Leonardo, Volume 48, Issue 1 | Leonardo/ISAST

Leonardo, Volume 48, Issue 1

February 2015

Contents

Editorial

LASER Gallery

Artist’s Articles

  • Composing Perceivable Time
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    Time is an integral element in music. The chronometric duration of a piece of music often differs from the duration perceived by the listener. This paper presents a composition that aims to manipulate the listener’s perception of time and presents the research findings that influenced the compositional decisions.

  • Weather as Medium: Art and Meteorological Science
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    The recent artworks Albedo of Clouds and Neighbourhood Air adopt weather as primary material for sensory experiences. The art installations included the contributions of scientists, programmers, instrument technicians, social online networks and the vagaries of the weather itself. The projects suggest that creative engagement with meteorological science can activate eco-political “networks” in Latour’s sense, productive of knowledge and potentially transformative. In such “meteorological art,” digital networks not only distribute facts about atmospheric data; they also generate affective forms. Multi-directional flows between weather instrumentation, digital data, media art and meteorological science are enacted in the pursuit of a creative outcome.

General Articles

  • Code Bending: A New Creative Coding Practice
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    Creative coding, or artistic creation through the medium of program instructions, is constantly gaining traction, and there is a steady stream of new resources emerging to support it. However, the question of how creative coding is carried out still deserves more attention. In what ways may the act of program development be rendered conducive to artistic creativity? As one possible answer to this question, the authors present and discuss a new creative coding practice, that of code bending, alongside examples and considerations regarding its applications.

  • Capturing the Body Live: A Framework for Technological Recognition and Extension of Physical Expression in Performance
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    Performing artists have frequently used technology to sense and extend the body’s natural expressivity through live control of multimedia. However, the sophistication, emotional content and variety of expression possible through the original physical channels are often not captured by these technologies and thus cannot be transferred from body to digital media. In this article the author brings together research from expressive performance analysis, machine learning and technological performance extension techniques to define a new framework for recognition and extension of expressive physical performance.

  • Karakuri: Subtle Trickery in Device Art and Robotics Demonstrations at Miraikan
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    Based on museological participant-observation conducted at the Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, this article considers the role of karakuri, or subtle trickery, referring to devices that evoke a sense of awe and wonderment through concealment of their inner workings. The author critically assesses Miraikan’s Tearoom of Zero/One gallery space as well as its ASIMO demonstrations in terms of their utilization of this quality.

  • Synesthesia: From Cross-Modal to Modality-Free Learning and Knowledge
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    In an integrated view of perception and action, learning involves all the senses, their interaction and cross-modality, rather than multi-modality alone. This can be referred to as synesthetic enactive perception, which forms the basis for more abstract, modality-free knowledge and a potential underpinning for innovative learning design. The authors explore this mode of learning in two case studies: The first focuses on children in Montessori preschools and the second on MEDIATE, an interactive space designed for children on the autistic spectrum that offers a “whole-body” engagement with the world.

Historical Perspective

  • Lillian F. Schwartz Redux: In Movement, Color and 3D Chromostereoscopy
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    This article examines three computer animations created by the pioneering filmmaker Lillian F. Schwartz circa 1970 that are currently viewable in 3D chromostereoscopy, specifically with ChromaDepth® 3D glasses. Reimaging these works 40 years after their creation permits a renewed formalist experience and a thematic analysis that reveals the primacy of Schwartz’s concern with depth and visual perception as part of her poetic sensibility. Excerpted interviews between the author and Lillian Schwartz are provided as an online appendix to this paper.

Special Section of Leonardo Transactions: Technologies of Scientific Visualization

  • Technologies of Scientific Visualization
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    Sophisticated technologies of scientific visualization often require a departure from the standards of mimetic representation. In this paper the authors introduce a set of nine papers derived from the conference on scientific visualization in Norrköping, Sweden in September 2012, which explore problems of scale, color and technology in scientific visualization. These three kinds of problems are common to multiple visualization methods. As a result, this collection constitutes a preliminary exploration of commonalities in various methods of visualization, e.g., from nanoscale images to outerspace pictures of galaxies.

  • Visualizing the ‘Invisible’
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    The ability of scientists to image and manipulate matter at the (sub)atomic scale is a result of stunning advances in microscopy. Foremost amongst these was the invention of the scanning probe microscope, which, despite its classification as a microscope, does not rely on optics to generate images. Instead, images are produced via the interaction of an atomically sharp probe with a surface. Here the author considers to what extent those images represent an accurate picture of ‘reality’ at a size regime where quantum physics holds sway, and where the image data can be acquired and manipulated in a variety of ways.

  • Achromatic Reasoning - On the Relation of Gray and Scale in Radiology
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    The paper explores the relation of grayscale and measurements in the field of diagnostic computed tomography. By looking at the epistemology of achromatic visualizations in medical imaging the author argues to explore digital images as both algorithmic and aesthetic objects. Thereby it becomes obvious how color coding in medicine provides not only a superficial quality but a deep and even quantitative insight.

  • The Visual Culture of Brain Imaging
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    Brain images are believed to be physical explanations for cognitive phenomena. However, the persuasive power of brain imaging cannot be fully explained by the general tendency to biologise the mind in contemporary cognitive sciences. It needs to be understood in relation to histories of imaging techniques, of mediated forms and of their social and cultural discourses.

  • Determining the Aesthetic Appeal of Astronomical Images
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    In the context of images used for astronomy education and outreach purposes, this paper describes a set of parameters that are key in determining the aesthetic appeal, or beauty — and therefore effectiveness— of an astronomical image.

  • Scientific Visualisation in Practice: Replicating Experiments at Scale
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    Here scale is taken to imply context, consideration of which is seen to have implications for the mobility of knowledge-as-visualisation. The suggestion is that technologies of visualisation are created within, create, and are negotiated within, contexts. Virtual spaces, such as that offered by the open-data paradigm, and the means for their exploration, here via visualisation, cannot be expected to furnish the means to ultimately settle controversies, a point made by an earlier generation of sociologists of science. This argument is demonstrated via an experiment in the replication of scientific visualisation. Accordingly, the science of visualisation, it is argued, is subject to contextual affect.

  • Images in Art and Science and the Quest for a New Image Science
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    This article deals with opportunities and challenges faced by humanities disciplines like art history or aesthetics when turning their attention from traditional pursuits to the study of scientific images and visualizations. These pose particular problems to interpretation and evaluation for what, in Germany, is called Bildwissenschaft or image science.

  • Interpreting Artworks, Interpreting Scientific Images
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    The author aims to compare the ways we interpret images in art and in science. The author suggests that, in art studies, analogy is often used, whereas in natural sciences, researchers appeal to abduction. To illustrate this assumption, she uses some critical texts about Yves Klein’s Anthropometries, as well as some ethnographic reports of scientists’ shop-talks around images, collected in a pharmacology laboratory.

  • Visibly Dead: On Making Brain Death Believable
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    The paper discusses the role of visualization technologies and instrumental devices in the acceptance of “brain death” with rabbinic bodies and the law in Israel. The authors suggest that technologies serve the traditional in the interplay between lay and technical epistemologies, namely where the “corpse” appears to be alive.

  • Engines of Creationism? Intelligent Design, Machine Metaphors and Visual Rhetoric
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    Machine metaphors are ubiquitous in the molecular sciences. In addition to their use by scientists, educators and popularizers of science, they have been promoted intensively by the Intelligent Design (ID) movement in arguments for the necessity of a god-like designer to account for the complexities of life at the molecular level. The authors have investigated the visual rhetoric employed in a movie by ID proponents, with particular emphasis on machine metaphors. The authors provide examples and argue that science communicators could reduce the persuasive impact of ID visual rhetoric based on machine metaphors by emphasizing that self-assembly is fundamental to molecular complexes.

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