Leonardo, Volume 45, Issue 3

June 2012

Contents

Editorial

Artist's Note

  • Wave Space Painting with Science
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    The author reflects on the process by which his background in science and engineering and interest in the arts inspired his creation of an original painting style that he calls Wave Space Art, along with the invention/discovery of a mathematical conception of geometric transformations called GridField Geometry. He reviews the development of his techniques, including his employment of mathematics, optics, color psychology, the science of sound and the structure of music.

General Articles

  • A Decade of Digital Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida
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    The advent of cinematic special effects and console gaming since the late 1990s suggests an increasing and sustained emphasis on combining elements from the arts and computer science. The author presents a 10-year synopsis of a degree program created in 2000 to build an undergraduate curriculum using this emphasis as a catalyst. The degree program has resulted in steady student enrollment over the past decade as well as a significantly higher female student participation compared with the university's other three computer science degree programs. The article presents an overview of the program, qualitative and quantitative assessments, lessons learned and recommendations for continued improvement.

  • Moon Vehicle: Reflections from an Artist-Led Children's Workshop on the Chandrayaan-1 Spacecraft's Mission to the Moon
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    This article reflects on the journey to the Moon of the spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 as it was interpreted through an artist-led workshop. The workshop participants were a group of children who lived close to where Chandrayaan was built and some of the engineers and scientists responsible for creating the spacecraft. Insights from the workshop show how a mission to the Moon draws on both the technological and the imaginative; they also have bearing on the relative agency of these individuals to contribute to the Moon missions in ways that are personally meaningful to them.

  • Patterns of Choice: The Prix Ars Electronica Jury Sessions
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    This article investigates the social structures reflected in the annual jury sessions of the Prix Ars Electronica, a major media art competition—the composition, the temporal evolution and ultimately the decisions of these juries. The author focuses on three different structures: the network of co-jurors across different categories and years, the co-artist network formed by the jury decisions, and finally the interaction between these two networks. The results not only reveal different roles of individuals in the jury process but also reflect the evolution of the field in general. Based solely on public data, the results show a multifaceted picture of a dynamic field.

  • Ecological Art: A Call for Visionary Intervention in a Time of Crisis
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    At a time when the world is beset by ecological crises, ecological art offers inspiration, insight and innovation. This essay provides an overview of the artistic and scientific roots of the practice and illustrates the significant role that ecoart can play in the formulation, development and promulgation of a culture of sustainability.

  • Computational Aesthetics: On the Complexity of Computer-Generated Paintings
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    This article discusses how visual arts and computer technology could complement and assist each other in new and emerging interdisciplinary areas known as computational aesthetics and aesthetic computing. The authors present examples of computational aesthetics that demonstrate that modern computer technology can generate aesthetic forms of visual art. Several levels of complexity in computerized abstract paintings are discussed and explored. The authors recently experimented with encoding computational rules to automatically generate a particular style of abstract painting in an attempt to explore one of the levels. The preliminary results of this research are presented. A more systematic and grammar-based approach is discussed as a potential future direction of work.

Historical Perspective

  • Deciphering and Appeasing the Heavens: The History and Fate of an Ancient Greek Computer
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    In 1900, Greek sponge divers discovered an ancient Greek treasure in the waters of the Aegean island of Antikythera: a device with gears dubbed the Antikythera Mechanism. Scientists studied it for almost a century and eventually declared it the most advanced machine preserved from the ancient world. This device predicted solar and lunar eclipses and harmonized the Greeks' sacrifices to their gods with their Panhellenic games and agriculture. This geared computer from the 2nd century BCE is now said to mirror the philosophy of Aristotle and the science of Archimedes. It was the product of an advanced Greek technological infrastructure that early Christians destroyed.

Erratum

  • Erratum (“The Tree, the Spiral and the Web of Life: A Visual Exploration of Biological Evolution for Public Murals” by Joana Ricou, John Archie Pollock, Leonardo, February 2012, Vol. 45, No. 1: 18-25)

Color Plates

Theoretical Perspectives

  • Becoming Organ-ized: The Creativity of Organization, Dis-Organization and Re-Organization in Scientific and Artistic Experiments
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    Taking its starting point from a recent experiment in the genetics of E. coli, this article explores how processes of organization, dis-organization and re-organization may be thought of as creative. Extending Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the Body without Organs and citing artworks such as George Legrady's Slippery Traces, Paul DeMarinis's Messenger, Jon McCormack's Eden and Natalie Jeremijenko's One Trees, the paper juxtaposes recent scientific research with experimental art in order to reformulate the concept of organization for use in artistic and interactive settings, theorizing it as a creative process rather than positioning it as a limiting, institutionalizing or negative force.

  • Music and Naturoids: The Third Reality
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    At a high level of abstraction, it can be shown by analogy that attempts to reproduce natural phenomena occur not only in technological endeavors but also in human communication and the arts, including music. This paper presents the parallel development of artificial devices—or “naturoids”—in the fields of technology, message communication and musical composition, highlighting the transfiguration that unavoidably affects the resulting device, message or musical work. In the technological field and, to an extent, in the communications field, the transfiguration of the natural object is taken as a more or less unsatisfying outcome. By contrast, in the arts, and mainly in music, the transfiguration effect is exactly what the artist pursues through placing him- or herself at a nonordinary observation level.

Special Section of Leonardo Transactions: Arts, Humanities and Complex Networks

  • Pursuing the Work of Jacques Bertin
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    Representing networks is a major interest of researchers in information visualization. In this article, The authors present novel visualization techniques based on Jacques Bertin's reorderable matrices.

  • Artfacts.Net
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    The author posits that the vast majority of people have little confidence about the “value” they should attribute to contemporary artworks. Many people are seduced into confusing worth with material production, with auction sales records, cult of celebrity, and endless gossip. People are unable to analyze the real activities of artists, their sales and exhibitions, from the unsubstantiated catchphrases of media speculation. This article aims to help clarify the basic mechanisms of the contemporary art market and to enhance understanding through the means of econometrics.

  • Complex Networks in Archaeology: Urban Connectivity in Iron Age and Roman Southern Spain
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    In this article the authors highlight some of the issues surrounding the study of past urban connectivity and how archaeologists can deal with them by adopting a complex networks research perspective.

  • Sustaining a Global Community: Art and Religion in the Network of Baroque Hispanic-American Paintings
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    The authors analyze the network of Hispanic baroque paintings from 1550 to 1850. They divide the dataset of 11,443 works from Spain and Latin America into 25-year periods in order to study the evolution of the paintings' 211 descriptors. The analysis shows that most of the paintings are linked through genre and theme and that religious Christian themes make up the overwhelming majority of connections among the paintings.

  • Network Science: A New Method for Investigating the Complexity of Musical Experiences in The Brain
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    Network science is a rapidly emerging analysis method for investigating complex systems, such as the brain, in terms of their components and the interactions among them. Within the brain, music affects an intricate set of complex neural processing systems. These include structural components as well as functional elements such as memory, motor planning and execution, cognition and mood fluctuation. Because music affects such diverse brain systems, it is an ideal candidate for applying network science methods. Using as naturalistic an approach as possible, the authors investigated whether listening to different genres of music affected brain connectivity. Here the authors show that varying levels of musical complexity affect brain connectivity. These results suggest that network science offers a promising new method to study the dynamic impact of music on the brain.

  • A World Map of Knowledge in the Making: Wikipedia's Inter-Language Linkage as a Dependency Explorer of Global Knowledge Accumulation
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    Analysis of Wikipedia's inter-language links provides insight into a new mechanism of knowledge sharing and linking worldwide.

  • The Making of Sixty-Nine Days of Close Encounters at the Science Gallery
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    The SocioPatterns sensing platform uses wearable electronic badges to sense close-range proximity among individuals. It was used in an experiential exhibit that simulated a virtual epidemic among the visitors of the INFECTIOUS: STAY AWAY exhibition in the Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. The collected data was used to generate a high-resolution visualization that illustrates the variation in contact activity over the course of the exhibition.

  • Culture, Data and Algorithmic Organization
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    The author presents his interactive digital installations of the past decade, featured in museums, media arts festivals and galleries, that engage the audience to contribute data that is then transformed into content and visually projected large scale in the exhibition space. Collected over time, the data occasions further data-mining, algorithmic processing, with visualization of the results.

Transactions

  • Rainwire: Environmental Sonification of Rainfall
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    The Rainwire project forms part of an art/science initiative to investigate environmental sonification of land-based natural rainfall using large-scale long wire instruments.

  • ParaSites: Initial Report and Research Context
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    This research explores the potential for using behaviors and strategies of parasites as a model for sculptural propositions in the built environment, and investigates how these interventions might resonate with concerns in architecture, urbanism and sociocultural politics.

  • Out of Doors: Works of the Listening Eye
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    Visual artists often talk about music, yet rarely think about its “performative” aspect. In this article the author attempts to show why the consideration of this aspect of music and, in particular, of the way performing musicians respond to time, could be of benefit to painters - even to those who deal with traditional (purely spatial) themes. The author also explains how the notions of linear and continuous time, on which the article is based, influenced his latest work, Out of Doors.

  • Colour Chemigrams
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    This paper describes an original colour chemigram technique utilizing couplers incorporated in fully processed traditional colour photographic materials through reaction with selectively oxidized colour developing agents. Because this process bypasses light-sensitive silver halides, image structure is essentially molecular in scale and the procedure is performed under normal room illumination. Images of remarkable beauty have been produced from discarded colour films and papers. Notionally the term “chromagram” is proposed for this procedure.

  • Glint: Audiovisual Glitches
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    This paper explores the idea of glitch through an audiovisual project called Glint and how the concept of glitch can be marked as a manifestation of digital culture.

Leonardo Reviews

  • Through the Looking Glass by Francisco López. Kairos, Vienna, Austria, 2009. CD (box set containing five CDs), #0012872KAI. Distributor's website: http://kairos-music.com/
  • A Little-Known Story about a Movement, a Magazine, and the Computer's Arrival in Art: New Tendencies and Bit International, 1961–1973 edited by Margit Rosen. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2011, U.S.A.
  • Contemporary Art in Asia—A Critical Reader edited by Melissa Chiu and Benjamin Genocchio. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2011. 320 pp., illus. ISBN: 978-0-262-51623-5
  • Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life by Justin E.H. Smith. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, U.S.A., 2011. 392 pp. ISBN: 978-0-691-14178-7; ISBN: 978-1-400-83872-1
  • The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby and Daniel Sarewitz. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2011. 192 pp. ISBN: 978-0-262-01569-1
  • The Deaths of the Author: Reading and Writing in Time by Jane Gallop. Duke University Press, Durham, NC, U.S.A., 2011. 184 pp. Trade, paper. ISBN: 978-0-8223-5063-7; ISBN: 978-0-8223-5081-1
  • A Field Guide to a New Meta-Field: Bridging the Humanities-Neuroscience Divide edited by Barbara Maria Stafford, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, U.S.A., and London, U.K., 2011. 368 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN: 978-0-226-77055-0
  • remixthebook by Mark Amerika. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A., 2011. 336 pp. Trade, paper. ISBN 978-0-8166-7614-9; ISBN 978-0-8166-7615-6
  • Transmission Arts: Artists and Airwaves edited by Galen Joseph-Hunter, Penny Duff and Maria Papadomanolaki. PAJ Publications, New York, U.S.A., 2011. 200 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-155554151-4
  • Modern Gestures: Abraham Walkowitz Draws Isadora Duncan Dancing by Ann Cooper Albright. Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, CT, U.S.A., 2010. 100 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-8195-7077-2
  • Institutional Critique: An Anthology of Artists' Writings edited by Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2011. 440 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-262-51664-8
  • Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo by Nicolas de Monchaux, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2011. 250 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN-13: 978-0-262-01520-2
  • January 2012
  • December 2011

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