Leonardo, Vol. 55, Issue 4 | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University
<cite>Bleaching Pocillopora<cite> by José Carlos Espinel and David Harris, cover of Leonardo journal 55:4
On the cover: José Carlos Espinel and David Harris, Bleaching Pocillopora, multimedia installation. (© José Carlos Espinel and David Harris)
ISSN: 
1071-4391

Leonardo, Vol. 55, Issue 4

August 2022

Contents

Editorial

Artists’ Articles

  • Tactical Disinformation: Interrogation of Data Politics through Noise in Interactive Media Installations
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    Abstract
    This article examines the potential for contemporary interactive media art to interrogate and subvert the data mining practices that encode and exploit user data in the big data economy. Specifically the author argues that this can be accomplished through the exacerbation of data mining operations and the provision of tactical disinformation—useless, fake, and alternative information, an amplification of the “noise” (the unsanctioned elements) that highlights the nonneutrality fallibility, and inadequacy of data. The author explores this through a Brechtian methodology and an examination of three of his media installations to show how they estrange us from normalized information systems to highlight their limits.

  • The Algae Society BioArt Design Lab: Exploring Multispecies Entanglements and Making Kin with Algae
    Juniper Harrower, Gene Felice, Jennifer Parker, David Harris, Fiona Hillary, Tiare Ribeaux
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    Abstract
    The Algae Society BioArt Design Lab is a global collective of interdisciplinary researchers working together with algae as nonhuman international research partners. As a collaborative group of artists, scientists, and scholars, they experiment and coproduce with algae, seeking to highlight complex human interdependence and kinship with algal beings. Here the founding members introduce the Algae Society and share a collective collage of their evolving artistic works while reflecting on each researcher’s process, materiality, and aesthetic considerations. With these works, they endeavor to shift our perspectives from human-centric exceptionalism to greater appreciation and cultural reframing of our responsibility as participants in multispecies worlding.

  • The Colony: An Evo Devo Art Performance on Social Life
    Anna Lindemann
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    Abstract
    The Colony is an opera-theater performance about the evolution of social life in ants and humans. As part of a genre called Evo Devo Art, The Colony takes inspiration from evolutionary and developmental biology (i.e., Evo Devo) in both its subject matter and creation process. The work features projected animations and video, spoken performance, and music for soprano, keyboard, and electronics, composed using algorithms modeled on biological processes. The Colony combines art and science with the two-fold purpose of inspiring appreciation for our diverse biological world and using the ant colony to reflect on the challenges of human connection.

General Articles

  • Reimagining Places, Reconstructing Histories: Augmented Reality Art and Heritage Apps as an Ultimate Display
    Liron Efrat
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    Abstract
    This article employs Ivan Sutherland’s 1965 concept of the Ultimate Display to discuss the experience generated by augmented reality art and cultural heritage. Analyzing projects that reimagine or reconstruct reality, the author discusses the social impact and cultural workings of these apps. The article shows how such apps can facilitate kinesthetic performances that intervene in established cultural narratives and open a window to new social realities. In this context, the author also introduces her project CHAR, an online collection of AR art and cultural heritage apps, which illustrates how Sutherland’s vision has been materialized through the mapping of AR-reconstructed realities.

  • Toward Interspecies Art and Design: Prosthetic Habitat-Structures in Human-Owl Cultures
    Dan Parker, Stanislav Roudavski, Bronwyn Isaac, Nick Bradsworth
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    Abstract
    Urbanization severely reduces opportunities for nonhuman habitation and undermines nonhuman subjectivities, aesthetic experiences, behaviors, traditions, and cultures. In response, humans need to reimagine cities as places for interspecies cohabitation. In this article, a team of architects and ecologists demonstrates that such reimagination depends on the cultural behaviors of multiple species. The authors illustrate the implications of this dependence by designing and discussing nesting structures for the powerful owl (Ninox strenua). The project shows that prosthetic habitats can serve as useful provocation for thinking about interspecies cultures. The authors use this work to propose productive avenues for further research.

  • The Golillas (Collars) in the Final Portraits of King Philip IV of Spain: A Case of Induced Diplopia by Diego Velázquez
    Luis Ramón-Laca
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    Abstract
    The author makes a detailed examination of the outline of the golillas, or collars, that appear in the final portraits of King Philip IV of Spain by Diego Velázquez and relates their representation to the theories of binocular vision proposed by Leonardo da Vinci and François Aguillon.

  • Visual Language: Geologic and Artistic Interactions with Landscape
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    Abstract
    This article describes the relationship between geologic and artistic interactions with landscape. It spotlights the imperative shared by geologists and artists to immerse oneself in landscapes under study as part of the experiential engagement with Earth.

General Note

  • OpenKinoAI: A Framework for Intelligent Cinematography and Editing of Live Performances
    Rémi Ronfard
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    Abstract
    OpenKinoAI is an open source framework for postproduction of ultra-high definition video, which makes it possible to emulate professional multiclip editing techniques for the case of single-camera recordings. OpenKinoAI includes tools for uploading raw video footage of live performances on a remote web server; detecting, tracking, and recognizing the performers in the original material; reframing the raw video into a large choice of cinematographic rushes; editing the rushes into movies; and annotating rushes and movies for documentation purposes. OpenKinoAI is made available to promote research in multiclip video editing of ultra-high definition video and to allow performing artists and companies to use this research for archiving, documenting, and sharing their work online in an innovative fashion.

Theoretical Perspective

  • The Work of Art in an Age of Mechanical Generation
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    Abstract
    Can we define what it means to be “creative,” and, if so, can our definition drive artificial intelligence (AI) systems to feats of creativity indistinguishable from human efforts? The author considers this mixed question from technological and social perspectives. Beginning with an exploration of the value we attach to authenticity in works of art, the article considers the ability of AI to detect forgeries of renowned paintings and, in so doing, somehow reveal the quiddity of a work of art. The author concludes by considering whether evolving technical capability can revise traditional relationships among art, artist, and the market.

Special Section: Music and Sound Art

  • Project Metamorphosis: Designing a Dynamic Framework for Converting Musical Compositions into Paintings
    Grace Fong, Erik Linstead
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    Abstract
    The authors present an automated, rule-based system for converting piano compositions into paintings. Using a color-note association scale presented by Edward Maryon in 1919, which correlates a 12-tone scale with 12 hues of the color circle, the authors present a simple approach for extracting colors associated with each note played in a piano composition. The authors also describe the color extraction and art generation process in detail, as well as the process for creating “moving art,” which imitates the progression of a musical piece in real time. They share and discuss artworks generated for four well-known piano compositions.

  • A&I, a Suite for Piano, Android Device and Vibration Speaker
    Marco Alunno
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    Abstract
    As part of an ongoing work with speakers that use uncommon technologies to project sound, the author considers here the vibration speaker, a kind of transducer that coaxes a surface to vibrate by direct contact. Presenting pros and cons of vibration speakers, the author illustrates a piano suite that uses an application expressly built for Android as an interface between the sound produced in, on, or with the piano and the speaker: The sound is captured by the Android device, processed by the application, sent via Bluetooth to the speaker sitting on the piano soundboard, and eventually thereby amplified. This relatively simple system allows for a large array of timbral possibilities and unconventional ways of playing the piano.

  • Allocentric and Egocentric Controllers: Similarities and Differences
    Lilac Atassi
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    Abstract
    Gestural instruments can be divided into two categories based on controller type: that of the egocentric controller, centered on and following a point of the performer’s body, and the allocentric controller, using a stationary reference frame. This article discusses (1) the similarities and differences between egocentric and allocentric controllers for gestural instruments from the perspective of performer and instrument designer, and (2) the affordances and constraints of egocentric and allocentric controllers as they, to a large degree, define the characteristics of an instrument. The author presents the initial results of a subjective experiment to encourage future discussion and study of the subject.

  • Ancestral Symbol: Musically Organizing Unpredictable Interactions to Create the Sound of a Paleolithic Cave Sign
    Edson Zampronha
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    Abstract
    This article explains how visitors’ unpredictable movements are transformed into a consistent narrative musical form by using electronic devices with no central software to control them in the interactive installation, Ancestral Symbol. The installation uses a paleolithic cave sign as the basis for the connection of sounds and images through the visitors’ movements in the installation room, thus connecting art, archaeology, and interactivity This text explains the technology and sounds and visual materials used for the piece. It also describes how the visual elements work as loudspeakers and the strategic spatial distribution of all the elements to organize the installation.

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

  • Metaphor’s Tender Sympathies
    Rachel Genn
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    Abstract
    While investigating whether neuroscience or art best corroborates the experience of immersion or reverie, the author interviews herself about how her “artist self” inquires of her “scientist self” (and vice versa). She wonders how conceptual information refracted through these “selves”—via mechanisms such as metaphor—fosters collaboration between disciplines in an intrapersonal context. She asks how epistemic value derived from mistakes and indistinctness enrich this shared imaginative space, focusing on metaphor as a conduit between elements and disciplines. Using Kafka’s mole analogy, she follows intuition as an interdisciplinary heuristic to explore reverie and the creative act.

  • Out of Sight, but Not Out of Mind: A Diagrammatic Conversation on Relational Drawing
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    Abstract
    The authors reflect on their ongoing dialogue about connections between drawing in the practice of art and in the practice of mathematics. They show how visualizing relational connections in mathematical diagrams can be used to contextualize aspects of Heath’s drawings. The account provides a sequence of loops, reflecting on drawings where relational marks coexist with those in which they do not. Diagrams are the vehicle for this dialogue across the disciplines of art and science, acting as boundary objects supported by a common visual vocabulary of loops, connections, change over time, negative space, and a shared interest in exploring ideas through the physicality of practice.

Special Section: STEAM Initiative on Education

  • An Astro-Animation Class: Optimizing Artistic, Educational, and Outreach Outcomes
    Laurence Arcadias
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    Abstract
    The authors investigate how teaching art and astronomy together has the potential to inspire new art forms, enhance scientific public outreach, and promote art and science education. The authors teach an astroanimation class at the Maryland Institute College of Art in partnership with NASA scientists. The animations explore science in creative ways. Astrophysicists, educators, students, and the general public were surveyed to evaluate the experiences and benefits from this project. The responses were very positive—the program is an effective way to stimulate art students to learn science, share an artist’s viewpoint beyond the classroom, and engage with the public.

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