Leonardo 50:4, 2017
On the cover: Creature:Dot and the Kangaroo performance, 2015. (A Stalker Theatre & Out of the Box Production. Photo: Darren Thomas.)
ISSN: 
0024-094X

Leonardo, Volume 50, Issue 4

August 2017

Contents

Art Papers

  • Art Papers Jury and Introduction
  • Creature:Interactions: A Social Mixed-Reality Playspace
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    This paper discusses Creature:Interactions (2015), a large-scale mixed-reality artwork created by the authors that incorporates immersive 360° stereoscopic visuals, interactive technology, and live actor facilitation. The work uses physical simulations to promote an expressive full-bodied interaction as children explore the landscapes and creatures of Ethel C. Pedley's ecologically focused children's novel, Dot and the Kangaroo. The immersive visuals provide a social playspace for up to 90 people and have produced "phantom" sensations of temperature and touch in certain participants.

  • The Interactive Image: A Media Archaeology Approach
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    This paper examines the history of the influential Interactive Image computer graphics showcase, which took place at museum and conference venues from 1987 to 1988. The authors present a preliminary exploration of the historical contexts that led to the creation of this exhibition by the Electronic Visualization Lab (EVL), which included the integrated efforts of both artists and computer scientists. In addition to providing historical details about this event, the authors introduce a media archaeology approach for examining the cultural and technological contexts in which this event is situated.

  • Autoencoding Blade Runner: Reconstructing Films with Artificial Neural Networks
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    In this paper, the authors explain how they created Blade RunnerAutoencoded, a film made by training an autoencoder—a type of generative neural network—to recreate frames from the film Blade Runner. The autoencoder is made to reinterpret every individual frame, reconstructing it based on its memory of the film. The result is a hazy, dreamlike version of the original film. The authors discuss how the project explores the aesthetic qualities of the disembodied gaze of the neural network and describe how the autoencoder is also capable of reinterpreting films it has not been trained on, transferring the visual style it has learned from watching Blade Runner (1982).

  • Avoid Setup: Insights and Implications of Generative Cinema
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    Generative artists engage the poetic and expressive potentials of film playfully and efficiently, with explicit or implicit critique of cinema in a broader cultural context. This paper looks at the incentives, insights, and implications of generative cinema, which significantly expands the creative realm for artists working with film, but also incites critical assessment of the business-oriented algorithmic strategies in the film industry. The poetic divergence, technical fluency, and conceptual cogency of generative cinema successfully demonstrate that authorship evolves toward ever more abstract reflection and cognition which equally treat existing creative achievements as inspirations, sources of knowledge, and tools.

  • Lenticular Waterwheels: Simultaneous Kinetic and Embedded Animation
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    After decades as a novelty, lenticular technology has resurfaced in compelling large-scale projects. Without any required energy, the medium offers stereography without glasses and frame animation without electronics. A kinetic artwork installed in a remote river in the French mountains broke from the technology's previous restrictions of static and flat display, recalculated the print mathematics for a curved surface, and explored narrative structures for a moving image on a moving display. This paper documents how the sculpture used custom steel fabrication, site-specific energy, and revised lens calculation to present a previously unexplored hybrid of animation.

  • Transforming the Commonplace through Machine Perception: Light Field Synthesis and Audio Feature Extraction in the Rover Project
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    Rover is a mechatronic imaging device inserted into quotidian space, transforming the sights and sounds of the everyday through its peculiar modes of machine perception. Using computational light field photography and machine listening, it creates a kind of cinema following the logic of dreams: suspended but mobile, familiar yet infinitely variable in detail. Rover draws on diverse traditions of robotic exploration, landscape and still-life depiction, and audio field recording to create a hybrid form between photography and cinema. This paper describes the mechatronic, machine perception, and audio-visual synthesis techniques developed for the piece.

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