Leonardo, Volume 46, Issue 2 | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University
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Artists' Articles

  • Context Machines: A Series of Situated and Self-Organizing Artworks
    Get at MIT Press

    The authors discuss the development of self-organizing artworks. Context Machines are a family of site-specific, conceptual and generative artworks that capture photographic images from their environment in the construction of creative compositions. Resurfacing produces interactive temporal landscapes from images captured over time. Memory Association Machine's free-associative process, modeled after Gabora's theory of creativity, traverses a self-organized map of images collected from the environment. In the Dreaming Machine installations, these free associations are framed as dreams. The self-organizing map is applied to thousands of images in Self-Organized Landscapes—high-resolution collages intended for print reproduction. Context Machines invite us to reconsider what is essentially human and to look at ourselves, and our world, anew.

  • CO2morrow: Shedding Light on the Climate Crisis
    Marcos Lutyens, Andrew Manning, Alessandro Marianantoni
    Get at MIT Press

    The CO2morrow art project seeks to join the forces of scientific and artistic enquiry to aid our understanding of the climate debate and how humans are affecting the atmosphere through pollution. The authors consider the combining of art with science an essential means to help science find a voice for its concerns and discoveries and for art to have more of an impact on our society and the world at large. The project has involved the fabrication of a large-scale sculpture—placed at two U.K. sites—that highlights the correspondence between carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and damage to historic buildings through erosion and adverse weather conditions. CO2morrow has laid the groundwork for a new initiative involving global data visualization and awareness of the climate crisis on a worldwide scale.

Artists' Note

  • One Color—A White Asbestos (Chrysotile) Painting
    Chris Foster
    Get at MIT Press

    The artist describes in this article the first known direct use of asbestos as an artistic material in the production of a single “asbest-painting.” The article includes a brief history of asbestos, an overview of its toxic and environmental impact on a local and international scale, and a look at the health and safety aspects of using asbestos—especially as an artist's tool.

Color Plates

General Articles

  • Neural Correlates of Myths in Which an Image Becomes Alive
    Julien d'Huy
    Get at MIT Press

    How do we explain the universality of a mythical motif in which an artistic image becomes “alive”? It is significant that brain areas activated by real movement are also activated by action sentences or images implying motion. Activation of these motion areas probably generates the sense of motion that emanates from images. It is notable in this connection that action sentences read before or after viewing images with implied motion may be more easily memorized.

  • Hybrid Biological-Digital Systems in Artistic and Entertainment Computing
    Wim van Eck, Maarten H. Lamers
    Get at MIT Press

    The authors give an overview of existing incorporations of biological systems for behavior generation within digital systems. The authors investigate digital systems that have artistic and/or entertainment goals, including computer games. The overview concludes with a reflection on the overall state of this hybrid approach.

General Note

  • Lunar Cemetery: Global Heterotopia and the Biopolitics of Death
    Katarina Damjanov
    Get at MIT Press

    The burial of human remains on the Moon conjures up the idea of a lunar cemetery. This paper reviews related artistic projects and practices and situates the concept of the lunar cemetery in relation to Michel Foucault's articulation of the notions of heterotopia and biopolitics to explore the implications of perceiving the Moon as a globally shared space populated by the dead. The author also suggests that the possibility of a cemetery on the Moon reveals peculiar biopolitical approaches toward lunar space, in which death is used to uphold its heterotopic potential and support the envisioning of prospects for humanity's future beyond the globe.

Historical Perspective

  • Drawing w/Digits_Painting w/Pixels: Selected Artworks of the Gesture over 50 Years
    Maureen Nappi
    Get at MIT Press

    This paper selectively traces the art history of the gesture in drawing and painting with electronic painting systems/programs. Beginning with Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad (1963), which mechanized the hand gesture via light pen; Richard Shoup's SuperPaint system (1973), with the Summagraphics tablet and stylus; the Quantel Paintbox (1983); and the Macintosh (1984), the author concludes with a review of contemporary finger painting via capacitive touchscreens in the iPhone and iPad. A selection of nine classically trained visual artists who have sought to expand their work by creating art via the computer while heuristically inventing unique ways of working reveals the genesis of a hybrid vocabulary for the visual arts.

Theoretical Perspective

  • Algorithms as Structural Metaphors: Reflections on the Digital-Cultural Feedback Loop
    Romy Achituv
    Get at MIT Press

    The author argues that the application of digital algorithmic structures to analog media may illuminate hidden values and perceptions inherent in the digital technologies themselves. The paper sets out the understanding of metaphor in contemporary cognitive linguistics, in which metaphor is perceived as a conceptual device that creates meaning through cross-domain mapping—that is, partially mapping (projecting) one conceptual domain onto another. While the projected domain is intended to elucidate the target domain, the author argues that metaphor itself is self-reflexive—drawing attention to characteristics of the projected domain.

Leonardo Reviews

  • Deadline Every Second: On Assignment with 12 Associated Press Photojournalists produced by Ken Kobré and John Hewitt. 58 min. Film website: www.deadlineeverysecond.com
    Amy Ione, David Marlett
  • Open Access by Peter Suber. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2012. 230 pp. ISBN: 978-0- 262-51763-8
    Robert Maddox-Harle
  • Alien Phenomenology: Or, What It's Like to Be a Thing by Ian Bogost. University Of Minnesota Press, Minneappolis, MN, U.S.A., 2012. 168 pp., illus. Trade; paper. ISBN: 978- 0-8166-7897-6; 978-0-8166-7898-3
    Brian Reffin Smith
  • The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga by Jimmy Maher. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2012. 344 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-262-01720-6
    John F. Barber
  • Under Blue Cup by Rosalind E. Krauss. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 2011. 200 pp., illus. Trade. ISBN: 978-0-262-01613-1
    Jan Baetens
  • Beyond the Dream Syndicate: Tony Conrad and the Arts after Cage by Branden W. Joseph. Zone Books, New York, U.S.A., 2011. 480 pp., illus. Trade; paper. ISBN: 978-1-890951-86-3; ISBN: 978-1-890951-87-0
    Stephen Petersen
  • High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture by Mike Jay. Thames and Hudson, London, U.K., 2012. 192 pp., illus. Paper. ISBN: 978-0-500-28910-5
    Jan Baetens
  • Debates in the Digital Humanities edited by Matthew K. Gold. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A., 2012. 532 pp., illus. Trade; paper. ISBN: 978-0-8166-7794-8; ISBN: 978-0-8166-7795-5
  • When Biometrics Fail: Gender, Race, and the Technology of Identity by Shoshana Amielle Magnet. Duke University Press, Durham, NC, and London, U.K., 2011. 224 pp., illus. Paper. ISBN: 978-0-82-235135-1
  • Cybertext Poetics: The Critical Landscape of New Media Literary Theory by Markku Eskelinen. Continuum Books, London, U.K. New York, U.S.A., 2012. 462 pp. Trade; paper. ISBN: 978-1-44-112438-8; ISBN: 978-1-44-110745-9
    Jan Baetens
  • The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning by Maggie Nelson. W.W. Norton Company, New York, U.S.A., 2012. 304 pp. Trade; paper. ISBN: 978-0-393- 07215-0; ISBN: 978-0-393-34314-4
    Allan Graubard

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Leonardo, Volume 46, Issue 2

April 2013