CALL FOR PAPERS | Leonardo Special Issue: Histories, Legacies, and Futures of Image-Processing | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University

CALL FOR PAPERS | Leonardo Special Section: Histories, Legacies, and Futures of Image-Processing

Dates or Deadline: 
20 February 2024 to 18 March 2024
Organized by: 

Histories, Legacies, and Futures of Image-Processing

Guest Editors: Helena Shaskevich and Adam Hart


Video synthesizers, claimed Nam June Paik in his 1974 manifesto, “will enable us to shape the TV screen canvas as precisely as Leonardo, as freely as Picasso, as colorfully as Renoir, as profoundly as Mondrian, as violently as Pollock, and as lyrically as Jasper Johns.”

In true Paik fashion, his claims about synthesizers are overwrought and hyperbolic, equating the technological devices to some of the greatest artistic achievements in history. Regardless, their idealism reflects not only Paik’s own vision of the profoundly radical aesthetic and political possibilities engendered by televisual technology, but also the larger cultural milieu of the 1970s in the United States, when a utopian conviction in electronic art was shared by artists and technologists alike. During a brief ten-year span, between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s, an intense enthusiasm for image-processing emerged, resulting in the proliferation of technologies from the Paik-Abe and Rutt-Etra video synthesizers, the Sandin Image Processor, to early computer graphics systems like the Vasulka Imaging System, the Bally home computer and ZGRASS programming language. These technologies allowed artists to create an expanded visual language, transforming electronic signals into pulsing, twitching, and interpenetrating abstract images and psychedelic social environments.

This special section of Leonardo seeks contributions on the histories, legacies, and futures of image-processing art and technology. Among many topics, contributions can include:

  • Discussions of individual artists and institutions utilizing synthesizers and early computer graphics systems including Nam June Paik, Shigeko Kubota, Dan Sandin, Copper Giloth, Jane Veeder, Gary Hill, Woody & Steina Vasulka, Louise & Bill Etra, the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, and the Experimental Television Center
  • Discussions of the transition from analog to digital images
  • Address the important role of experimental art centers like The Kitchen, EVL, ETC or programming initiatives like WGBH's
  • The possibilities and limitations which technologies like synthesizers and arcade computers placed on making works of art
  • Glitch art, generative models, DIY tech culture


Submit here!


Submission Types:

General articles (1500–5000 words): may include theoretical, historical, or critical writing on the special issue's subject, such as history, critical theory, arts practice, activism, politics, and education.  
Technical articles or Illustrated artists' articles/notes (1500–5000 words): analyzes current work or body of work from either the artist's perspective or that of an interlocutor/collaborator/researcher, or as a co-authored piece. 
Statements (up to 2000 words, 1–2 pages): short writings that disseminate key new results, ideas, and developments in practice, including curatorial statements 
Artist statements (200 words): with 1–3 images 
Interviews (1–3 pages): in the statement format 
Speculative or experimental writing/projects (600–3500 words)
Multimedia supplements: additional materials or experimental works to be included as online supplements to contributions (max. of 3 files up to 1GB).  


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