt project from the perspective of its organizers and briefly discusses the collaborative process that took place among participants, curatorial advisors and organizers.

  • Oracle
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    Oracle is an interactive installation, created in the framework of the eMobiLArt Project, which uses tracking systems, generative algorithms, sound and video, forming a dynamic environment. Through the change between an audiovisual display, and the sudden stillness of an image, while one stays still for a longer time, Oracle reveals its answer to the viewers. Witnessing the emergence of original semantics through our daily relationship with images and vast visual information, Oracle stands as a sudden metaphor of our collective unconscious.

  • Enactive Dialectics
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    Created as part of the experimental European/worldwide collaborative e-MobiLArt project—designed to encourage collaboration with scientists, and with artists from other cultural backgrounds and geographic locations. Enactive Dialectics converges both real and virtual emotional space into one digitally mediated experience and calls for reconsideration of the boundary between private and public self.

  • Kryolab
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    KryoLab is an installation and performance that brings together bioart, ice sculpture and sound, in an investigation of delicate relationships in the Arctic ecosystem.

    It traces our individual and collective journeys, in terms of investigative art/science research as well as in terms of being part of the experimental European/worldwide collaborative e-MobiLArt project—designed to encourage collaboration with scientists and with artists from other cultural backgrounds and geographic locations. This article briefly describes the KryoLab installation concept itself, and the collaboration process.

  • ON TRACK: A Slippery Mechanic-Robotic Performance
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    This article explores the production of ON TRACK, a performative installation, whose slippery, smelly narrative emerges from the interactions and interferences between a mechanical mop, a troupe of robotic brushes and spilling viscous fluids. The machinic assemblage performs ‘other ways of knowing’, unfolding where the programmed and choreographed meet the messy and unknown. The work was created within the e-MobiLArt project.

  • The Grafting Parlour
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    The Grafting Parlour is a collective of artists and external researchers who exchange and combine their methodologies through thoughtful experimentation. Our collective was formed through the framework of the eMobiLArt lab project. Our art practice includes interdisciplinary research viewed in the gallery, workshops, performative experimentation and public discussion. The Grafting Parlour's conversations with scientists in the field punctuate and re-direct our research and methods of enquiry. We have developed portals into live habitats, spanning from the sky to the forest to the laboratory, creating accessible interfaces to these remote habitats and biological forms.

  • Contemplating Moments
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    Moments is an art installation that asks you to pause for a moment … to contemplate. This article reflects on the process of the collaboration, as well as outlining the conceptual and practical issues of the project. The work was realized within the framework of the European Mobile Lab for Interactive Artists (e-MobiLArt) and funded through the CULTURE 2007 Programme of the European Union.

  • The Third Woman
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    The Third Woman is an interactive mobile film—game, performance, and installation, which gradually reveals the layers of a contemporary film drama on mobile phones and screens.

  • Ephemeron—Sculpting a Collective Consciousness and Mapping a Collaborative Process
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    Ephemeron is an interactive installation resulting from the collaboration of artists during the e-MobilArt project. Ephemeron, a responsive sculpture, attempts to express the eternal ephemeral human epic: the daily song of pain and struggle, love and loss, lived by beings full of “mud and dreams”. The installation comprises an audio soundscape, projected video and a large fabric form under high tension and with a floor of sand. Visitors may enter the form, where the projected video and soundscape become sensitive to their presence.

  • Aureole
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    The Aureole installation created as part of the e-MobiLArt project combines physicality, technology, visual, sonic and textual components — and aims to evoke a poetic experience inspired by the Aurora Borealis.

  • Crossings
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    Crossings is an interactive art installation that was part of the eMobilArt project. The game explores the relative perspectives of sacred texts. It emerged from believing the politics of world conflicts are fueled by religious intolerance and misunder-standing.

  • Sound-Lines
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    Sound-Lines is an interactive sound sculpture composed of sensors that trigger archived sounds and animated words. Our collaborative project, supported by e-MobiLArt (European Mobile Lab for Interactive Media Artists), invites the visitor to engage in a playful exploration of shifting perspectives and perceptual discovery. The collaborating artists are Cliona Harmey (IR), Christine Mackey (IR), Nita Tandon (AU), and Lorraine Walsh (US).

Leonardo Reviews

  • Superhuman: Revolution of the Species Australian Network for Art Technology (ANAT) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), RMIT Galleries, Melbourne, Australia, 5 November–5 December 2009
  • The World According to Monsanto/Le Monde Selon Monsanto by Marie-Monique Robin. National Film Board of Canada/Office National du Film Canada, 2008. 109 min. Distributor's web site: www.nfb.ca.
  • Gerhard Richter edited by Benjamin H.D. Buchloh. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2009. 200 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN: 978-0-262-01351-2, ISBN: 978-026-251312-8
  • Playing with Words: The Spoken Word in Artistic Practice edited by Cathy Lane. CRiSAP, London, U.K., 2008. 205 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-9558273-3-4
  • The Metamorphosis of Plants by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; introduction and photographs by Gordon L. Miller. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2009. 155 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-262-01309-3
  • Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, U.S.A., 2009. 256 pp. Trade, e-book. ISBN: 978-1-4008-3128-9
  • The Arts of China Fifth Edition, Revised and Expanded by Michael Sullivan. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A., 2009. 368 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN: 9780520255685; 9780520255692
  • From Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition by Giovanna Fossati. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, NL, 2009. Framing Film series. 336 pp. Paper. ISBN: 978-90-8964-139-7; e-ISBN: 978-90-4851-069-6
  • The Speed Handbook: Velocity, Pleasure, Modernism by Enda Duffy. Duke University Press, Chapel Hill, NC, U.S.A., 2009. 320 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN13: 978-0-8223-4430-8; 978-0-8223-4442-1
  • The Power of the Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts by Rudolf Arnheim. 20th Anniversary Edition. University of California Press, Berkeley CA, U.S.A., 2009. 250 pp., illus. ISBN: 9780520261266
  • The Dada Cyborg: Visions of the New Human in Weimar Berlin by Matthew Biro. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A./London, U.K., 2009. 400 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN: 978-0-8166-3619-8; ISBN: 978-0-8166-3620-4
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010

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