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ABSTRACTS The Abstracts section o/Xeonardo is intended to be a rapid publication forum. Texts can be up to 750 words in length with no illustrations, or up to 500 words in length with one black-and-white illustration. Abstracts are acceptedfor publication upon recommendation of any one member ofthe Leonardo Editorial Board, who will then forward them to the Main Editorial Office with his or her endorsement. NUVOJAPONICA Laurence M. Gartel (computer artist), 270-16B Grand Central Parkway, Floral Park, New York 11005, U.S.A. Received 28June 1993. Acceptedfor publication by RogerF. Malina. In 1975,1 went to Buffalo (New York) State College to study art history. I was sitting in the back of a classroom photo­ graphing a Charlie Chaplin movie when a fellow approached me and asked me what I was doing. I said that I was trying to take pictures of the viewing screen with my camera. He told me that there was a place on campus where I could do just that. I thought he wasjoking, but I soon found myself at Media Study/Buf­ falo, the first video art center in the United States, funded in part by the Na­ tional Endowment for the Arts. At the center I met the grandfather of video art, Korean-born artist Nam June Paik. I was fascinated by the equip­ ment he invented and the ways he used it. The center itself took up an entire floor of an office building and was filled with wires plugged into the backs of electronic devices, the front ends of which had dozens of knobs and switches. Each switch could do some­ thing unique to an image. Some of Paik's notable inventions at the center were the Paik-Abe synthesizer and PaikAbe colorizer, which allowed one to al­ ter an image, then electronically strip color into a black-and-white signal. This was a major breakthrough. My goal in studying video art was to manipulate a picture on screen, then photograph the display monitor. As a photographer, I wanted to see my final product as a large color photographic print. I now work with a mixture of popular images, scanned photographs and com­ puter-generated patterns, building up multilayered and textured pictures that are individual in style and content. The invention of the Xerox 4020 color printer in 1987 allowed me to print my images in color. Now, with inkjet print­ ers, I can achieve high color saturation and an almost psychedelic effect. I be­ lieve that new technologies have made it possible to produce art that is unlike anything we have seen before. For me, discovering these media has been like discovering fire. Christina Orr-Cahall, executive direc­ tor of the Norton Gallery of Art, re­ cently wrote: Computer art is the new medium of this century. It is not possible to know the full impact that the computer will have on art, but it seems certain that it will grow in force. ... To take the com­ puter .. . beyond what others have thought or done, to create work which inspires the viewer to enjoy and to think—this is the work of the artist [ 1 ]. Computer graphics merges art and science. Technology not only performs mundane tasks, it helps to free the hu­ man spirit. This is also the mission of art. My Nuvojaponica series (Fig. 1) fuses Western and Eastern imagery. Working with sophisticated electronic tools manufactured by both American and Japanese companies has helped me un­ derstand the global economy and con­ vinced me of our need to work together harmoniously to build a unified world. I see this unification as technology's great mission. While many people be­ lieve that technology represents "Big Brother," I believe that technology will give the individual more access to infor­ mation, and that the consummation of data can provide spiritual rewards for each of us. Fig. 1. Laurence M. Gartel, Geisha Thief, from the series Nuvojaponica, computer graph­ ics, 1989. This series explores the merging of traditional Japanese customs and American iconography. 68 LEONARDO, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 68, 1995 © 1995 ISAST Fig. 2. Iain Mott and Marc Raszewski, The Talhing Chair, sound sculpture, interac­ tive listening...


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