Leonardo 53:1, 2020
On the cover: Mark J. Stock, Chaotic Escape #1, digital chromogenic print, 2015. This work is from a series of perfect simulations of fluid flow created by intricate hierarchical algorithms from the artist’s scientific research. (© Mark J. Stock)
ISSN: 
0024-094X

Leonardo, Volume 53, Issue 1

February 2020

Contents

Editorial

General Articles

  • Gardien du Temple
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    Gardien du Temple is an interactive installation where the concealment or revelation of poems and images is achieved through diminished reality, a new approach to augmented reality using a projector-camera system. By capturing the environment with a camera and canceling parts of the scene by reprojecting inverted images, Gardien du Temple questions the control of our perception, of what is present or not. It reveals new perspectives for installations and performing arts aiming at erasing parts of the physical space.

  • Navigating the Cyber Museum: Reconstructing Indigenous Living History in A Journey into Time Immemorial
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    This article closely examines aspects of the Virtual Museum of Canada’s website A Journey into Time Immemorial to investigate the relationship between the poetics of new media and contemporary curatorial practices in Indigenous cultural heritage. In this interactive cyber museum, detailed reconstructions of a longhouse village, engaging motion graphics and video interviews with Elders are combined to represent the historical practices of Stó:lо̄-Coast Salish peoples and their enduring significance today. The objective of this research is to reflect on how computational tools and spatial design were used to express temporal aspects of tangible and intangible heritage preservation and transmission.

  • Feels Like Dancing: Motion Capture–Driven Haptic Interface as an Added Sensory Experience for Dance Viewing
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    This paper describes a system for delivering movement information from a dance performance using a multisensory approach that includes visual, sonic and haptic information. The work builds on previous research into interpreting dance as haptic information for blind, deaf-blind and vision-impaired audience members. This current work is aimed at a general audience, with haptic information being one of a number of sensory experiences of the dance. A prototype haptic device has been developed for use in dance performance research.

  • Drawing New Boundaries: Finding the Origins of Dragons in Carboniferous Plant Fossils
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    Dragons thrive in gaps between and beyond spatial boundaries.
    Can science help explain their existence? Did humans’ investigation of natural phenomena create bits and pieces of dragon lore across cultures? The researchers used a transdisciplinary lens to reveal data unique among extant dragon origin explanations, including fossil evidence and descriptions of Carboniferous-Period plants, dragon folklore descriptions and locations and geographic correlations between the fossils and folklore. The hypothesis is that early humans came across these fossils, constructed meaning for them contextualized by current knowledge of the natural world and created or enhanced dragon lore narratives.

  • Cheering Artificial Intelligence Leader: Creative Writing and Materializing Design Fiction
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    Bringing together science and literature for purposes of casting these knowledge areas into relief is a well-established analytical practice. Rather less studied is the turn toward material practice as it has unfolded across science studies and the arts. However, this trend has the potential to open up new methods for thinking about science and literature and new forms of public engagement. This paper explores one possibility for creative writing in the form of sports cheers. It posits a materialized future scenario designed to encourage the public to consider potential futures and explore their individual ideas about a particular technological development (in this case artificial intelligence) in a fun and imaginative way.

  • Exploring Mondrian Compositions in Three-Dimensional Space
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    The dogmatic nature of Piet Mondrian’s neoplasticism manifesto initiated a discourse about translating aesthetic ideals from paintings to 3D structures. Mondrian rarely ventured into architectural design, and his unique interior design of “Salon de Madame B . . . à Dresden” was not executed. The authors discuss physical constraints and perceptual factors that conflict with neoplastic ideals. Using physical and virtual models of the salon, the authors demonstrate challenges with perspective projections and show how such distortions could be minimized in a cylinder. The paradoxical percept elicited by a “reverspective” Mondrian-like space further highlights the essential role of perceptual processes in reaching neoplastic standards of beauty.

Theoretical Perspective

  • Reconsidering the Substance of Digital Video from a Sadrian Perspective
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    The author discusses digitization as video’s deficiency; pixels are conceived as isolated fragments without an existential link to the source image. This article explores the ontology of digital video through Mulla Sadrа̄’s (1571–1641) theory of Substantial Motion. Sadrа̄, a Persian Islamic existentialist, proposed that substance (material/visible and immaterial/invisible) undergoes an internal change, creating intimate connections between the smallest parts and the One, visible and invisible. We can think of these dynamic connections in terms of pixels and frames. From the view of Sadrа̄’s substance, pixels are explored as open to change. The apparent weaknesses of digital materiality become potentials toward understanding its existence in time.

Statements

  • The Aesthetics of X-Junctions: Cognitive Constraints in the Art of Continuous-Line Caricature
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    This article exposes cognitive constraints in production and perception of caricatures drawn with one continuous line. Constraints in production enable an artist to overcome the complexity of connecting all individual line segments of a conventional caricature. Constraints in perception enable an audience to overcome the complexity of inferring three-dimensional edges and shapes from two-dimensional line segments. In both production and perception, constraints exploit X-junctions where the continuous line meets itself in crossing and tangent configurations that contribute to the aesthetics of these artworks.

  • The Art of a Life Adapting: Drawing and Healing
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    The author, a practice-led researcher and cultural producer, draws on his experience of cancer treatment and his use of art as a way to make hidden features visible. He relates this to the larger intersubjective and social questions of cancer as an overwhelming force affecting society. Approaches in art, including improvisation, are relevant to adaptation, a process that is necessary for living with cancer.

Special Section: Cairotronica

  • Cairotronica: “Only Connect” Introduction
  • The Layer Project—Lost and Found in Digital Translation
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    How can technology and digitalization be used to challenge and develop an analog idea? What happens in the translation from the analog to the digital? Can technology reveal previously hidden aspects of an art object? What happens to the relationship between art and viewer in the process of digitalization? The Layer Project, still in progress, originated in analog mode: cutting paper photographs into strips as layers. Digital filming became important for documenting the objects, as photographing them did not capture the changeability of their three-dimensional aspects. What happens at these borders of 2D and 3D, analog and digital? What defines them and what explains them? How can we compare them, relate them to each other? How are they different? Does media transform or simply transmit imagery? This statement also discusses how technology can be a tool for reflecting on an artwork—a tool to evaluate, develop and challenge an artistic concept.

  • [C G A T] Epita Matrix Genetics: Toward a Visualization of Genetic Codes via “Genetic Music”
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    The authors describe the scientific background and technical details of the visualization of the mathematics underlying genetic codes applied to musical scales. “Genetic Music” provides audible access to genetic structures that become visible based on the fundamental level of nature as permutations of space itself. The carriers of genetic information characteristically possess hydrogen bonds in quantities 2 and 3 in complementary pairs of nitrogenous bases [GACT] in DNA and [GACU] in RNA. Since hydrogen is observed to expose the symmetries of the Penrose Patterns, visual access is achieved by means of a 3D representation of Penrose kites and darts named “epitahedron.” Those pyramid-shaped polyhedra represent the numbers of hydrogen bonds (C=G=3, A=T=2) that generate musical equivalence between the genetic alphabet and the 7 notes of the Pythagorean scale, as well as further and distinct correlations with “Fibonacci stage” “Genetic Music” scales. The visualization must be played synchronously with the musical performance.

  • Light Dance
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    The author discusses the origin and meaning of his Light Dance artwork. The simple approach—placing a source of light on the body and thereby manipulating the illumination of the surrounding space through body movements—alters the viewer’s perception of space and time. Architecture appears malleable as the performer affects the size, shape and speed of light forms that reach from the body to the boundaries of the room. Light, in this perceptual environment, is not a mere transmitter of information between the invariant material surroundings and the eye of the viewer; light is a space-defining extension of the performer’s body that transposes movement expression from the individual body to the shared space. An inversion of subjective and objective “spaces” is realized in the experience of Light Dance wherein the prevailing conceptual hierarchy of light and vision is overcome.

  • on the reconstruction of landscape
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    This statement provides the theoretical and artistic context for the author’s installation on the reconstruction of landscape, shown at the Palace of Arts within the framework of Cairotronica 2016. It does so by examining four of the author’s previous works that are related to the Cairo work in that they employ historic or past gardens that are argued here to be heterotopias.

Special Section: Pioneers and Pathbreakers

Leonardo Reviews

The Network

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