Leonardo, Volume 43, Issue 1

February 2010



  • A 21st-Century Pedagogical Plan for Artists: How Should We Be Training Artists for Today?

After Midnight

  • Space-Run Artists: Cultural Activism in Contemporary Barcelona

Leonardo Gallery

Color Plates


  • From Router to Front Row: Lubricious Transfer and the Aesthetics of Telematic Performance
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    This article describes experiments in live telematic performance linking U.S. East and West Coast dancers via Internet2. Alternating between a first-person account of one particular stage performance and a theoretical exploration of the same, the authors come to terms with the audiences' newly constituted relationship as technological ruptures alter the immersive pull of live performance.

  • A Novel Use of 3D Motion Capture: Creating Conceptual Links between Technology and Representation of Human Gesture in the Visual Arts
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    As an unfolding of time-based events, gesture is intrinsically integrated with the aesthetic experience and function of the human form. In historical and contemporary visual culture, various approaches have been used to communicate the substance of human movement, including use of science and technology. This paper links the understanding of human gesture with technologies influencing its representation. Three-dimensional motion capture permits the accurate recording of movement in 3D computer space and provides a new means of analyzing movement qualities and characteristics. Movement signatures can be related to the human form by virtue of trajectory qualities and experientially and/or culturally dependent interactions.

  • Image Contour Fidelity Analysis of Mechanically Aided Enlargements of Jan van Eyck's Albergati Portrait
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    A recent revisionist theory claims that as early as 1430 European artists secretly invented optical projectors and used them as aids during the execution of their paintings. Key artworks adduced in support of this theory are a pair of portraits of Cardinal Niccolò Albergati by Jan van Eyck: a silverpoint study (1431) and a formal oil work (1432). We tested whether the use of known contemporaneous mechanical methods might explain this image evidence as well as the use of optical methods, also explaining additional physical evidence. We used traditional image processing techniques, as well as “re-enacted copies” by professional artists using mechanical methods. We found that the fidelities of these modern “re-enactments” were equal or superior to those of the van Eyck works.

  • Digital Art and Experimental Color Systems at Bell Laboratories, 1965–1984: Restoring Interdisciplinary Innovations to Media History
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    AT's Bell Laboratories produced a prolific number of innovative digital art and experimental color systems between 1965 and 1984. However, due to repressive regulation, this work was hidden from the public. Almost two decades later, when Bell lifted its restrictions on creative work not related to telephone technologies, the atmosphere had changed so dramatically that despite a relaxation of regulation, cutting-edge projects were abandoned. This paper discusses the struggles encountered in interdisciplinary collaborations and the challenge to use new media computing technology to make experimental art at Bell Labs during this unique time period, now largely lost to the history of the media arts.

Special Section: ArtScience: The Essential Connection

  • Similarities and Contrasts in the Creative Processes of the Sciences and the Arts
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    The author describes his experiences as first a scientist and later an early digital artist, which led him to recognize both similarities and contrasts in the thinking and practice of art and science.

Special Section: Leonardo Celebrates Leonardo da Vinci

  • “On the Hand from Within”: Palms, Selfhood and Generation in Leonardo's Anatomical Project
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    This study focuses on a handdissection report in Leonardo's anatomical investigations, a page whose reception-history is rich with approbation and lacunae. The hermeneutic of suspicion that the author proposes explores this folio as a case for the claim that Leonardo's meandering page-configurations relay more than is revealed in his overt arguments. At issue is a tacit discourse of the palm as the epitome of selfhood, a site of intimacy that undermines the primacy of sight in Leonardo's manifest texts. The palm, a matrixial organ, is thus linked to the economy of lacks, desires and transferences that underlies Vincian art theory.

Leonardo Reviews

  • Continental Rifts: Contemporary Time-Based Works of Africa Fowler Museum, University of California Los Angeles, 22 February–14 June 2009. Curated by Mary (Polly) Nooter Roberts
  • Between Madness and Art: The Prinzhorn Collection by Christian Beetz, director. Icarus Films, Brooklyn, NY, U.S.A. Release, 2008; copyright, 2007. DVD, 75 min. Distributor's web site: 〈icarusfilms.com/new2008/madn.html〉
  • Mechanical Love by Phie Ambo, director. 52 min, 2007. Distributed by Icarus Films, New York, U.S.A., 2009. 〈www.icarusfilms.com〉
  • Afghan Muscles by Andreas M. Dalsgaard, director. A Cinema Guild Release, New York, NY, 2007. DVD, 60 min. Distributor's web site: 〈www.cinemaguild.com〉
  • Weather by the Numbers: The Genesis of Modern Meteorology by Kristine C. Harper. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2008. 308 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-262-08378-2
  • Systematics as Cyberscience: Computers, Change, and Continuity in Science by Christine Hine. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2008. 320 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 0-262-08371-X
  • On Landscapes by Susan Herrington. Thinking in Action series (editors Simon Critchley and Richard Kearney). Routledge, Taylor Francis, New York and London, 2009. 150 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN: 0-415-99124-2; ISBN: 0-415-99125-0
  • The Allure of Machinic Life: Cybernetics, Artificial Life, and the New AI by John Johnston. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2008. 494 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-262-10126-4
  • I Am a Monument: On Learning from Las Vegas by Aron Vinegar. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2008, U.S.A. 208 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-262-22082-8
  • TV by Design: Modern Art and the Rise of Network Television by Lynn Spigel. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 2009. 402 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-226-76968-4
  • New Media in the White Cube and Beyond: Curatorial Models for Digital Art edited by Christiane Paul. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A., 2008. 273 pp., illus. Trade, paper. ISBN: 978-0-520-4397-2; ISBN: 978-0-520-25597-5
  • Ghosts of Futures Past: Spiritualism and the Cultural Politics of Nineteenth-Century America by Molly McGarry. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A., 2008. 288 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-520-25260-8
  • Leonardo Reviews On-Line


  • Computational Aesthetics as a Negotiated Boundary
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    Artists use computers in many ways; technologists produce computerised tools of various kinds. The boundary where art meets technology is in creative tension between the needs and the understanding of the two camps. We report on the key questions raised at a meeting between philosophers, psychologists, artists, and technologists to negotiate this boundary.

  • Riders Have Spoken: Replaying and Archiving Pervasive Performances
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    In this paper we present a practical study that formed part of the larger Creator project [1]. Data, such as GPS trails, video and audio files from a pervasive-performance were used to explore multi-disciplinary understandings of such ‘ephemeral’ pieces. Video and audio content tagging was also explored as a device to aid in developing the archive for replay. It is recommended that projects involving artistic practice should make documentation and subsequent archiving part of their overall research strategy.

  • What's Up Prof? Current Issues in the Visual Effects Post-Production Industry
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    We interviewed creative professionals at a number of London visual effects and post-production houses. We report on the key issues raised in those interviews: desirable new technologies, infrastructure challenges, personnel and process management.

  • We Don't Do Google, We Do Massive Attacks: Notes on Creative R Collaborations
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    The article presents findings from an exploratory study investigating the nature of collaborative research and development in creative industries. Participants in the study are two creative SMEs with extensive experience of participating in collaborative projects. A collective case study approach is adopted with data collected on the factors impinging on the effectiveness of such collaborations. Findings are presented at the macro and micro levels of such collaborations. The paper concludes with a summary of some of the challenges faced by small creative SMEs when collaborating with other organizations during the research and development process.

  • Rethinking Business Models as Value Creating Systems
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    The generic notion of a business model is well understood by investors and business managers and implies a number of anticipations; chiefly that it is a replicable process that produces revenues and profits. At its heart is some replicable process, artefact or proposition around which the everyday practices are formed. There are a number of reasons why this conception is weak in the Creative Industries. We have identified that the rationale for ‘business models’ in the Creative Industries includes providing an attractor for non goal oriented creative activity, for stabilising emergent properties from creative activities and for maintaining the stability of these by anticipating revenues.

  • Creative Assemblages: Organisation and Outputs of Practice-Led Research
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    In this note we explore the organisation of creative, practice-led projects and the variety of research outcomes they produce, in order to question assumptions about their potential benefits.

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