Leonardo, Volume 56, Issue 6 | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University
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Artists’ Articles

  • gOd, mOther and sOldier: A Story of Oppression, Told through the Lens of AI
    Andrew Gambardella, Meeyung Chung, Doyo Choi, Jinjoon Lee
    Get at MIT Press

    The authors present gOd, mOther and sOldier—Nowhere in Somewhere Series 2022, a work that was conceptualized and created by artist Jinjoon Lee and his TX Creative Media Lab at KAIST, realized through the remote cooperation of eight local collaborators across Southeast Asia. The authors used artificial intelligence–based object detectors and sonification techniques in a work of media art to symbolize the voicelessness of those at the margins of society in Southeast Asia. These algorithms and concepts, and the work as a whole, artistically demonstrate how marginalized people are misrepresented and misunderstood when interpreted out of context.

  • Reflections on Light: Developing New Methods for Producing Anamorphic Sculpture
    Louis Pratt, Andrew Johnston, Nico Pietroni
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    This paper presents novel catoptric anamorphic sculptures made possible by the development of bespoke software. The authors detail the production of a catoptric anamorphic sculpture involving a concave mirror and examine the audience’s experience. The reflections the mirror creates are described as being holographic. This effect is known as a “real image” and only occurs using a concave mirror. The authors present the digital tools they have developed to facilitate anamorphic artistic production and extend the limits of what has been achieved in the past. They end with an outline of future work, including glass lenses, and propose using video projection mapping.

  • Infinite Barnacle: The AI Image and Imagination in GANs from Personal Snapshots
    Eryk Salvaggio
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    Today’s artificial intelligence image generation tools create images from datasets. These training sets are typically images sourced from the World Wide Web. However, artists may produce their own datasets from photographs. This essay explores one such process. In it, the artist discusses training a generative adversarial network (GAN) from images of personal memories. These images are shared here not as public artworks, but as personal photographs: snapshots reproduced and newly imagined by a machine. The essay explores the distortion that AI image generation introduces to memory and imagination, connecting ideas of photography to cybernetics to expose new ways of theorizing the image in the current stage of AI. It concludes that a theory of A imagery may borrow from theories of traditional photography but must examine its distinctions.

General Articles

  • Touching Variables: Decolonial Approaches and New Tools for Ecological Data Visualization
    Katie Anania, Cooper Stiglitz
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    In this article the authors activate decolonial feminist art history as a transdisciplinary protocol for organizing quantitative data. In foregrounding precolonial calculation tools as the basis for a new data visualization method, they present questions about how scientists might negotiate multiple interrelated variables in their research, opening more possibilities for narrating complex causes and effects of anthropogenic climate change and facilitating discussions about the relationship between climate change and settler-colonialism through visual means. While data science has historically prioritized Cartesian and Euclidean geometry as the most efficient tools for data visualization, the authors draw on Indigenous calculation tools that allow for more visual and semantic flexibility than the x-y axis.

  • The Phenomenal Atlases of Contemporary Physics: Knowing the Imperceptible
    Kaca Bradonjic
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    Physicists study the physical world on spatial, temporal, and complexity scales inaccessible through ordinary human perception. How, then, does a person ground their understanding of physics at these scales in the sensory impressions and emotional states made possible by their body? The author describes a framework that approaches this question by integrating artistic and intellectual methods and is informed by the history of science, theories of embodied cognition, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of phenomenology. The framework’s goal is to understand the subjective, internal representations of physics concepts used by practicing physicists and to explore their impact on collective research efforts.

  • “Dancing with Atoms”: A Tribute to Sheila Tinney
    Silvin Knight, Jose Refojo, Louise Newman, Rossella Rizzo, Hugh Tinney, Roman Romero-Ortuno
    Get at MIT Press

    The authors present a short dynamic visualization titled “Dancing with Atoms,” produced in honor of the late Irish mathematical physicist Sheila Tinney (1918–2010), the first Irish-born and -raised woman to receive a doctorate in the mathematical sciences. The visualization is inspired by Tinney’s groundbreaking work on crystal lattice vibrations and consists of an animation showing an atomic lattice structure vibrating based on data derived from a musical piece performed by her son, award-winning pianist Hugh Tinney. The acoustic signal processing and visualization were conducted using the new Science Foundation Ireland–funded “Tinney” high-performance computing cluster in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

  • Creative Futuring for More-Than-Human Worlds: Exhibitions as Sites to Ponder Environmental Governance
    Hira Sheikh, Isabella Deary, Lowana-Skye Davies, Merinda Davies, Marcus Foth, Peta Mitchell
    Get at MIT Press

    The article presents the Smart Urban Governance for More-than-Human
    anthology, comprising six speculative creative works. It
    draws on techniques of futuring as a methodology to explore how creative
    practice as an act of futuring and exhibitions as sites to ponder environmenta
    governance can empower more-than-human futures. Reporting on participatory
    observations and semistructured interviews with the exhibition audience the
    article posits that creative futuring can empower futures by developing
    awareness that environmental governance can facilitate nonhuman agencies that
    conserve and repair the ecological world.

Historical Perspective

  • Frieder Nake and the Ethics of Cold War Computer Art
    Cindy Evans
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    In 1971, artist Frieder Nake denounced the production of computer art. Paradoxically, Nake, a pioneer of computer art, participated in groundbreaking exhibitions across Western and Eastern Europe in the 1960s. These shows blurred boundaries between artists and scientists to evaluate the viability of art as visual research for its aesthetic and social potential. This article reexamines Nake’s position in context, from his initial understanding of generative art’s redemptive political role and his later view post-1968, following revolutions that demonstrated computers’ entanglement with the North Atlantic capitalist military-corporate research complex.

Special Section: Music and Sound Art

  • Urban Intonation: Listening to the Rats of New York City
    Brian House
    Get at MIT Press

    From urbanization to biomedical science, rats can be found in the foundations of
    modernity. Communicating ultrasonically above the ~20 kHz frequency limit of
    human hearing, rats are also well adapted for the human-built environment and
    its anthropogenic noise. For the sound installation Urban Intonation,
    the author recorded rats on the streets of New York City with an ultrasonic
    microphone and resampled and remixed the audio for playback over a human public
    address system. Repositioning rat sounds as something recognizable, if not intelligible,
    as speech prompts humans to reconsider their relationship to their oft-reviled nonhuman

Special Section: Pioneers and Pathbreakers

  • From Thought-Forms to Art Concret: Tracey M. Benson Interviews Paul Brown
    Paul Brown, Tracey M Benson
    Get at MIT Press

    In this interview computational and generative artist Paul Brown discusses his early work of the 1960s and 1970s. He also describes his influences along with observations about how this early work directed his later career. The interviewer, artist Tracey M. Benson, practices in the art, science, and technology field and is a longtime friend and mentee. The two share many similar interests that are revealed in their conversation.

Leonardo Reviews

2023 Author Index


Leonardo, Volume 56, Issue 6

December 2023