Open AccessEssay
D.S. Sense’s “On My Detroit Everything”: Self-Articulating Black Girl Magic
Arts 2018, 7(2), 17; doi:10.3390/arts7020017 -
Abstract
Long before the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic was popularized on social network sites Black women in Detroit have been employing art in their processes of self-articulation and efforts to deal with the complexities and challenges of life in the city. The scripts of African American
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Long before the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic was popularized on social network sites Black women in Detroit have been employing art in their processes of self-articulation and efforts to deal with the complexities and challenges of life in the city. The scripts of African American women that dominate the commercial hip hop industry and their impacts on girls and women have received thorough analysis in academia; yet, the practices, representations, and discursive articulations of independent, Black women hip hop artists remain underexplored. In particular, this essay draws on Deidre “D.S. Sense” Smith’s spoken word poem “On My Detroit Everything” to illuminate the counter-narratives and scripts that Black women have been creating to document, validate, and voice their experiences at a critical point in Detroit’s history as it underwent and continues to deal with the after effects of bankruptcy. Hip hop artists who use cultural production to accomplish grass roots community-building offer alternative visions of what it means to do political work. More than a strategy, we argue that such practices serve as the foundation for a movement that is significant and worthy of documentation in the contemporary neoliberal moment where in policies are accelerating the continued disenfranchisement of people of color in cities such as Detroit. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Anime Landscapes as a Tool for Analyzing the Human–Environment Relationship: Hayao Miyazaki Films
Arts 2018, 7(2), 16; doi:10.3390/arts7020016 -
Abstract
Common dualistic thinking in environmental design education adopts humans and the environment as separate entities, with the environment as raw material stock. This approach affects the intellectual development of landscape architects and limits their ability to create meaningful landscapes. Therefore, it is necessary
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Common dualistic thinking in environmental design education adopts humans and the environment as separate entities, with the environment as raw material stock. This approach affects the intellectual development of landscape architects and limits their ability to create meaningful landscapes. Therefore, it is necessary to explore and highlight new ideas about the more integrated human–environment relationship. Through the films of Hayao Miyazaki, many audiences around the world have encountered a different worldview. By contrast with Western thinking, which adopts human superiority to nature, the worldview that Miyazaki reflects in his films depicts human as an inseparable part of nature. Being inspired by different communities and their relationship to nature in Miyazaki’s films, we propose using anime as a means of analyzing the human–environment relationship. We classified landscapes based on power relations between humans and nature. We explored how communities shape their physical environment based on how they socially construct nature and the resulting landscapes. Thus, through apocalyptic landscapes, the bitter results of exploiting nature were depicted. Wilderness landscapes reflect the bias humanity has about nature as wild and hostile. Responsible landscapes were introduced asway of understanding the unbreakable bond between humans and the environment. Through these animated landscape types, the ways landscape architecture should approach nature in professional practices was discussed, and the importance of creating responsible landscapes was emphasized. Full article
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Open AccessOpinion
Re: Sex-Bots—Let Us Look before We Leap
Arts 2018, 7(2), 15; doi:10.3390/arts7020015 -
Abstract
With the understanding that a substantial commerce in sexually-enabled robots represents a plunge into the unknown for humankind, and at the “deep end of the pool”—i.e., involving one of the most important, complex, and problem-ridden aspects of human existence—it is the goal of
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With the understanding that a substantial commerce in sexually-enabled robots represents a plunge into the unknown for humankind, and at the “deep end of the pool”—i.e., involving one of the most important, complex, and problem-ridden aspects of human existence—it is the goal of this brief opinion piece to help ensure that we remain aware as a society of some of the potential pitfalls—these, as is quite appropriate for an opinion piece of this kind, illustrated via negative but plausible scenarios—and presented as well in the light of the multi-dimensional aspect of human sexuality; and with the reality of a certain level of risk associated with sex-bots having been established, there are presented in conclusion some potentially strategic considerations for those professionals who find themselves involved with their design, production, and/or marketing. Full article
Open AccessProject Report
Paleolithic Rock Art: A Worldwide Literature Survey Extracted from the Rock Art Studies Bibliographic Database for the Years 1864–2017
Arts 2018, 7(2), 14; doi:10.3390/arts7020014 -
Abstract
The Rock Art Studies Bibliographic Database is an open access; online resource that fulfills the need for a searchable portal into the world’s rock art literature. Geared to the broadest interests of rock art researchers; students; cultural resource managers; and the general public;
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The Rock Art Studies Bibliographic Database is an open access; online resource that fulfills the need for a searchable portal into the world’s rock art literature. Geared to the broadest interests of rock art researchers; students; cultural resource managers; and the general public; the RAS database makes rock art literature accessible through a simple search interface that facilitates inquiries into multiple data fields; including authors’ names; title and publication; place-name keyword; subject keyword; ISBN/ISSN number and abstract. The results of a data search can further be sorted by any of the data fields; including: authors’ names; date; title; and so forth. An ever increasing number of citations within the database include web links to online versions of the reference cited; and many citations include full author’s abstracts. The data compilation has been undertaken by Leigh Marymor with the year 2018 marking the 25th year of continuous revision and expansion of the data. Over 37,000 citations are currently contained in the database. The RAS database first launched online as a joint project of the Bay Area Rock Art Research Association and University of California’s Bancroft Library. After thirteen years of collaboration; the project found a new home and collaborator at the Anthropology Department at the Museum of Northern Arizona. The Paleolithic Rock Art bibliography results from an export of data from the RAS database and captures a freeze-frame in the state of the rock art literature for the world’s Paleolithic rock art as compiled here in the year 2018. The online version of the RAS Bibliographic Database at the Museum of Northern Arizona is updated annually; and we refer the reader to that resource for up-to-date bibliographic data revisions and additions. Researchers who consult the online database in concert with their reference to the Paleolithic Rock Art bibliography will discover a powerful ally in further refining geographic and thematic inquiries. Full article
Open AccessNew Book Received
The Original “Cybernetic Serendipity” Special Issue of Studio International to Be Reprinted
Arts 2018, 7(2), 13; doi:10.3390/arts7020013 -
Abstract
Studio International (Studio International 2018), the now on-line successor to print art magazine The Studio, is planning a late April 2018 50th anniversary reprinting of its Special Issue dedicated to the historic 1968 “Cybernetic Serendipity” techno-art exhibition (Benavides 2018a)[...] Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ancient Artifacts vs. Digital Artifacts: New Tools for Unmasking the Sale of Illicit Antiquities on the Dark Web
Arts 2018, 7(2), 12; doi:10.3390/arts7020012 -
Abstract
Since the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as Daesh and ISIL) in 2014, antiquities have been a widely publicized source of funding for what has become one of the most technologically savvy terrorist organizations of the
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Since the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as Daesh and ISIL) in 2014, antiquities have been a widely publicized source of funding for what has become one of the most technologically savvy terrorist organizations of the modern era. The globalization of technology and rise of popularity in cryptocurrencies has changed the face of black-market trade and the actors that carry out these crimes. While art and antiquities have long served as a market with susceptibilities to laundering, the emergence of Dark Web markets, identification-masking software, and untraceable cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have opened new doors to potential vulnerabilities. The anonymity that is offered by these technologies acts as a roadblock for authorities, while attracting the likes of terrorists and transnational criminals. Investigative research using cyber security platforms to identify digital artifacts connected to potential traffickers provides the opportunity to unmask the seemingly untraceable actors behind these activities. The evidence of illicit antiquities trafficking on the Dark Web displayed in this article can generate a new discussion on how and where to study black-market antiquities to gain needed insight into combating the illicit trade online and the transnational criminal groups it may finance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Choreographic and Somatic Approaches for the Development of Expressive Robotic Systems
Arts 2018, 7(2), 11; doi:10.3390/arts7020011 -
Abstract
As robotic systems are moved out of factory work cells into human-facing environments questions of choreography become central to their design, placement, and application. With a human viewer or counterpart present, a system will automatically be interpreted within context, style of movement, and
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As robotic systems are moved out of factory work cells into human-facing environments questions of choreography become central to their design, placement, and application. With a human viewer or counterpart present, a system will automatically be interpreted within context, style of movement, and form factor by human beings as animate elements of their environment. The interpretation by this human counterpart is critical to the success of the system’s integration: “knobs” on the system need to make sense to a human counterpart; an artificial agent should have a way of notifying a human counterpart of a change in system state, possibly through motion profiles; and the motion of a human counterpart may have important contextual clues for task completion. Thus, professional choreographers, dance practitioners, and movement analysts are critical to research in robotics. They have design methods for movement that align with human audience perception; they can help identify simplified features of movement that will effectively accomplish human-robot interaction goals; and they have detailed knowledge of the capacity of human movement. This article provides approaches employed by one research lab, specific impacts on technical and artistic projects within, and principles that may guide future such work. The background section reports on choreography, somatic perspectives, improvisation, the Laban/Bartenieff Movement System, and robotics. From this context methods including embodied exercises, writing prompts, and community building activities have been developed to facilitate interdisciplinary research. The results of this work are presented as an overview of a smattering of projects in areas like high-level motion planning, software development for rapid prototyping of movement, artistic output, and user studies that help understand how people interpret movement. Finally, guiding principles for other groups to adopt are posited. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“Disarmed”: Disability, Trauma, and Emasculation in Contemporary Japanese Cinema
Arts 2018, 7(1), 10; doi:10.3390/arts7010010 -
Abstract
Disability, especially when war-related, is dangerous ground for entertainment films. Depictions of battle-scarred living bodies are necessarily political, since they cannot avoid commenting on the conflict of which they are a stark visual reminder. Yet depictions are politically multivalent: seeing the disabled has
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Disability, especially when war-related, is dangerous ground for entertainment films. Depictions of battle-scarred living bodies are necessarily political, since they cannot avoid commenting on the conflict of which they are a stark visual reminder. Yet depictions are politically multivalent: seeing the disabled has a wide range of effects on audiences. Unsurprisingly, then, disabled survivors of the war have rarely appeared on postwar screens. But the trend of avoiding the messy reality of war-related disability, and disabled bodies more generally, has ended, as the emphatic success of period drama Love and Honor (2006) can attest. In the new century, many films have tackled this once-taboo topic, winning success at the box office or, like Caterpillar (2010), at film festivals. In this article, I analyze depictions of disabled war survivors and other disabled bodies in recent Japanese films, drawing a contrast between Love and Honor and the aforementioned Caterpillar; I explore what motivated this more visceral retelling of both war trauma and general disability, and why each succeeded either commercially or critically. The trend towards depicting disability coincides perfectly with Japanese cinema’s resurgent success against Hollywood. Visceral depictions of traumatized bodies that are symbolically—or literally—disarmed have resonated with domestic audiences, perhaps because disability not only emasculates, it can also empower: the disabled, many believe, can speak with greater authority on the war or the human condition than anyone else. But what will they (be made to) say? Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Transpacific Cyberpunk: Transgeneric Interactions between Prose, Cinema, and Manga
Arts 2018, 7(1), 9; doi:10.3390/arts7010009 -
Abstract
This paper attempts to meditate upon the transpacific imagination of cyberpunk by reconstructing its literary and cultural heritage. Since the publication of William Gibson’s multiple award winning first novel, Neuromancer (1984), the concept of cyberpunk has been globally popularized and disseminated not only
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This paper attempts to meditate upon the transpacific imagination of cyberpunk by reconstructing its literary and cultural heritage. Since the publication of William Gibson’s multiple award winning first novel, Neuromancer (1984), the concept of cyberpunk has been globally popularized and disseminated not only in the field of literature but also in culture. However, we should not forget that cyberpunk is derived not only from the cutting edge of technology but also from “Lo Tek” sensibility cultivated in the Gibsonian picturesque ruins or dark cities such as a major extraterritorial zone in Hong Kong “Kowloon Walled City” nicknamed as “a den of iniquity”, “The Casba of the East”, and “a hotbed of crime”, which was destroyed in 1993, but whose images captured by Ryuji Miyamoto inspired Gibson to come up with the spectacle of the destroyed San Francisco Bay Bridge to be stormed by ex-hippies and former homeless. From this perspective, this chapter focuses on the works ranging from Katsuhiro Otomo’s directed anime Akira (1988), Gibson’s Bridge Trilogy (Virtual Light (1993), Idoru (1996), and All Tomorrow’s Parties (1998)) in the 1990s through Project Itoh’s post-cyberpunk masterpiece Genocidal Organ (2007). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Architectural Trends and Structural Design in the Middle of the Twentieth Century: Two Examples in Portugal
Arts 2018, 7(1), 8; doi:10.3390/arts7010008 -
Abstract
In the context of a reductive generalisation, it can be affirmed that the supporting structure had a different role in most buildings in the two halves of the previous century. This statement has as reference the examples of the International Style in the
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In the context of a reductive generalisation, it can be affirmed that the supporting structure had a different role in most buildings in the two halves of the previous century. This statement has as reference the examples of the International Style in the first half of the twentieth century and early Postmodernism in the second half. Reinforcing this division, the structure was assigned a representative role in the first part that faded in the second. Based on the abovementioned statement, this work seeks to question the relationship between the design of architecture and structure: How did architectural trends change the drawing of structure in the past? The study is developed through a comparison of two buildings representing opposite positions concerning the structure’s role. The buildings are located in the transition of the two halves of the 20th century, and clearly demonstrate the initial statements. The difference in the position of the structural design in these two projects is revealed in the drawings of slabs, beams and pillars, showing the trends in each. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“Indirect” and “In-Between” of Open Database Art
Arts 2018, 7(1), 7; doi:10.3390/arts7010007 -
Abstract
In the digital age, many artists use digital information mixed in various ways to create works of art. The subject of this paper’s discussion, i.e., open database art (ODA), is one such example. This form of art uses database techniques to retrieve and
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In the digital age, many artists use digital information mixed in various ways to create works of art. The subject of this paper’s discussion, i.e., open database art (ODA), is one such example. This form of art uses database techniques to retrieve and accumulate vast amounts of readily available and participant-contributed data from the internet, for the purpose of using the contents of the artwork. In other words, the work itself has no preset content, and all of the content relies on the import of external data. This paper seeks to hypothetically discuss the movement of data during its entry and the departure from an artwork, to provide a context and perspective for understanding ODA works. This paper also seeks to analyze ODAs through the conceptual notion of the “between”, to systematize and eke out the various directions that an ODA work may take, for the reference of future related studies. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Art, Science, and Technology of Human Sexuality
Arts 2018, 7(1), 6; doi:10.3390/arts7010006 -
Abstract
In Spring 2017, Abyss Creations, a 20-year old manufacturer of hyper-realistic sex dolls (trade-named “RealDoll”) with a loyal customer base, launched an artificial intelligence app (named “Harmony”) to augment the dolls’ already life-like bodies, giving them customizable personalities and allowing them to flirt
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In Spring 2017, Abyss Creations, a 20-year old manufacturer of hyper-realistic sex dolls (trade-named “RealDoll”) with a loyal customer base, launched an artificial intelligence app (named “Harmony”) to augment the dolls’ already life-like bodies, giving them customizable personalities and allowing them to flirt and converse with their owners[...] Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Arts in 2017
Arts 2018, 7(1), 5; doi:10.3390/arts7010005 -
Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Arts maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article
Open AccessEssay
The Machine as Art (in the 20th Century): An Introduction
Arts 2018, 7(1), 4; doi:10.3390/arts7010004 -
Abstract
The machine, over the course of the 20th century, progressively integrated itself into all fields of human activity, including artistic creation; and indeed, with the first decades of that century having established a surprisingly vital and wide-ranging series of perspectives on the relationship
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The machine, over the course of the 20th century, progressively integrated itself into all fields of human activity, including artistic creation; and indeed, with the first decades of that century having established a surprisingly vital and wide-ranging series of perspectives on the relationship between art and the machine, certain artists in the wake of the Second World War no longer felt compelled to treat the machine as a mere theme or source of inspiration: the machine itself becomes art—unless it is art which seeks to become mechanical? The artist mutates into “artist-engineer”; and this transition, resonating within a specific historical context, leads not only to a questioning of the nature of the work itself, but also to a broader questioning which places us within the realm of anthropology: what is this art telling us about the actual conditions of contemporary human society, and what is it telling us about the future to which we aspire? It is the goal of this special issue of Arts to stimulate an historically conscious, protean, and global (re)thinking of the cultural relationship between man and machine; and to this end, we welcome contributions falling anywhere within the nearly infinite spectrum represented by the prismatic period during the middle of the last century in which the machine became a legitimate artistic medium. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Algorithmic Art Machines
Arts 2018, 7(1), 3; doi:10.3390/arts7010003 -
Abstract
The article reviews the author’s personal development in relation to art made by algorithmic machines and discusses both the nature of such systems and the future implications for art. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“Festive Customs” and “Everyday Beauty”. The Agenda and Self-Conception of the Nordic Life Reform Movement
Arts 2018, 7(1), 2; doi:10.3390/arts7010002 -
Abstract
In the second half of the 19th century, a wave of modernization, industrialization and urbanization swept the Nordic countries, catapulting what had until then been lagging and primarily rural countries into modernity. These major upheavals, however, also plunged the Nordic countries into a
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In the second half of the 19th century, a wave of modernization, industrialization and urbanization swept the Nordic countries, catapulting what had until then been lagging and primarily rural countries into modernity. These major upheavals, however, also plunged the Nordic countries into a profound social and cultural crisis resulting from their consciousness of their own backwardness vis-a-vis the countries on the European continent, as well as the recognition that a nostalgic nationalism recalling a mythical past had become obsolete in the industrial age. In response to this crisis, a life reform movement emerged that was based on Arts and Crafts movements as well as various artistic and literary reform movements and—equally absorbing rural traditions and progressive social ideas—tried to establish a new national everyday culture. In this article, the two key terms coined by Ellen Key, “Festive Customs” (“festvanor”) and “Everyday Beauty” (“vardagsskönhet”)—the programmatic core of the Nordic life reform movement—are analysed and illustrated in various typical manifestations. It also examines to what extent the Nordic life reform movement with these two key concepts as its core agenda found expression in arts and crafts, in painting as well as in the architecture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and contributed to the progress of social and cultural renewal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ornament in Contemporary Iranian Architecture (Case Study: Prominent Buildings in Tehran after the Islamic Revolution)
Arts 2018, 7(1), 1; doi:10.3390/arts7010001 -
Abstract
This paper addresses the status of ornamental practices in contemporary Iranian architecture, specifically after the Islamic revolution, using a descriptive–analytical method. In this regard, the external appearances of 92 prominent buildings constructed in Tehran between 1979–2013, were examined, and their means of visual
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This paper addresses the status of ornamental practices in contemporary Iranian architecture, specifically after the Islamic revolution, using a descriptive–analytical method. In this regard, the external appearances of 92 prominent buildings constructed in Tehran between 1979–2013, were examined, and their means of visual expression were analyzed. The results indicate that half of the samples lack ornament; in the others, a noticeable increase in the ornamental element size and visual complexity, as well as a significant decrease in their semantic contents (as compared with traditional ornament) were observed. These are changes that mostly resulted from modernization and subsequent processes such as industrialization and rationalization, as well as the long-lasting influence of modernists’ arguments against such practices. The presence of ornament in architecture, however, is necessary due to its crucial role in increasing the visual coherence of the environment and fulfilling the human desire for order and beauty. Therefore, this paper suggests the replacement of the current dualistic model of thought, which is dominant in the profession and schools of architecture in Iran, with one that provides an opportunity for the coexistence of concepts such as ornament and structure, form and function, and the sensuous and the rational, hence providing a revitalization of ornament in contemporary architecture. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Geometrical Method for Sound-Hole Size and Location Enhancement in Lute Family Musical Instruments: The Golden Method
Arts 2017, 6(4), 20; doi:10.3390/arts6040020 -
Abstract
This paper presents a new analytical approach, the Golden Method, to enhance sound-hole size and location in musical instruments of the lute family in order to obtain better sound damping characteristics based on the concept of the golden ratio and the instrument geometry.
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This paper presents a new analytical approach, the Golden Method, to enhance sound-hole size and location in musical instruments of the lute family in order to obtain better sound damping characteristics based on the concept of the golden ratio and the instrument geometry. The main objective of the paper is to increase the capability of lute family musical instruments in keeping a note for a certain time at a certain level to enhance the instruments’ orchestral characteristics. For this purpose, a geometry-based analytical method, the Golden Method is first described in detail in an itemized feature. A new musical instrument is then developed and tested to confirm the ability of the Golden Method in optimizing the acoustical characteristics of musical instruments from a damping point of view by designing the modified sound-hole. Finally, the new-developed instrument is tested, and the obtained results are compared with those of two well-known instruments to confirm the effectiveness of the proposed method. The experimental results show that the suggested method is able to increase the sound damping time by at least 2.4% without affecting the frequency response function and other acoustic characteristics of the instrument. This methodology could be used as the first step in future studies on design, optimization and evaluation of musical instruments of the lute family (e.g., lute, oud, barbat, mandolin, setar, and etc.). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
What Is Body, What Is Space? Performance and the Cinematic Body in a Non-Anthropocentric Cinema
Arts 2017, 6(4), 19; doi:10.3390/arts6040019 -
Abstract
The assumption of a clear demarcation and hierarchy between figure and ground has long informed key approaches in film studies to bodies and space. However, many filmmakers working in both animation and live cinema have confounded this hierarchy, working with an integration of
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The assumption of a clear demarcation and hierarchy between figure and ground has long informed key approaches in film studies to bodies and space. However, many filmmakers working in both animation and live cinema have confounded this hierarchy, working with an integration of figure and ground on equal terms to explore the full performative potential of the cinematic body. In the animation work of Einar Baldvin, this strategy is an Expressionist one, blurring the boundaries between figure and ground in order to project affective and psychic states onto the space around the body. In Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster, this blurring of boundaries between figure and ground eschews an Expressionist mode, working instead to render, in aesthetic form, a biophilosophy that emphasizes the continuity between bodies and environment to explore the possibilities of non-anthropocentric cinematic modes. An experimental writing style here serves to trace the energetic unfolding of these strategies across both films in order to frame the question, ‘what is body here, what is space’, and to ask how we as viewers engage with this embodied mode. Full article
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Open AccessEssay
Art in the Age of Machine Intelligence
Arts 2017, 6(4), 18; doi:10.3390/arts6040018 -
Abstract
In this wide‐ranging essay, the leader of Google’s Seattle AI group and founder of the Artists and Machine Intelligence program discusses the long‐standing and complex relationship between art and technology. The transformation of artistic practice and theory that attended the 19th century photographic
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In this wide‐ranging essay, the leader of Google’s Seattle AI group and founder of the Artists and Machine Intelligence program discusses the long‐standing and complex relationship between art and technology. The transformation of artistic practice and theory that attended the 19th century photographic revolution is explored as a parallel for the current revolution in machine intelligence, which promises not only to mechanize (or democratize) the means of reproduction, but also of production. Full article
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