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  • Leonardo Network News

The Newsletter of the International Society of the Arts, Sciences, and Technology and of l'Observatoire Leonardo des Arts et Technosciences

Common Systems: The Invisible Dynamics of the Pacific Rim and the Bay Area

San Francisco's Exploratorium and the San Francisco Art Institute are pleased to participate in the ISEA 2006 Pacific Rim New Media Summit through the presentation of some preliminary findings of its Invisible Dynamics research project using a panel format. They hope to make contact with individuals or organizations from around the Pacific Rim who may have related projects or research and would be interested in discussing possible points in common.

The Exploratorium is planning to move to a new site along San Francisco's northern waterfront not far from the San Francisco Art Institute. To better understand the context of this area, the Exploratorium is collaborating with four SFAI pro-grams: the Center for Art+Science, the Center for Media Culture, the Center for Public Practice and the Center for Word, Text, and Image. It has become clear that an all-encompassing view of the new neighborhood in relation to the city requires consideration of its relationship with the Bay and also with the Pacific Ocean. Moving from a view of the neighborhoods surrounding the Exploratorium's potential new home to the city of San Francisco in relation to the Bay region and to the Pacific Ocean presents a scale allowing a view of the multiple interactions and relationships that give this place its character. To investigate them, the Exploratorium is forming partnerships with artists, scientists, scholars, researchers and practitioners and plans to include more institutional partners as its direction becomes more sharply defined.

Five research projects are currently under way, including Hidden Ecologies, a micro/macro/biological and cultural cross-referencing of physical areas of San Francisco Bay; Trace, an exploration of the evolving urban wireless ("Hertzian-Land-scape") networks of San Francisco; Cabspotter, an investigation of the social and electronic trails of a Bay Area taxi system; Move Here, a study of contemporary and historic strategies for compelling people to move to the Bay Area; and a piece installed by a team of Art Institute student-researchers.

When the Exploratorium and the Art Institute try to imagine what it will be like here in the future, many of the clues seem to come from farther west. The Exploratorium is interested in sharing experiences about related projects around the Pacific Rim and looks forward to hearing from people or institutions that are developing similar viewpoints, in particular at the ISEA Conference.

Contacts: Susan Schwarzenberg <>, co-chair; Peter Richards <>, co-chair; Meredith Tromble <>; Paul Klein <>.

Design as Seeing as Thinking Workshop, Istanbul, Turkey

The YASMIN art/science network (a Leonardo partner under the Leonardo Global Crossings initiative) endorsed the Design as Seeing as Thinking Workshop at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey, 27 February-5 March 2006, and encouraged interested young instructors or Ph.D. students to apply. Curator: Oğuzhan Özcan, Yildiz Technical University. Super-visor: Roberley Bell, Rochester Institute of Technology. See <>.

The focus of this workshop was to enhance the quality of teaching by young instructors in interactive media design through development of their knowledge of the principles of design and the process of problem identification and problem solving. A series of design problems were explored using the local as a point of departure.

Participants explored the physical, geographic and cultural region of Istanbul and through systems of observation and methods of recording information addressed cross-cultural interpretations of place. The design problem and process was linked to methods and strategies for improving their skills in the classroom.

The program included 21 highly talented young instructors and Ph.D. students currently teaching basic design courses at departments of communication design, interactive media design, multimedia art and other relevant art and design disci-plines: seven applicants from the Mediterranean Rim, seven from Turkey and seven from other countries.

swissnex Joins Leonardo Organizational Membership Program

Leonardo is pleased to welcome swissnex to the Leonardo Organizational Membership Program. swissnex, under the current direction of Executive Director Christian...


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