Leonardo, Volume 55, Issue 1 | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University
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General Articles

  • In the Circle of Sense and Nonsense: Through a Mathematical Model of Meaning
    Mark Burgin, William Seaman
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    In this article, the authors explore the relations and interactions between sense and nonsense with a threefold goal: (1) elaborations of formal definitions of these concepts; (2) investigation of the processes of making sense from nonsense; (3) establishment of the mathematical foundations for a sense-nonsense theory. The authors thus extend the dyad sense-nonsense by introducing the concept no-sense, situated between sense and nonsense, and by extending the concept sense to the concept poly-sense. The authors construct a mathematical model of these concepts and related processes using structures such as logical calculus, logical variety and logical prevariety. This approach accords with Leonardo da Vinci’s opinion that “no human investigation can claim to be scientific if it doesn’t pass the test of mathematical proof.”

  • Constructing an Artworld Influencer Network by Mining Social Media
    Amalia Foka
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    The author demonstrates a methodology for constructing a network map of the artworld. She uses tweets posted by a manually composed set of exemplar artworld actors and Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods to identify significant artworld actors, including those without Twitter accounts. Identified artworld actors form communities detected using the Louvain method, and their authority is evaluated with the HITS centrality method. The resulting artworld network exhibits the ability to proceed from a small original set of exemplar actors to identify new artworld actors and provides a wealth of data that would be difficult to collect otherwise.

  • Composing and Performing Complex Systems: From the Quantum to the Cosmological
    JoAnn Kuchera-Morin
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    This paper discusses the creation and development of a large distributed immersive multimedia computation system and environment based on the discipline of orchestral music composition, concert hall design, and performance. Just as the orchestra evolved through mechanical engineering to become a large distributed multiuser instrument whose information can be transmitted by either a client-server model (i.e. orchestra-conductor) or a client-to-client model, as in an instrumental ensemble, large-scale distributed multimedia computational platforms can be modeled in the same way, facilitating the users as performers of the system. Multiple researchers can mine large, complex data sets to uncover relationships of interest in their spatiotemporal structures.

  • Art, Science and Anthropology: Co-Creating Knowledge and Building Peace in Colombia
    Alejandro Valencia-Tobon
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    Following a peace agreement with guerrillas in November 2016, Colombia has been transitioning from almost six decades of violence to a post-conflict period. In such a process, members of society must reestablish dialogue and learn to coexist. Based on a participatory art approach used during a science project that involved ex-combatants, community leaders and biology researchers, this paper presents research methods that combine art and design exercises to advance scientific knowledge. Participants contributed to and developed new ways of understanding biological knowledge. Their collaboration also forged mutual trust and progress toward peace in the region.

  • A Computational Study of Empty Space Ratios in Chinese Landscape Painting, 618–2011
    Guoyan Wang, Jiafei Shen, Mengmeng Yue, Yena Ma
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    The use of empty space (ES) is ubiquitous in Asian art. The authors use a computational method to quantitatively assess the amount of ES in Chinese landscape painting (CLP). The data show that 56.8% of ancient CLPs contain mostly ES, while only 9.4% from modern times do. ES reached its peak during the Yuan dynasty (1271–-1368) and its lowest point in the 1960s. Chan culture, literati ink play, the “exhibition hall effect,” and Maoist politics, as well as other social factors, may have had an impact on this shift. This empirical study indicates that art keeps abreast of current developments: The philosophy, culture, politics and general education of a specific era influence artists’ perception, aesthetics and creative output.

General Note

  • Art Exists Because the Viewer Exists: How François Morellet’s Triple X Neonly Influences Postural Control and Subjective Aesthetic Appreciation
    Zoï Kapoula
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    The authors study the effects of viewing François Morellet’s Triple X Neonly (2012) on postural control and subjective appreciation. Participants were asked to view monocularly and binocularly. Their average forward-backward (anteroposterior) body sway root mean square (rms) velocity was significantly greater viewing it monocularly. Participants showed diverse reactions to the artwork, yet comments mainly concerned apparent movement and depth. The authors conclude that binocular viewing facilitates viewer appreciation of the proximity of the central X, thus requiring less energy to keep the body stable. This study confirms the artist’s success in involving viewers actively in their aesthetic experience through their eye and body movements.

Technical Articles

  • Representing Hierarchies of Visual Regard in Eye-Tracking Analysis
    Eugene Han
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    The author developed a method for representing data from eye-tracking recordings: a form of graphical analysis that illustrates hierarchical densities of visual regard without obscuring the original pictorial stimulus. Across three different case studies, subjects’ fixation patterns were used to propagate Voronoi generating points. Integrating both fixation locations and their respective dwell times, randomized Gaussian distribution provided a technique to augment Voronoi generating seeds and enhance graphical resolution. Color pixel values were then used to fill in resultant Voronoi cells in relation to color values provided by the original stimulus. This analysis allowed for effective differentiation of viewing behaviors between different subjects, with emphasis on a subject’s attentional distribution rather than on graphic icons.

  • A Machine Learning Application Based on Giorgio Morandi Still-Life Paintings to Assist Artists in the Choice of 3D Compositions
    guido salimbeni, Frederic Fol Leymarie, William Latham
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    The authors present a system built to generate arrangements of threedimensional models for aesthetic evaluation, with the aim being to support an artist in their creative process. The authors explore how this system can automatically generate aesthetically pleasing content for use in the media and design industry, based on standards originally developed in master artworks. They then demonstrate the effectiveness of their process in the context of paintings using a collection of images inspired by the work of the artist Giorgio Morandi (Bologna, 1890–1964). Finally, they compare the results of their system with the results of a well-known Generative Adversarial Network (GAN).

Extended Abstract


  • Digital Oceans and Algorithmic Castaways
    Liliana Farber
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    As a result of the digital revolution, legal complexities have increased for Internet users. With an opaque and dispersed world network, users are often bound to sovereignties and laws they are unaware of. The author explores how Internet corporations are redefining geopolitics. Through two artworks, this statement reframes the novel Robinson Crusoe within the context of current technologies. The author proposes the castaway as a framework for users’ political position in relation to Internet infrastructure.

Special Section: LASER

  • LASER—An Introduction
    Tami I. Spector
  • Liverpool LASER Talks: A Community “Studio-Laboratory”?
    Mark Roughley, Caroline Wilkinson
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    Liverpool LASER talks encourage artists, researchers and the public to question the work carried out by artists and scientists in transdisciplinary art-science spaces by recognizing shared aims, examining processes and constructing a shared language. In this paper, the authors reflect upon their first year as LASER hosts and propose that Liverpool LASER events—supported by an accessible network of leading artists and scientists—act as community “studio-laboratories,” spaces where speakers and publics engage in two-way conversations, present and gain confidence in their ideas, gather feedback on new concepts and outputs, and facilitate knowledge transfer.

Special Section: Music and Sound Art

  • Aesthetics of Turntable Art
    Jimmy Eadie
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    This article explores the transitional and liminal nature of the author’s work and examines the diverse theoretical foundations that inform his creative practice. The particular work discussed here, Wow&Flutter, explores the intermedial relationships between “quotation,” “remediation” and “plunderphonics” within turntable art using acetate vinyl. This work was presented in the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the National Concert Hall, Ireland (NCH), between 2014 and 2018.

  • Games, Music and Ludus Melothedicus
    Jeronimo Rajchenberg Ceceña
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    From educational to entertainment devices, games have the power to alter our sense of time as much as our priorities and perception. The first recorded musical games in modern history were a series of publications that appeared in Europe during the second half of the eighteenth century. This article discusses the nature of musical games and tries to present a definition of game as it applies to musical activities. Based on this discussion, the article analyzes an anonymous work called Ludus Melothedicus, published in Paris around 1758. It also provides information on how to play the work.

Special Section: Science and Art: Understanding the Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue

  • Karel Nel and COSMOS: A Far-Reaching Artist-in-Residence Collaboration
    Barbara King, Peter Martinez
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    The phenomena of the universe form a common focus for the interrelationship between art that has space as its central concern and the astronomical sciences, as both disciplines strive to observe and express the mysteries of the cosmos. An unwavering mutual interest in space and mutual respect for each discipline form the nexus between the two. Some scientific projects have artist-in-residence programs that promote innovative art/science dialogues. Although most residencies are designed for the short term, one has certainly stood the test of time. The authors analyze one 15-year collaboration between visual artist Karel Nel and Caltech’s Cosmic Evolution Survey, COSMOS.

Special Section: Abstracts from the Spectra 2018 Symposium

Leonardo Reviews


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Leonardo, Volume 55, Issue 1

February 2022