Leonardo, Volume 50, Issue 5 | Leonardo/ISAST
Leonardo 50:5, 2017
On the cover: Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Stranger Visions, found genetic materials, custom software, 3D prints, documentation. (© Heather Dewey-Hagborg)
ISSN: 
0024-094X

Leonardo, Volume 50, Issue 5

October 2017

Contents

Artist's Article

  • @Caltech: Art, Science and Technology, 1969–1971
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    In 1969, the vision of a handful of professors at California Institute of Technology resulted in an initiative to bring artists and scientists together to “see what happens.” The experiment embodied insurgent notions of that era---ideas that would once again become manifest a generation later in the young 21st century’s art-science fusion. Out of this venture came hints of new visual vocabularies and ways of making, as well as an awareness of fault lines between the two cultures. To one young student who found his way into it, the Caltech experience became a transforming moment.

General Articles

  • Reactions to Imagery Generated Using Computational Aesthetic Measures
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    This article examines whether textural generation system imagery evolved with computational aesthetic support can be judged as having aesthetic attributes, both when knowing and not knowing its true origin. Such a generation, depicting a digital landscape, is offered to two groups of participants to appraise. It is hypothesized that there will be no statistically significant difference between the groups on their appraisal of the image. Results from statistical analysis prove to be consistent with this hypothesis. A minority of participants, however, do exhibit significant differences in their perception of the image based on its means of production. This article explores and illustrates these differences.

  • Dance Becoming Knowledge: Designing a Digital “Body”
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    In this article the authors discuss the possibility of presenting the unique qualities of “the body” in contemporary dance practice through tailored digital choreographic objects. They reflect on some implications of abstraction in cognitive science and on “the body” as a site of exploration and knowledge in the realm of social, moral and relational being.

  • Suggestions for a Parametric Typology of Dance
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    Dance and language are produced and performed by the body and governed by cognitive faculties. Yet regrettably little scholarship applies the tools of formal analysis from one field to the other. This article aims to enrich the dialogue between the two fields. The authors introduce an approach to dance typology informed by an analogy with the parametric theory of language analysis, which is useful in typologizing languages. This initial exploration paves the way for a physiological typology of dance that does not reference culture.

  • The Last Word Is: Imagination—A Study of the Spatial Aspects of Edgard Varèse’s Work, Part II: Visual Evidence
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    Edgard Varèse was one of the singular musical innovators of the 20th century. Central to his thinking was an informed yet uniquely imaginative position regarding metaphoric “space.” Through contacts with science, he developed an idiosyncratic vocabulary involving “rotating planes,” “beams,” “projection” and “penetration.” His outlook was both conceptually and musically (especially in Intégrales) manifested. The first part of a two-part article, “The Last Word Is: Imagination, Part I: The Visual Evidence” (published in Perspectives of New Music), references Varèse’s writings and lectures. The second part, published here, is concerned with the visual evidence, a context within which his spatial ideas could be directly manifested without the distortions of electroacoustic sound projection or vagaries of instrumental and vocal performance. In original artworks, marginalia, doodles and an array of spiral diagrams, Varèse directly portrayed his concepts with remarkable lucidity.

Historical Perspectives

  • R. Buckminster Fuller, the Expo ‘67 Pavilion and the Atoms for Peace Program
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    Since the end of World War II, the U.S. government has embraced the rhetoric of the peaceful use of the atom. Following the government’s lead, architect-designer-philosopher Richard Buckminster Fuller espoused similar ideas. Like U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and other “atoms for peace” enthusiasts, Fuller thought that the revolution then occurring in architecture was an outgrowth of the peaceful atom. And, like Johnson, Fuller believed that technology based on the atom did not just favor Americans but could be applied for the benefit of all humanity. Fuller thought atomic technology could help extend humankind’s knowledge base and thus be applied to develop better architecture. This article explains how Fuller, like politicians of the time, believed that the potential for fearful products of destruction—of war and its weaponry— could be applied for peacetime applications, particularly when designing his geodesic dome, including his Expo ’67 pavilion.

  • Holograms: The Story of a Word and Its Cultural Uses
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    Holograms reached popular consciousness during the 1960s and have since left audiences alternately fascinated, bemused or inspired. Their impact was conditioned by earlier cultural associations and successive reimaginings by wider publics. Attaining peak public visibility during the 1980s, holograms have been found more in our pockets (as identity documents) and in our minds (as video-gaming fantasies and “faux hologram” performers) than in front of our eyes. The most enduring, popular interpretations of the word “hologram” evoke the traditional allure of magic and galvanize hopeful technological dreams. This article explores the mutating cultural uses of the term “hologram” as markers of magic, modernity and optimism.

Special Section: Arts, Humanities and Complex Networks 2015

  • AHCN@NETSCI 2015 Introduction
  • Modeling Structure and Content: Socio-Semantic Network Analysis of the Mahābhārata
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    There is a demand to incorporate content information into social networks. The authors constructed and visualized a network of the most important gods and heroes in the Sanskrit epic Mahābhārata. The network includes semantic information about the actors and their relationships. These two types of information were collected automatically with the help of the Nubbi topic modeling algorithm, which assigns separate sets of topics to both persons and their relations. The visualization of such a network provides intuitive access to a high density of information, like the topic distribution for each actor and the predominant topic for each relation.

  • Stylometric Networks and Fake Authorships
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    This paper addresses two problems: (a) whether and how tools developed to analyze network structures can be applied to the stylometric analysis of texts or text corpora and specifically to authorship attribution problems; and (b) whether it is possible to sample text fragments of an author A so as to imitate the style of an author B. The sample corpora in this study comprise 10–500 English novels from the 19th and 20th centuries.

  • Visualizing and Analyzing Complex and Dynamic Networks of Flemish Tapestry Entrepreneurs (1640–1720)
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    This paper discusses the possibilities of visualizing and analyzing complex and dynamic social networks to understand the interplay between ever-changing social structure and artistic developments within the Antwerp and Brussels tapestry industry (1640–1720).

  • Differential Hive Plots: Seeing Networks Change
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    Network layouts generated by common algorithms, such as force-directed and spectral methods, are difficult to interpret because the methods are inherently unpredictable. These layouts are ineffective in comparing networks because the layouts lack perceptual uniformity—the differences in output are not proportional to differences in input. To address this, the authors introduce the differential hive plot (DHP), a layout method based on the comparison of two hive plots (HP). The DHP is a difference of two visualizations and contains nodes and edges in the difference or intersection of the two networks based on positional similarity in the input HPs.

  • Visualizing the Evolution of Programming Languages
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    The study of cultural evolutionary patterns, particularly when dealing with artifacts, is constrained by a lack of powerful quantitative methods. In this work, the project team shows that a simple network approach can reconstruct phylogenetic trees from existing databases of recorded artifact influences. They created novel network tools to visualize the large-scale evolution of programming languages. The simple idea of trees of influence can be extended to many other fields beyond the study of programming languages, offering a new theoretical framework to rigorously quantify cultural and technological evolution.

Special Section: Highlights from the IEEE VIS 2014 Arts Program (VISAP'14): Part 3

  • Soybots: Mobile Micro-Gardens
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    Gardens express ideas and social relations; some are sites where art and technology produce material realities, construct social narratives and visualize politics. Soybots: Mobile Micro-Gardens unite code, robotics and soybean plants (robotanics) to create a speculative responsive installation that suggests questions about climate, place and agriculture implicated in contemporary practices and values. Soybots utilize light sensors to track sunlight intensity or to locate LED grow lights. As self-pollinating organisms in combination with a light-seeking mobile robotic platform, soybean plants metaphorically address the continually evolving interdependence between humans and cultivated crops, as well as the underlying political nature of photosynthesis.

  • Expressive Cartography, Boundary Objects and the Aesthetics of Public Visualization
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    Aesthetic visualization projects that incorporate users, community stakeholders, multiple modalities and technologies emphasize the way that an artistic visualization can be both an artifact and a process—a conceptualization of aesthetic visualization that is useful for thinking about visualization in general. In this article, the authors propose the concept of the visualization as boundary object, a move away from the indexical claims of visualization and instead toward an acknowledgment of the entangled nature of social, political, economic, cultural, technological and environmental actants. Through a description of the In the Air, Tonight public visualization project, the authors suggest that by making manifest the connections between these actants, a visualization project, as a form of expressive cartography, can contribute to the visibility of and engagement with important issues (e.g. homelessness) that affect society.

  • Multiple Perspectives into a Subway System
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    One of the main characteristics of cities is the large amount of people moving around. These flows are reflected in all the subways dashing through the city. With the authors’ work, they strive to give an impression of this pulse of the city. They present Shanghai Metro Flow, consisting of an animated visualization composed of three scenes, each giving another perspective into the metro network, and an accompanying poster showing subway line details. Each visualization combines established techniques with a highly aesthetic form in order to attract people to observe and dwell on different aspects of urban mobility.

  • Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project
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    Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project is an interactive virtual reality narrative performance made for the EVL’s CAVE2TM largescale 320-degree panoramic virtual reality environment that visualizes stories of violence and the post-traumatic stress experienced by ordinary American soldiers who became torturers in the course of serving their country. During the American-led counterinsurgency and counterterrorism campaigns in Iraq in the years after 11 September 2001, the torture and abuse of detainees was a commonplace tactic.

Special Section: PhD in Art and Design

  • PhD in Art and Design Introduction
  • Case Study: The Development and Evolution of the Creative Arts Practice-led PhD at the University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts
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    Many art academics within U.S. institutions have little understanding of the Creative Arts PhD. Moreover, this has lead to the proliferation of a great deal of misinformation as U.S. academics struggle to sift through a growing body of literature on the subject. The author, who believes there is a very real and demonstrated need for more critical “nuts and bolts” or basic information on how such programs have been developed, implemented, staffed and legitimated, created a case study that focuses upon the developmental path and outcomes of a practice-led Creative Arts PhD program. A primary goal of the study was to critically assess the viability of applying the gathered data/findings toward the development of an appropriately adjusted program within a specific U.S. institution. Access to the complete “Case Study: The Development and Evolution of the Creative Arts Practice-led PhD at the University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts” is available at the MIT Press Journals website.

Special Section: Leonardo Abstracts Service: Top-Rated LABS Abstracts 2016

Leonardo Reviews

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