Leonardo, Volume 34, Issue 5

October 2001


Director's Statement

Editor's Introduction

Digital Salon Essays

  • From Memory Arts to the New Code Paradigm: The Artist as Engineer of Virtual Information Space and Virtual Experience
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    This paper examines contemporary developments in the creation and experience of immersive 3D art projects in the context of spatial and information design. It takes into consideration historic forebears, particularly the ancient Greek art of memory, contemporary theorists, and current new media artists who are pushing code and application design to new limits. The essay specifically addresses the role of the artist as “coder” and application engineer and anticipates concerns and possible technological developments in data visualization and virtual spaces. As new media artists write their own code, current boundaries between disciplines and sectors become blurred and new aesthetic judgments become pivotal. Additionally, current management and organizational structures are challenged to confront a world that increasingly visualizes and communicates in 3D.

  • Anthropic Cyberspace: Defining Electronic Space from First Principles
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    This article proposes principles for the design of human-centered, anthropic cyberspaces. Starting with a brief examination of our cognitive use of space, it suggests that we address cyberspace as an extension of our mental space. The article proceeds to state 12 principles based on scientific and cultural observations regarding individual cognition and social interaction. These concepts are general–not specific to any culture or technology. In the accom-panying arguments, the author expands on these concepts, illustrating them with examples taken from conventional and electronic media, space and cyberspace. With these conjectures, the author hopes to begin a discussion on the anthropology of space and its emulation.

  • Towards an Immersive Intelligence
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    This essay is an investigation into the immersive cultural consciousness that emerges from an immersive “optic” central to virtual reality. There seems to be a correlation between immersive ideals and desires for extrasensory, distributed disembodiment, meaning a loss of cognitive body-image involving the expansion of boundaries. Immersive art fulfills the prosthetic task of artificially facilitating such an unrestricted state. The desire to exist in an anti-mechanistic state of expansion is temporarily and symbolically realized in engaging immersive art. In virtual immersion, conventional optic models may be surpassed.

  • Oulipo | vs | Recombinant Poetics
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    This paper compares and contrasts approaches to combinatorics in OULIPO and Recombinant Poetics. OULIPO, also known as Ouvroir de Litérature Potentielle, is a literary and artistic association founded in the 1960s whose combinatoric methods and experimental concepts continue to be generative and relevant to this day. Recombinant Poetics is a term that I coined in 1995 in order to define a particular approach to emergent meaning that is used in generative virtual environments and other computer-based combinatoric media forms. Combinatoric works enable the exploration of sets of media elements in different orders and combinations. The meaning of such work is derived through dynamic interaction. Another group exploring combinatorics uses digital audio techniques. The abbreviation “VS” (“versus”) is often used in techno-audio remix culture to designate the remix of one group's music by another, often having only an oblique relation to the original.

  • Observations about Music and Decentralized Environments
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    This paper discusses temporal narratives and musical action, focusing on the decentralization trends in models, means, objects, knowledge and objectives of artistic creation on the Net. In a widespread cognitive environment, diachronic and spatial communication values have to be adapted. The development of linguistic flows, codified according to digital models, leads net users to interact in a different way. In a decentralized environment, many conditions for composing and listening to music may be subordinated to the conception of creative thought as a combination of recursive, connective, and systemic processes, which redefine not only the concept of musical object and sound space, but also that of music itself.

  • Artistic Environments of Telepresence on the World Wide Web
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    The recent use of streaming video on the World Wide Web for the distribution of live images has enabled an interface that supports a new phenomenon of virtual, defered, remote presence, extending perception and expanding the possibilities of remote interaction. The purpose of this essay is to provide a brief survey of the use of these live images in artistic spaces specifically conceived for this medium. These environments will be presented in three different categories, which propose transformations in possibilities of participation, interference, and the participants' self-expression.

  • An Alpha Revisionist Manifesto: Concept White Paper
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    In the technological sector, the first development stage of a product is known as ‘Alpha’ phase. The essay posits that techno-industrial culture and the production of technological art have been superimposed to the point where artists are often indistinguishable from commercial entities trying to sell the next hype-laden device. This is also true in the case of intangible on-line art, as market and institutional forces rematerialize net and other forms of screen-based art. The combination of hype and the temporal constraints of development and production result in a milieu where professed claims seldom live up to the final product. The cycle of promotion of the ‘Next Big Thing,’ whether art, data, or consumer object, outstrips any possibility for finished products to keep pace with expectations raised by the ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’ prerelease stages. The result is an inordinate degree of media attention focused on ideas that are barely out of conceptual stages or ‘Alpha Revision,’ so that conceptual artists of the informational milieu must become engaged in the high-speed production of concept proposals, or ‘Alpha Revisionist’ works.

  • What Are Humans For?: Art in the Age of Post-Human Development
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    If the development of mass media utterly revolutionized the situation of art in the 20th century, current research into the technological reconfiguration and replacement of the human organism promises an even more radical disruption of art's cultural status. As engineers contemplate the creation of artificial life, artistic creation again finds its traditional values and procedures called into question. How will artists respond to the challenges posed by cyborg culture?

  • Art in the Age of Spiritual Machines: (with apologies to Ray Kurzweil)
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    Humanity is evolving towards a “post-human” society that may include enhanced human beings, hybrid humans, and artificial intelligences. As an artist working in digital media and network culture, I believe that the crucial issue of the time is to clear the path for networked art and to create the foundations for a new aesthetic discourse emerging from networked culture. In order to do this, one has to be willing to create art that may not be readily recognized as artwork. In this essay, I trace the common roots of structuralist philosophy, developmental psychology, reductivist art discourse, structural linguistics and neural nets in an attempt to create a basis for this new aesthetic discourse.

  • Juror's Statement
  • Computer Animations
  • Gallery Artworks
  • Websites
  • Exhibiting Artists
  • Jury
  • Artists' Statements
  • 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

Digital Salon Catalog