Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology (Leonardo Book Series)

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9780262731584: Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology (Leonardo Book Series)

An introduction to the work and ideas of artists who use -- and even influence -- science and technology.

A new breed of contemporary artist engages science and technology -- not just to adopt the vocabulary and gizmos, but to explore and comment on the content, agendas, and possibilities. Indeed, proposes Stephen Wilson, the role of the artist is not only to interpret and to spread scientific knowledge, but to be an active partner in determining the direction of research. Years ago, C. P. Snow wrote about the "two cultures" of science and the humanities; these developments may finally help to change the outlook of those who view science and technology as separate from the general culture.

In this rich compendium, Wilson offers the first comprehensive survey of international artists who incorporate concepts and research from mathematics, the physical sciences, biology, kinetics, telecommunications, and experimental digital systems such as artificial intelligence and ubiquitous computing. In addition to visual documentation and statements by the artists, Wilson examines relevant art-theoretical writings and explores emerging scientific and technological research likely to be culturally significant in the future. He also provides lists of resources including organizations, publications, conferences, museums, research centers, and Web sites.

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Review:

If art is our most reliable oracle, then the future looks cool, digital, and expensive. Stephen Wilson's massive Information Arts compiles notes on and samples of the work of over 200 artists, organized loosely by scientific discipline. Artists drawing inspiration from cell cultures, GPS, robots, surveillance databases, and other technological muses receive a page or two of commentary, often including their own statements and critical reviews.

The image selection is only adequate and often puzzling--why show a photograph of an installation meant to be experienced in total darkness, for example? Still, as a reference and resource guide, Information Arts is without parallel, especially for the largest section, covering computer-related or -aided artworks. Deep research, engaging prose, and copious listings of further information make it essential for exploring the avant. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

Stephen Wilson was Professor of Conceptual and Information Arts at San Francisco State University.



David Steinberg, M.D., is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a board certified hematologist oncologist who practices at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts. He is also Chief, Section of Medical Ethics at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center and editor of The Lahey Clinic Medical Ethics Newsletter.

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