[spectre] Leonardo Award for Excellence given to Elsenaar and Scha

LEONARDO (mk) isast at well.com
Thu Feb 26 22:11:43 CET 2004

*Apologies for cross-posting*

Arthur Elsenaar and Remko Scha Win the 2003 Leonardo Award for Excellence

Arthur Elsenaar and Remko Scha¹s article ³Electric Body Manipulation as
Performance Art: A Historical Perspective,² published in Leonardo Music
Journal 12, has been named the winner of the 2003 Leonardo Award for
Excellence. This annual award recognizes excellence in an article published
in Leonardo. Excellence is defined as originality, rigor of thought, clarity
of expression and effective presentation. Three articles received Honorable
Mention: Steve Dietz¹s ³Ten Dreams of Technology²  (Leonardo 35, No. 5),
Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr¹s ³Growing Semi-Living Sculptures: The Tissue
Culture & Art Project² (Leonardo 35, No. 4) and Edward Shanken¹s ³Art in the
Information Age: Technology and Conceptual Art² (Leonardo 35, No. 4).

Elsenaar and Scha¹s winning article traces the historical development of
using electrically manipulated human bodies for theatrical display.
Addressing the controversial aspects of this sometimes destructive art form,
they extend their inquiry to investigate the implications of electrical
executions. More often, they note the stimulating effects of electricity
upon the body, studying Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation as
implemented in the 19th Century by Duchenne and continued in practice today
by artists such as Stelarc and co-author Elsenaar. Citing technological
advances that enable interactive nerve stimulation, Elsenaar and Scha point
toward a future of computer-generated dance and theater performances.

Arthur Elsenaar, coordinator of the graduate program "Interactive Media and
Environments" at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen, is an artist and
electrical engineer who ran his own pirate radio station and built the
transmitters for many illegal radio and television stations throughout the
Netherlands. Elsenaar¹s recent work employs the human face as a
computer-controlled display device. Remko Scha, Professor of Computational
Linguistics at the Humanities Faculty of the University of Amsterdam, is an
artist, DJ and computational linguist. He has built an automatic electric
guitar band (³The Machines²), designed an image generation algorithm
(³Artificial²) and developed a theory about language processing
(³Data-Oriented Parsing²). Arthur Elsenaar and Remko Scha have jointly
developed a series of automatic performance pieces and video installations
that involve computer-controlled facial expression, algorithmic music and
synthetic speech. These works have been presented at scientific conferences,
theater festivals and art exhibitions throughout Europe and the United
States. Elsenaar and Scha also explore the use of automatic radio stations
as a medium for computer art.

The Leonardo Award for Excellence was originally established by chemist and
inventor Myron Coler and Leonardo publisher Robert Maxwell. Previous winners
have included Rudolf Arnheim, Otto Piene, Alvin Curran, Karen O'Rourke,
Donna Cox and Bill Seaman. The 2003 Prize and Awards Committee is composed
of Lynn Hershman, chair; Hisham Bizri, Char Davies, Marcos Novak and Bill

In addition to the winning article and three honorable mentions, six other
articles were nominated for this prize: Anne Bray's ³The Community Is
Watching, and Replying: Art in Public Places and Spaces² (Leonardo 35, No.
1), Harold Cohen's ³A Self-Defining Game for One Player: On the Nature of
Creativity and the Possibility of Creative Computer Programs² (Leonardo 35,
No. 1), Ken Gonzales-Day's ³Analytical Photography: Portraiture, from the
Index to the Epidermis² (Leonardo 35, No. 1), Antoinette LaFarge and Robert
Nideffer's Leonardo Gallery, "Shift-Ctrl" (Leonardo 35, No. 1), Phoebe
Sengers's ³Schizophrenia and Narrative in Artificial Agents² (Leonardo 35,
No. 4) and Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau's ³Modeling the Emergence
of Complexity: Complex Systems, the Origin of Life and Interactive On-Line
Art² (Leonardo 35, No. 2).

The 2003 Leonardo Award for Excellence is co-sponsored by the Technoculture
Studies Department and the Art Department at the University of California,
Davis, where it will be presented at a prize award lecture on campus during
the Spring 2004 session. For further information visit:
<http://technoculture.ucdavis.edu <http://technoculture.ucdavis.edu/> >.

Download .pdf documents of the winning article and three honorable mentions
at <http://mitpress2.mit.edu/e-journals/Leonardo/isast/awards.html>.


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