Leonardo, Volume 44, Issue 1 | Leonardo/ISAST

Leonardo, Volume 44, Issue 1

February 2011

Contents

Editorial

Artists' Articles

  • Artistic Exploration of the Worlds of Digital Developmental Swarms
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    This paper presents artwork that was inspired by a computational model called Swarm Grammars. In this work, the “liveliness” of swarms is combined with the generative capabilities of more established developmental representations. Three of the authors followed their individual artistic approaches to explore the creativity and dynamics of Swarm Grammar structures. One chose to breed structures interactively to compose virtual spaces. The second explores the movement and construction dynamics of interactive swarms. The third artist translated developmental processes of Swarm Grammars into interactions of paint particles driven by friction and gravity.

  • Quantum Sculpture: Art Inspired by the Deeper Nature of Reality
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    The author, a sculptor with a background in physics, describes sculptures he creates inspired by quantum physics. He argues that art such as the presented sculptures can indicate aspects of reality that science cannot and therefore has the potential to help liberate us from the deep impact the paradigm of classical physics continues to have on our every perception of reality.

  • Digital Design of Molecular Sculptures and Abstractions
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    While tactile models have been used to describe molecular structures for over a century, the sculpting of structural models is a recent phenomenon. Following X-ray coordinate selection, the author uses modeling software and a computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machine to create precisely scaled, tactile molecular sculptures. The challenge is to inspire the general public to appreciate the aesthetic aspects of molecular architecture and to reveal the magnificence of nature on the molecular scale.

  • Toward an Affective Aesthetics: Cognitive-Driven Interaction in the Affective Environment of the Mind Cupola
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    This article presents two interactive artworks that represent a shift in artistic practice in their approach to active spectatorship. This approach to interaction incorporates the cognitive processes of the participant through an aesthetic interconnection between technological effect and affective human response. The discussion of the artworks seeks to demonstrate how this aesthetic interconnection creates a novel approach to an engagement with interaction, while suggesting a new forum for addressing the philosophical problem of the relationship between body and mind. This aesthetic interconnection between technology and human cognition, which will be referred to as affective aesthetics, is stimulated by introducing a novel application of emerging technologies that dynamically effect and evaluate the participant's affective responses through cognitive feedback loops within interactive artworks.

Artist's Note

  • Yeast Biopaintings: Biofilms as an Artistic Instrument
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    The author works with microorganisms that produce colored natural pigments to create biopaintings that result from the manipulation of organisms and their specific interactions. The author's biopaintings were obtained by controlling the growth of yeast cells on paper, ensuring the stability of the final results. These biopaintings resulted from the artist's observation and experimentation with evolving patterns of yeast biofilms. The often-unexpected results are part of the creative process and suggest new artistic methodologies to be explored. An overview of the aesthetic manipulation of microorganisms by other artists is briefly presented.

Color Plates

General Articles

  • Depictions of Sunsets as Information Sources
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    This paper presents a critical approach to a scientific project conducted by a group of natural scientists at the National Observatory of Athens, in which artworks depicting sunsets were used as sources of scientific information on atmospheric abnormalities after volcanic eruptions. The author examines the stages of this research and its results from a philosophical point of view, attempting to show that the cognitive value of art has an idiosyncratic character and does not correspond to reality as does that of science.

  • Exploitation of Victims' Desire for Revenge: A Natural Psychological Mechanism and Its Unnatural Production in Culture and Politics
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    This paper elaborates on key themes of the on-line project Victims' Symptom—PTSD and Culture. A clinical, psychiatric definition of victim, rather than a cultural one, is used to distinguish real from false victims. The danger of the media production of false victims lies in its power to re-victimize the original victims, aside from gains that a false victim may win by taking on the role or attitudes of a victim. Contrary to the common stress on financial benefits of being a victim, this article focuses on the negative economy of revenge, as a postponed reaction by real victims, that if institutionalized may provoke or support and even increase the production of new fatalities.

Special Section: Environment 2.0

  • Participatory Mass Observation and Citizen Science
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    The authors outline and reflect upon a new research agenda on participatory mass observation and citizen science as an introduction to the 3 project outlines in this special section of Transactions.

  • Climate Bubbles: Games to Monitor Urban Climate
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    Climate Bubbles was a playful, participatory mass observation project on local climate. Bubble blowing games were devised to enable people across the city of Manchester to test air flow circulation and, by sharing the results online, enabled the Met Office to create a snapshot of the effect the Urban Heat Island has on wind.

  • Biotagging Manchester: Interdisciplinary Exploration of Biodiversity
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    Biotagging used audio-visual equipment to engage a range of individuals in ‘tagging’ plants and animals with specific and local meaning to them. This was an experiment in subverting conventional approaches to biodiversity monitoring with the aim of expanding ideas of both biodiversity and citizen science.

  • 100 Years of Climate Change: A Night-Time Audio Walk
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    100 Years of Climate Change is an artwork inspired by the insight that we might experience 100 years of climate change by taking a short walk of 100 metres. Investigation of the local impacts of the Urban Heat Island effect culminated in a night-time audio walk to open up awareness of the urban climate.

Leonardo Reviews

  • My Sunshine Nikola Uzunovski at the Federico Luger Gallery, Milan, Italy, January 2010. Gallery web site: www.federicolugergallery.com
  • Interface Fantasy: A Lacanian Cyborg Ontology by André Nusselder. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2009.176 pp. Paper. ISBN: 978-0-262-51300-5
  • Cyberculture and New Media edited by Francisco J. Ricardo. Rodopi, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2009. 312 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-90-420-2518-9
  • D-BA2: Digital-Botanic Architecture II: eTrees, Digital Nature, BioArchitecture by Dennis Dollens. Lumen Inc./Sites Books, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A., 2009. 72 pp., illus. Paper. ISBN: 978-0-930829-70-4
  • Enactive Cinema—Simulatorium Eisensteinense by Pia Tikka. University of Art and Design Helsinki, 2008. 338 pp., illus. With DVD. Web: www.taik.fi/bookshop. ISBN: 978-951-558-272-0; ISSN: 0782-1832
  • Lewis's Fifth Floor: A Department Story Photographs by Stephen King. Introduction by Deborah Mulhern. Liverpool University Press and Neutral Spoon, Liverpool, U.K., 2010. 159 pp., illus. ISBN: 978-1-84631-246-5
  • Darwin's Camera: Art and Photography in the Theory of Evolution by Phillip Prodger. Oxford University Press, 2009. 320 pp., illus. Hardcover. ISBN-10: 0195150317; ISBN-13: 978-0195150315
  • When the Lights Went Out: A History of Blackouts in America by David E. Nye. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2010. 304 pp., illus. ISBN-10: 0-262-01374-6; ISBN-13: 978-0-262-01374-1
  • A Body Worth Defending: Immunity, Biopolitics, and the Apotheosis of the Modern Body by Ed Cohen. Duke University Press, Durham, NC, U.S.A., 2009. 384 pp. Trade, paper. ISBN: 978-0-8223-4518-3; 978-0-8223-4535-0
  • Earthrise: How Man First Saw the Earth by Robert Poole. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, U.S.A., and London, U.K., 2008, 2010. 236 pp., illus. Cloth, paper. ISBN-13: 978-03-001-3766-8; ISBN-13: 978-03-001-6403-9
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010

Transactions

  • Three Colors: Coomassie Brilliant Blue, Sudan I and Somalia Yellow
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    By taking the lab into the studio, the artist describes in this article the first use of industrial chemical dyes with his paintings or dye-paintings. A brief explanation of this technique in art and the production process is given, together with a short introduction and history on chemical dyes, their toxicity and pigments.

  • A Systems Basis for New Media Pedagogy
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    The relations that operate dynamically within artmaking systems need to be elucidated when teaching new media either as practice or as history. Toward that end the author proposes an extended conceptual structure of cybernetics that includes the motivations within a system and its coherence.

  • Categorisation of New Classes of Digital Interaction
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    This article introduces a new concept, digital interactivity, through examining local digital culture; and video game culture is employed as a metaphor to interpret local digital culture. As a result, ‘control-’ and ‘communication’-based interaction are initiated, based on ‘user to media’ relationships. Based on the degree of physical interaction, ‘liminal’ and ‘transitive’ interactions are initiated. Less physical digital interaction is described as ‘liminal’ interaction and more physical digital interaction is described as ‘transitive’ interaction. These new classes of digital interaction can be applied to real-world examples, such as digital interactive installation artworks and video games.

  • Multiple-Time Installation
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    The author has for several years been making paintings with an elongated format which he calls time-paintings, as well as a series of paintings; called space-time paintings. In this note the author describes his projects of multiple-time installations which combine these two concepts.

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