Leonardo, Volume 32, Issue 4 | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University
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Special Section: Leonardo Electronic Almanac

Leonardo Electronic Almanac Gallery

Leonardo Monographs

Artist's Article

  • Lucid Mapping: Information Landscaping and Three-Dimensional Writing Spaces
    Matthew Kirschenbaum
    Get at MIT Press

    This paper documents an interactive graphics installation entitled Lucid Mapping and Codex Transformissions in the Z-Buffer. Lucid Mapping uses the Virtual Reality Modeling Language to explore textual and narrative possibilities within three-dimensional (3D) electronic environments. The author describes the creative rationale and technical design of the work and places it within the context of other applications of 3D text and typography in the digital arts and the scientific visualization communities. The author also considers the implications of 3D textual environments on visual language and communication, and discriminates among a range of different visual/ rhetorical strategies that such environments can sustain.

Artists' Statements

Historical Perspective on the Arts, Sciences and Technology

  • Design and Deforestation
    David C. Stairs
    Get at MIT Press

    Throughout their history, Americans have utilized technology to convert wilderness to civilization. Much of this development has been historically described as “progressive.” The author examines one example of this—the reduction of the Michigan pineries in the nineteenth century—in detail in an effort to reconcile design advances with our changing perceptions of wilderness. The author also discusses the development of tools and design techniques together with the evolution of the environmental movement.

General Article

  • Making Connections: A Model for On-Line Interaction
    Susan E. Metros
    Get at MIT Press

    The overuse of visual imagery and the redundancy of information in traditional and new communication media have desensitized our society, resulting in an emotional bankruptcy. The World Wide Web communication medium, with its highly visual interface and virtual environments, perpetuates and aggravates this situation. The “new designers” of the twenty-first century must partner with technology experts, content specialists and common users to reinvigorate imagination and rekindle emotions. To this end, we can identify and extract the six essential ingredients of engagement from the traditional performing arts, communication and design theory and recast them to support new media that are both visually stimulating and emotionally provocative.

Technical Note

  • Geometric Mobiles: From Conceptualization of Motion in Space to Rational Design
    Mooson Kwauk
    Get at MIT Press

    The author uses geometrically definable shapes for mobile members in such a way that equations can be written for moment balance to yield analytical solutions for determining the suspension points of the members. This avoids the need for trial-and-error construction. Geometrically definable shapes also make it possible to use jigsaw layout of mobile members to minimize waste of materials. The author finds that these two “constraints” add an intellectual dimension to mobile-making. To facilitate the realization of a mobile maker's conceptualization of shape and motion in space, the author recommends small indoor mobiles, which can be made to respond to weak air currents such as those produced by body movement and human breath.

Special Section: The Aesthetic Status of Technological Art, Part 2

Colloquium Presentations

Colloquium Articles

  • The Functional Point of View: New Artistic Forms for Programmed Literary Works
    Philippe Bootz
    Get at MIT Press

    This essay analyzes the functioning of a text that was designed to be read in a private context, that uses the computer as an active tool during the reading, and that can be published on a permanent medium such as CD-ROM. The work is approached in its dual functioning mode: synchronic and diachronic. A functional model is proposed, which involves an analysis of the functions that operate in the communication process between the reader and the author. In this model, the work appears as a process and no longer as an object. The reading and the materialization of the object read become interdependent. The author analyzes the relationships between readability and faithfulness in the resulting work, properties that may be incompatible in the final text.

Extended Abstracts

Leonardo Reviews



Leonardo, Volume 32, Issue 4

August 1999