Leonardo, Volume 57, Issue 3 | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University
Journal Issue ToC (View block): 



Leonardo Gallery

Artists’ Articles

  • Living Capsules: Reflections on an Ongoing Art-Sociology Collaboration
    Ned Barker, Joana Burd
    Get at MIT Press

    Living Capsules is the umbrella name the authors give their art pieces, which are born from an ongoing collaboration between an artist and a sociologist who share interest in the relations between senses, bodies, and technologies. This reflective paper tells the story of the works’ cocreation. The authors first introduce the notion of biohybrid systems as their sociotechnical inspiration. Second, they mark out the conceptual space in which they began to prototype Living Capsules. Third, they reflect on how and why they blend their disciplinary practices. And finally, they share and discuss prototype pieces, sketching future directions for their continued collaboration.

  • A Republic of Learning: Making for Times of Uncertainty
    Rachel Jacobs, Giles Lane
    Get at MIT Press

    Republic of Learning (RoL) was an experimental program bringing people together to learn about resilience in times of planetary health crisis, environmental change, and growing uncertainty. Eleven sessions took place between 2019 and 2022, planting seeds for an informal community to emerge with a unique approach to shared learning. RoL combined artistic craft-making with cooperative thinking—slowing down debate to sideline confrontations and argument in favor of more gentle forms of colearning and collaboration. This article explores the methods, outcomes, and opportunities that this process opens up for new forms of action and engagement with issues of climate change, resilience, and reciprocity.

General Articles

  • All Watched Over by Our Data Double
    Simon Biggs, Ana Carvalho
    Get at MIT Press

    The term data double denotes information generated by and collected from users of networked communications to construct relational databases in marketing and other domains. Each subject (user) of this surveillance-panoptical system inevitably informs and objectifies all other subjects. Social media experiences are based on our continuously “tracked” engagement. Surveillance functions across written and spoken language, biometrics, geolocation, and visual and behavioral patterns. This text is primarily concerned with visual media and its production and (re)circulation as the accumulation of data through uploading, viewing, liking, commenting, remixing, and sharing. The article explores how selected media artists reflect upon the potential of recirculating information to reveal our data doubles and the surveillance-panoptical system.

  • Research and Creative Activity in the Design Field: Intersections of Science, Art, and Engineering
    Ivan Gryshchenko, Olga Yezhova, Kalina Pashkevich, Yulia Biryukova
    Get at MIT Press

    This case study assesses the development of research competence among graduate design students through a Ukrainian–Chinese English-language remote learning program. The quasi-experimental study included one group of 19 students who enrolled in the course, titled “Research Methodology and Modern Technology of Design Activity.” The extent to which the course improved their confidence in using the English language and their self-assessed readiness to engage in professional activities at the intersection of science, design, and engineering were used as the outcome measures. After 3 weeks of the program, all students reported improved readiness to participate in the scientific community through the English language, demonstrating their ability to perform research and creative activity in the field of design.

  • Object-Oriented Ontology in Shaping Perspective on Bacterial Art and Nonhuman Agency
    Roslina Ismail, Amira Hanafi, Kamaruzaman Jusoff
    Get at MIT Press

    The study of bacterial art provides an opportunity to investigate the philosophical framework of object-oriented ontology (OOO). This viewpoint challenges traditional human-centered perspectives by highlighting the autonomy and agency of all objects, including microorganisms. Objects have their own inherent properties and are regarded as equal actors in the world. The authors highlight the dynamic relationship between humans and microorganisms and the agency of bacteria in bioart. Bacterial art raises concerns regarding control, authorship, aesthetics, and ethics, necessitating interdisciplinary discussions and critical evaluations. This study provides an intriguing case examining the implications of OOO at the intersection of science and art.

  • A Shift in Artistic Practices through Artificial Intelligence
    Kıvanç Tatar, Petter Ericson, Kelsey Cotton, Paola Torres Núñez del Prado, Roser Batlle-Roca, Beatriz Cabrero-Daniel, Sara Ljungblad, Georgios Diapoulis, Jabbar Hussain
    Get at MIT Press

    The explosion of content generated by artificial intelligence (AI) models has initiated a cultural shift in arts, music, and media, whereby roles are changing, values are shifting, and conventions are challenged. The vast, readily available dataset of the Internet has created an environment for AI models to be trained on any content on the Web. With AI models shared openly and used by many globally, how does this new paradigm shift challenge the status quo in artistic practices? What kind of changes will AI technology bring to music, arts, and new media?

Theoretical Perspective

  • Experiential AI: Between Arts and Explainable AI
    Drew Hemment, Dave Murray-Rust, Vaishak Belle, Ruth Aylett, Matjaz Vidmar, Frank Broz
    Get at MIT Press

    Experiential artificial intelligence (AI) is an approach to the design, use, and evaluation of AI in cultural or other real-world settings that foregrounds human experience and context. It combines arts and engineering to support rich and intuitive modes of model interpretation and interaction, making AI tangible and explicit. The ambition is to enable significant cultural works and make AI systems more understandable to nonexperts, thereby strengthening the basis for responsible deployment. This paper discusses limitations and promising directions in explainable AI, contributions the arts offer to enhance and go beyond explainability and methodology to support, deepen, and extend those contributions.

Special Section: Music and Sound Art

  • DNA Dance Revolution
    Yiyu Cai, Jieqiong Chen, Wei Hao Chan, Ser Yang Tan
    Get at MIT Press

    This paper proposes to teach students biology through dance. Knowledge of nucleotides, amino acids, and structures of DNA and protein is used to create dance music and choreography. The three nucleotides (A, T, G, or C) making up the amino acids of selected proteins are converted into a musical note. In accordance with DNA’s double helix structure and base-pairing, the authors designed a low-cost, in-house Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) machine to allow for a dual player dance mode that requires students to synchronize their choreography during gameplay.

Special Section: Pioneers and Pathbreakers

  • Programmable Analogue Drawing Machines, 1952–2023
    Jack Tait
    Get at MIT Press

    The author discusses his work creating programmable, generative analogue drawing machines over six decades in the context of the constructivist tradition and influenced by the Bauhaus German art school and the subsequent art, science, and technology movement. During the first three decades he developed a variety of machines and from 1990 followed a more analytical approach focusing on randomness, chaos, and subjectivity in art. This progressed to the author’s PhD research program wherein he investigated innovative analogue programming systems that employed direct current motors, linkages, and cranks together with programmers, actuating motors for a variety of timed pulses. These enabled variables such as pen-lift and rotation, forward/reverse pen action, light drawing, sine waves, turntable and drum machines, and versions of X:Y plotters.

Special Section: RE:SOURCE

  • RE:SOURCE—Media Art Histories, Venice 2023
    Francesca Franco, Clio Flego
  • Auro Lecci’s Algorithmic Art: Toward the Computer as a Thinking Machine
    Paola Lagonigro
    Get at MIT Press

    This paper analyzes Italian artist Auro Lecci’s contribution to pioneering media art, beginning with his paintings and ending with his computer artworks (1969–1972). As the author suggests, Lecci’s paintings were already characterized by an algorithmic method that the artist went on to develop in his computer-generated works. The paper first discusses the plotter drawings Lecci created at the Computing Center of the University of Pisa (CNUCE), and then focuses on his last computer art project, made at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, to suggest connections between Lecci’s work and artificial intelligence.

  • Men of Letters: Perspectives on Multisensory Environments in the Hall-McLuhan Correspondence, 1961–1977
    Wolfgang Muench
    Get at MIT Press

    This paper introduces critical elements in the substantial, albeit mostly unpublished, correspondence between cultural anthropologist Edward T. Hall and media theorist Marshall McLuhan related to artistic practice with emerging media technologies in the 1960s. It contextualizes their exchange within the broader theoretical discourses and artistic practices surrounding systems theory and media technology and highlights intersections between Hall and McLuhan’s theoretical frameworks related to concepts of indeterminism, systems theory, and cybernetics in technology-based, kinesthetic, multisensory mediated environments in the 1960s. It particularly focuses on overlapping conceptual approaches toward the interrelation between the individual, the socio-cultural environment, and the emerging media-technological ecosystem.

Leonardo Reviews



Leonardo, Volume 57, Issue 3

June 2024