Leonardo, Volume 46, Issue 1 | Leonardo/ISAST

Leonardo, Volume 46, Issue 1

February 2013

Contents

Editorial

Artists' Articles

  • Hybrid Reassemblage: An Exploration of Craft, Digital Fabrication and Artifact Uniqueness
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    Digital fabrication, and especially 3D printing, is an emerging field that is opening up new possibilities for craft, art and design. The process, however, has important limitations; in particular, digitally designed artifacts are intrinsically reproducible. In stark contrast, traditional craft artifacts are individually produced by hand. The authors combine digital fabrication and craft in their work involving object destruction and restoration: an intentionally broken crafted artifact and a 3D printed restoration. The motivation is not to restore the original work but to transform it into a new object in which both the destructive event and the restoration are visible and the re-assembled object functions as a memorial.

Artists' Article

  • Unraveling Life's Building Blocks: Sculpture Inspired by Proteins
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    Inspired by proteins, the molecular building blocks of life, the author's presented work re-creates the first step of the emergence of three-dimensional bodies from one-dimensional DNA. Utilizing an algorithmic approach as his point of departure, the artist follows his vision freely, creating sculptures that bring life's isolated components emotionally back to life. In this sequel to an earlier Leonardo article on the inception of his protein-inspired sculptures, the author presents the unfolding of his vision: Large-scale works of increasing formal and conceptual complexity display the emergence of an organic aesthetic from geometric elements and inspire a more holistic view of nature than that provided by reductionist science alone.

ArtScience: The Essential Connection

  • The Veiled Christ of Cappella Sansevero: On Art, Vision and Reality
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    A celebrated marble sculpture of the body of Jesus, known as Cristo Velato (Veiled Christ), by the 18th-century Neapolitan artist Giuseppe Sanmartino offers a dramatic demonstration of art as all-encompassing illusion. As such, Sanmartino's masterpiece provides a rare opportunity to deconstruct a multifaceted and richly deceptive perceptual experience into a collection of simple sensory elements. This analysis both yields insights into the visual tools of the artist and reveals how an empirical understanding of sensory processes can illuminate complex perceptual experiences.

  • Protein Kolam: An Artistic Rendition of Molecular Structure Data
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    Any detailed discussion of protein function inevitably involves protein structure. In this article, a visual representation intended to allow the artistic interpretation of protein structure data is presented. The authors have simplified the representation of proteins through the use of the traditional South Indian folk art kolam. This artistic representation presents an interesting means for understanding complicated protein folds. The work presented here may also provide a basis for the study of the topology, similarity and assembly of biological macromolecules.

  • Mobiles, Molecules and the Coalescence of Processes
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    The author provides an account of his development and experiences as both a visual (mobile) artist and a chemist. He describes the surprising similarities between the planning of the construction of a mobile and the execution of retrosynthetic analysis used to chemically create a particular molecule. The fusion of these two independently initiated mental processes into a common creative act can be referred to as a coalescence of processes. The present article discusses the consequences of this merging for both artistic and scientific practices, as well as its relevance to the artscience concept of idea translation.

Color Plates

General Articles

  • Some Video Abstraction Techniques for Displaying Body Movement in Analysis and Performance
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    This paper presents an overview of techniques for creating visual displays of human body movement based on video recordings. First a review of early movement and video visualization techniques is given. Then follows an overview of techniques that the author has developed and used in the study of music-related body movements: motion history images, motion average images, motion history keyframe images and motiongrams. Finally, examples are given of how such visualization techniques have been used in empirical music research, in medical research and for creative applications.

  • Dynamic Sites: Learning to Design in Techno-Social Landscapes
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    This paper investigates interdisciplinary research through an urban design project and explores the creation of broader architectural representations of place. It advances the case made by McCarthy and Wright for developing deeper associations between experience and technology. Drawing on artist Janet Cardiff's media representations of space, design students were challenged to represent richer descriptions of place that include factors such as temporal and spatial resistance, experiential laminations, and social linkages and their gaps. Findings support a view of design and transdisciplinarity as potentially compelling modalities for research in these complex contexts, discourage bringing technology to center stage and encourage propositions that recommend looking beyond the functional and attending to personal and social facets of our interaction with technology.

Historical Perspective

  • Early Visions of Interactivity: The In(put)s and Out(put)s of Real-Time Computing
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    Analyzing technical and other texts of the late 1960s and early 1970s, this paper explores the early discourses of interactivity—including writings by Charles Csuri, J.C.R. Licklider, Michael Noll, Ivan Sutherland and other notable figures—via the intersecting fields of computing and the arts, with a particular emphasis on the dynamic (in this instance, a disjuncture) between visionary ideas and the technical preconditions necessary for their realization.

Transactions

  • Ten Trenches: A Science-Art Collaboration
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    Collaborative and cross-disciplinary research by a group of artists and scientists in an Australian rural setting generates data and ideas that form the basis of a wider understanding of the ramifications of global warming and cooling within the local, regional and national community. The work is viewed as an initial educational platform that will allow the public to see and understand the complexities of climate-based research.

  • Finding Futures: A Spatio-Visual Experiment In Participatory Engagement
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    The Finding Futures Project explores innovative ways of deliberating the future of cities through an emphasis on embodied spatio-visual engagement with urban landscapes. The first instantiation of the project - which took place in Lisbon in 2011 - is reported through a discussion of the project's background, methods and outcomes.

  • Collaboration and Coordination in the Creation of New Music
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    Christopher Redgate is developing a new oboe for the 21st century and is working with composers to develop new music for the instrument. This article addresses the early stages of his collaboration with Sam Hayden. It demonstrates some of the coordination problems at the inception of a project that includes an instrument with a long history. The article sets out some of the ongoing concerns in documenting this work, arguing that the oboe itself is one of the principle forces shaping a collaboration that is future-focused.

  • Readymade and Assemblage in Database Art
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    This paper aims to elucidate the concept of data as readymade and to discuss how data collection and viewer intervention constitute assemblage in database art. After a brief overview of the concepts, insights are provided into how they may be rendered in database art and what meaningful implications such process might yield.

  • From Gesture to Form: The Evolution of Expressive Freehand Spatial Interfaces
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    This paper presents a series of insights from an ongoing investigation into refining custom spatial computer interfaces and graphical primitives for suggesting 3D form in immersive digital spaces. Technical innovations utilizing 3D gesture capture, force feedback, and stereoscopic presentation are described through reference to specific free-form digital sculptures created with the CavePainting and Drawing on Air interfaces. The role of the human hand in digital art practice and the potential of interfaces that tightly couple freehand movements with geometric algorithms are discussed.

  • Cloud Chamber: A Performance with Real Time Two-Way Interaction between Subatomic Particles and Violinist
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    ‘Cloud Chamber’ - a composition by Alexis Kirke, Antonino Chiaramonte, and Anna Troisi - is a live performance in which the invisible quantum world becomes visible as a violinist and subatomic particle tracks interact together. An electronic instrument was developed which can be “played” live by radioactive atomic particles. Electronic circuitry was developed enabling a violin to create a physical force field that directly affects the ions generated by cosmic radiation particles. This enabled the violinist and the ions to influence each other musically in real time. A glass cloud chamber was used onstage to make radioactivity visible in bright white tracks moving within, with the tracks projected onto a large screen.

  • The Serendiptichord: Reflections on the Collaborative Design Process between Artist and Researcher
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    The Serendiptichord is a wearable instrument, resulting from a collaboration crossing fashion, technology, music and dance. This paper reflects on the collaborative process and how defining both creative and research roles for each party led to a successful creative partnership built on mutual respect and open communication. After a brief snapshot of the instrument in performance, the instrument is considered within the context of dance-driven interactive music systems followed by a discussion on the nature of the collaboration and its impact upon the design process and final piece.

  • The Medium-Sensitive Experience and the Paradigmatic Experience of the Grotesque, “Unnatural” or “Monstrous”
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    To create the conceptual space to analyze the evident and structural similarities between the art experience, the (new) media experience, and the media art experience, the author approaches the “medium” as “techniques” which “make [the seen] strange.” A disruption of the perceptual process, a destabilization of the cognitive routines, a sudden sensitivity to the medium and an instant emotional response are at the heart of these (art) experiences. The author argues that the (well-studied) experience of the grotesque provides a model for the analysis of these (understudied) medium-sensitive experiences of the “strange” or “unnatural,” for which the grotesque experience is emblematic.

  • Invisible Navigation (or Impossible?)
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    This article introduces an experimental artwork on moving mobile interfaces. It aims to answer the question: Is it possible to navigate a part of a large image composition, moving a smaller interface of a mobile device in a certain direction such as left and right, back and forth or up and down? The article then outlines the new concept of “Invisible (or impossible) Navigation” and discusses the output of artistic practices which address the “Labyrinth of Art”.

Leonardo Reviews

  • The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner. Penguin Press, New York, NY, U.S.A. 2012. 432 pp. Trade. ISBN-13: 978-1-5942-0328-2
  • The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality by Nicholas Mirzoeff. Duke University Press, Durham, NC, U.S.A., 2011. 408 pp., illus. Hardcover, Paper. ISBN: 978-0-8223-4895-5; ISBN: 978-0822349181
  • Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician's Craft by Graham M. Jones. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A., 2011. 308 pp. Hardcover, Paper. ISBN: 978-0-5202-7046-6; ISBN: 978-0-5202-7047-3
  • The Berkshire Glass Works by William J. Patriquin and Julie L. Sloan. The History Press, Charleston and London, 2011. 128 pp. Illus. 80 b/w. ISBN: 978-1-60949-282-3
  • Radio: Essays in Bad Reception by John Mowitt. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A., 2011. 248 pp. Trade, paper. ISBN: 978-0-5202-7049-7; ISBN: 978-05202-7050-3
  • Looking for Bruce Conner by Kevin Hatch. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2012. 418 pp. illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-262-01681-0
  • Diane Arbus's 1960s: Auguries of Experience by Frederick Gross. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2012, U.S.A., 248 pp. Trade, paper. ISBN-13: 978-0-8166-7011-6; ISBN-13: 978-0-8166-7012-3
  • Remodeling Communication: From WWII to the WWW by Gary Genosko. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada, 2012. 161 pp. ISBN-13: 978-1-4426-4434-2
  • Pairing of Polarities: The Life and Art of Sonya Rapoport edited by Terri Cohn. Heyday Books, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A., 2012. 160 pp, illus. Paper. ISBN-13: 978-1-5971-4187-1
  • Are You Experienced? How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art by Ken Johnson. Prestel, Munich, London, and New York, 2011. 232 pp., illus. ISBN: 978-3-7913-4498-0
  • 3D Displays and Spatial Interaction, Vol. 1: From Perception to Technology by Barry G. Blundell. Walker Wood Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand, 2011. 391 pp. ISBN: 978-0-473-17701-0
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012

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