Leonardo, Volume 33, Issue 5

October 2000


Director's Statement

Digital Salon Essays

  • CollageMachine: An Interactive Agent of Web Recombination
    Get at MIT Press

    CollageMachine builds interactive collages from the Web. First you choose a direction. Then CollageMachine will take you surfing out across the Internet as far as it can reach. It builds a collage from the most interesting media it can find for you. You don't have to click through links. You rearrange the collage to refine your exploration.

    CollageMachine is an agent of recombination. Aesthetics of musical composition and conceptual detournement underlie its development. The composer John Cage and Dada artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst used structured chance procedures to create aesthetic assemblages. These works create new meaning by recontextualizing found objects. Instead of functioning as a single visual work, CollageMachine embodies the process of collage making.

    CollageMachine [1] deconstructs Web sites and re-presents them in collage form. The program crawls the Web, downloading sites. It breaks each page down into media elements—images and texts. Over time, these elements stream into a collage. Point, click, drag, and drop to rearrange the media. How you organize the elements shows CollageMachine what you're interested in. You can teach it to bring media of interest to you. On the basis of your interactions, CollageMachine reasons about your interests; the evolving model informs ongoing choices of selection and placement. CollageMachine has been developed through a process of freely combining disciplines according to the principles of “interface ecology.”

  • The Cybernetics of Performance and New Media Art
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    The emergence of many new media art genres calls into question qualitative issues in regards to performance in virtual and electronic spaces. What constitutes performance in technological art, and how can we form a critique of new media performance by analyzing these aesthetic spaces? This essay forms an analysis of technological performance, and of the “performative” in new media through the use of cybernetics as a critical tool.

  • Color, Form, and Motion: Dimensions of a Musical Art of Light
    Get at MIT Press

    Lumia are an art form that permits visual artists to play images in the way that musicians play with sounds. Though the idea of creating lumia has a long historical tradition, modern graphicallybased computers make it possible to design instruments for creating lumia that are more flexible and easier to play than at any previous time in the history of art. In designing and playing lumia, three principal dimensions require attention: color, form, and motion. By organizing the design of lumia and instruments for creating them along these dimensions, it is possible to learn a great deal from art theory and history, as guidelines have been devised for the effective use of each of these dimensions.

  • Cyborgs, Agents, and Transhumanists: Crossing Traditional Borders of Body and Identity in the Context of New Technology
    Get at MIT Press

    In current discourses of technoscience, body, nature, and even life are often described as code, text, or information. On the one hand, classical dichotomies (body/mind, subject/object, man/machine) and their restrictions are dissolving; on the other hand, this discourse often reveals a hidden desire to ignore both the fragility and the sense-giving capacity of materiality. In this paper, the proper dynamic of materiality is explored by looking in particular at what it means to be in a permanent touch with the world with the body. Against this background, efforts at denying or transforming the body in the context of new technologies can be interpreted as the wish to control or avoid the unpredictable and unconscious dimensions of human existence.

  • Gene Culture: Molecular Metaphor in Visual Art
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    This paper addresses visual art's relationship to genetics and its attendant metaphorical representation. By diagramming models of the ways in which DNA is visualized and comprehended as a system of signs, parallel conceptions between art history's engagement with abstraction, recontextualization, and duplication is compared to genetic process and laboratory experimentation.

  • The Fine Art of Creating Life
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    The longstanding artistic tradition of creating lifelike artworks evolves as technology grows from paint and chisels to computers and DNA manipulation. Artists are now able to create digital works that engage in the processes of life and biological works that exist as art and actual life. The author examines the differing ways in which artificial life and biological artworks smear the boundaries between what is considered natural and unnatural, human and nature, and explores the role biological art might play in relocating humanity within the complex ecological systems of life, rather than above or below it.

  • “Reality” Artificial Reproduction, and Sexuality
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    Multimedia artist Jose Carlos Casado, with the assistance of writer Harkaitz Cano, discusses his work in progress, La Caja de Pandora (“Pandora's Box”), in which digital video, 3D animations, and interactivity merge in a series of installations about “reality” artificial reproduction, and sexuality. His study searches for the boundaries where belief starts and asks what makes us accept what we see. It also investigates the new relationship between the mind and the body, and its relation to technologies.

  • Computer Animations
  • Gallery Artworks
  • Web Sites
  • Exhibiting Artists
  • Jury
  • CultureMap
  • The Vanishing Human
  • Aitz Chayim
  • Halo and Perforation
  • Cellular Study 1
  • Electricanada
  • Unconscious Flow
  • To Be Alive, To No Longer Be Alive, And Yet to Be Alive
  • X/Y Machina
  • Terminal Time
  • Leonardo/ISAST News: The Newsletter of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology
  • Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology

Special Section: The Art of the Gene

Digital Salon Catalog

Artists' Statements