Experimental Publi-shing and Curate-ing (EXPUCU) OCTOPUS

 Experimental Publi-shing and Curate-ing (EXPUCU)     OCTOPUS

Exciting new publishing experiment by ALEXANDRA FREEMAN


“What would science look like if we started again?

The idea of Octopus is to create a single place for all scientific research to be published… freely open to all to read and language agnostic.

Instead of publishing ‘papers’, the unit of publication will be smaller: a piece in the chain from problem -> hypothesis -> method/protocol -> data -> analysis -> interpretation -> real world application. “

Contact: roger.malina@utdallas.edu if you have started publishing on Octopus , we are watching how Octopus develops to see if we could adopt some of Octopus’ good practices for our own Experimental Publi-shing and Curate-ing Projects. These include http://arteca.mit.edu,

which is publishing multi-lingually and multi-modally

learn more about our Experimental Publi-shing and Curate-ing Initiative at the ArtSciLab UTDallas https://artscilab.atec.io/about

PS. this is a recommendation to an unrelated initiative

Is Science in Trouble ?

A call to scholars of all types to help redesign science itself:

How to make the in-human sciences humanistic.

Roger Malina Aug 11 2019:

When I arrived at UT Dallas, Dennis Kratz infected me with the idea of ‘hard humanities’; how do we take all the knowledge from the arts, humanities and design, and apply this to improve our societies functioning, but also to improve science and engineering themselves.

This is a call to action to critics, and more importantly generative critiquers and noticers of all types. Hybrids and Amphibians between the disciplines welcome.

The proposition is this: Science is in trouble, we must redesign it; and Artists, Designers and Humanists must be co designers of this redesign with STEM professionals.

  1. Redesign the social embeddings of science.

The current social organization of science is an accident of WW II and the success of physicist and engineers helping win the war. We must re embed science in society through open science, networked science. As sociologist Helga Nowotny said: we need a socially robust science that prioritizes science to enable improved societies. Historian Robert Ilbert called for rehumanising the “inhuman sciences” ( in reference to the French term “sciences humaines” for the humanities.

2.) Redesign the scientific methods:  The methods have always evolved, improved, changed. In contrast to Kuhn’s concept of paradigm shifts, we call rather for transition design as advocated by Terry Irwin. Newton would not recognize what we consider scientific validation in many cases today. Computer simulations now have the status of hypotheses and are difficult to falsify, with the use of ‘consensus’ between different simulations as proof. And similarly we have very different ideas of causality today; it is not conceptually possible to write an equation of climate change; there is no A causes B, but A can cause B if C didn’t happen before and if D happens several times……Phenomena “emerge” from complexity.

  • Free ourselves from the implicit bias created by having only human “beings” create scientific theories and applications.

Astronomers now know that most of the universe does not emit light of any kind (the infamous dark energy and dark matter of unknown nature). For the first time in human history we now have other ‘messengers’ from the cosmos, such as gravitational waves from orbiting black holes. We have been studying the decoration on the universe, not its underlying structures that determine its evolution. Our science is deeply implicitly biased by the use of the human senses and brains.  Curiosity used to be a Christian sin, now it is an atheist’s virtue. AI Beings are now developing hypotheses of their own through deep learning techniques. Cognition is embodied; different beings have different embodiment. Will the science developed by AI Beings overlap with that developed by  HumansH

Please contact roger.malina@utdallas.edu if you would like to contribute to the Transition Design of Science itself.


On aug 11 we discussed some of the ideas expressed above during a dinner party at No 17 Rue Emile Dunois. Those present were Wolf Rainer, Annick Bureaud, Dorothea Marciak, Jeff Berner, Jouette Travis and in interaction by phone with Bronac Ferran and Liliane Lijn. I was made uncomfortable by their critiques which included:

1.a: the provocation expresses the implicit bias that it is the scientific method that needs improving to save our kind of life on earth. Annick pointed out that in spite of the stated reliance on combining transdisciplinary ways of knowing, somehow it was still posited that improved science was the ‘best method’. There is no logical demonstration of this point of view.

1 b. Best methods. When Mauricio Mejia and I presented a paper at ISEA in Colombia, our colleague Rejane Spitz responded vehemently that there were no such things as ‘best methods’ in transdisciplinary methods, but many good ones whose efficacy was context dependent. That the use of the term ’best methods’ reflected the scientific bias that scientific ‘truths’ we the same any where in the universe, or indeed in any location in human society. There is no such thing as French scientifique equations and Colombian scientific equations. But what if what needs improving is inter-personal relations ? yes one can be thoughtful and methodical but who has demonstrated that the scientific method is the best our only method to improve the ways we individuals interact with each other ?

  1. C The queen of the sciences. Wolf Rainer remarked that in spite of my interest in rethinking ideas of causality in complex systems, there was still an implication that what was needed was ‘better and improved mathematics’. Scientists tendency to put mathematics on the throne as the queen of the sciences, discarded other methods of modelling, in Paul Fishwick’s use of the term. Paul has advocated the need for ‘aesthetic computing’ methods that draw on the arts, design, social “sciences” and humanities to improve computer science. Maybe mathematics is not the only ‘queen’ that needs improving to enable human survival.

1.d The assertion in the provocation that we need to free science from the bias of the way that humans think, and bring in AI beings and their kind of science was contested. Or at least we need to be clear that we want humans to survive on earth, and that maybe ‘human science’ rather than “AI science’ should be favored because there is an explicit objective of ensuring human survival and not necessarily the survival of AI beings.

1.e Which immediately was attacked by Annick. This way of speaking separates ‘humans’ from the rest of the symbiotic, cybernetic system of organisms and materials ( eg Latour’s emphasis on actor network theory) to understand science making. Humans cannot exist without the microbiome etc etc. Which takes us back to Roy Ascott’s call for ‘moist’ reality. My call to make the sciences more ‘humanistic’ was a contradiction in terms and logical sense.

We welcome further critiques , and maybe suggestions on how to rethink the framework on how to enable the survival of organic life on earth ( while admitting that non organic life forms are also viable). In the mean term I will keep working on improving science itself. Send an email to rmalina@alum.mit.edu

Our First Podcast in Tamil on Creative Disturbance: Aadhavan Sibi Mathivanan with Gautam Sharma

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Aadhavan Sibi Mathivanan is proud to announce the creation of the new Creative Disturbance Channel: அ முதல் America வரை 
In this first podcast he is in dialog in Tamil with Gautam Sharma

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Aadhavan Sibi Mathivanan

அ முதல் America வரைC

Visa வில்லங்கம்

அ முதல் America வரை art

முதல் மடல்: ‘அ’ முதல் அமெரிக்காவரை. முதலாவது ‘விசா வில்லங்கம்”. எப்படியெப்படி தப்பு பண்ணலாம் ? விசா பெறுவதில் எத்தனை எத்தனை வில்லங்கம், முட்டுச் சந்து, உதவிக் கரங்கள், எளிமையான தீர்வுகள் ? உரையாடுகிறார்கள் கௌதம் ஷர்மா-ஆதவன் சிபி ! விசா வழிகாட்டும் வாட்சாப் குழுக்கள், தூதரகம் முன் நிற்கும் அனகோண்டா க்யூ வரிசை, ஒற்றை மனிதனாக கண்டம்விட்டு கண்டம் தாவி அமெரிக்கா சென்று சேரும் கொடுமையான முதல் அனுபவம் … எங்களில் எவரும் நண்பர்கள், முகம் தெரியாத முன்னாள் மாணவர்கள் துணையின்றி இந்த பதட்டக் கடலை தாண்டவில்லை. டென்ஷனாக இருக்கிறதா ? எங்களுக்கும் இருந்தது. அதை எப்படிக் கடந்தோம் என்பதுதான் இந்த முதல் காதையின் மய்யக் கரு.

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Aadhavan Sibi Mathivanan

Creative Media Designer; Graduate Student

Gautam Sharma

Gautam Sharma

Graduate Student

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1 book that made Roger happy, 1 that made him unhappy; 1 that he has yet to read, so his future state of mind is un-prestatable due to constraint closure.

A World Beyond Physics: The emergence of evolution and Life; Stuart A. Kauffman, Oxford University Press, 2019 ISBN 978-0-19-087133-8

Reviewed by Roger F. Malina, Professor of Physics and Art and Technology, UT Dallas

A book that made Roger happy.

It is not often a book just makes me happy. As I read this book on a transatlantic flight, I leafed back and forth trying to make sense of this mixture of fact and speculation and just plain lack of closure. Kauffman has been on my radar for decades, and was one of the people who alerted me to the end of physics as the queen of the sciences. Its primacy for the last 70 years was an accident of history, particularly of WWI, rather than of logic, or the methods, we call scientific at the moment.

 The sciences of complexity have been one way that sciences are being redesigned, at least in its methods , if not its social embedding. However, the Santa Fe Institute, where Kauffman worked for a while, is indeed a new kind of research institute embedded in open society that treats the arts and sciences as combined ways of knowing. New ideas about causality are emerging and being applied, he argues. In Kauffman’s phrase we must face the fact that some phenomena, including life forms, are ‘unprestatable”. One of the stimuli for his current line of thinking is the work of Mael Motevil and Matteo Mossio on “constraint closure”


Read it again so it makes sense: un pre-state-able. Not unpredictable. Unprestatable. Not the same idea.

This book is almost an exemplar of Edward Said’s ideas on the ‘late style’ of older `creatives´ (Kauffman announces he is 79). There is no closure here on the nature of life and the scientific explanations of its development on earth and elsewhere in the universe. He states, very accurately, that there are xx billion places in the universe where what we call life, or self-organizing systems, must have originated. The discovery, using astro-physics, that there are more planets than stars in the universe shifts our gaze and that the search for life, like our own, is profoundly mistaken. There are billions of life forms, but none will be like our own and of a kind we can converse with and most will not be on planets (my conclusion).

 In the closing sections, Kauffman extends the discussion to the evolution of the economy. As with life, the economy, he argues, is another example of the emergence of the ‘adjacent possibles’ enabled by the phenomenon of auto-poesis through constraint closure. He concludes: “To think that this (life or the economy) is a Newtonian-Laplacian machine, derivable in some way from set of axioms, seems deeply wrong. Life, and we among it, is so rich in its inheritance and prospects that we can. I think, be captured by no entailing laws”. In his words the future of life, and the economy, are ‘Unprestatable”. 

But read this book and you might get wise, and wisely mad , realizing that the real world isn’t satisfied by physics. Or as we are doing in the UTDallas ArtSciLab try and develop the artscience methods that successfully combine various ways of knowing needed to understand the world at different scales of time, size, and complexity. Like Kauffman I am convinced that physics works enough of the time that it is worth funding; too bad it took astronomere 100,000 years to figure out most of the universe didnt emit light of any kind. For the key problems of climate change and the redesign of our human cultures and economic methods we must go way beyond physics, and in other ways one of which Kauffman elaborates. But this is needed also to understand all three undeniable biggies that Kaufmann enumerates: the origin of the universe, of life forms and of consciousness.

A book that made Roger sad.

The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How modern math reveals nature’s deepest secrets. 

Graham Farmelo. Basic Books.Hachette. USA. ISBN 9781541673922.

By coincidence, serendipity, or some higher mathematical logic (or constraint closure ?), I started this passionate book by Graham Farmelo. He goes into the deep end of the age-old disputes on the roles and natures of mathematics in helping us understand the world around and in us. It would be great to have Farmelo and Kauffman arm-wrestle on the three undeniable biggies cited above. Why mathematics can or should inform our understanding of phenomena, simple and complex, is presumably un-prestatable in Kauffman neologism. Farmelo in exquisite detail takes us through the debates on whether mathematics is the queen of the sciences or whether one stupid fact can derail the most beautiful mathematics. The book culminates in the work of the large hadron collider, the unresolved debates about string theory. He ends on a pacifist note: “As we have seen in the relatively recent past it has become clearer than ever that physicists have not one but two ways of improving their fundamental of how nature works: by collecting data from experiments and by discovering the mathematics that best describes the underlying order of the cosmos. The Universe is whispering its secrets to us in stereo.”

This made me deeply unhappy. Here we go again with false dichotomies that the artscience researchers are struggling to dispel. First he takes sides on the age old argument on whether mathematics is a human invention or a discovery of absolute truth. I don’t think this argument has been resolved; what is clear from Sarukkai’s ethics of curiosity argument is that the way mathematics develops is totally, lets say –largely, conditioned by human curiosity. The inevitable conclusion is that mathematics in extraterrestrial species will overlap but not be identical to human invented or discovered mathematics. In addition there are other ways than mathematics and experiment that humans try to make sense of the worlds around them. Kauffman would argue that the processes of evolution result in “successful” beings that reason in certain ways and not others, and I would argue that current mathematics knowledge is an ‘accident’ of the evolutionary path that our reasoning species have taken.  Mike Punt and I argued endlessly about these issues in the special issue of Leonardo Reviews Quarterly (http://www.trans-techresearch.net/publications/lrq/ )  where     http://malina.diatrope.com/2012/05/28/is-there-role-for-the-sublime-in-artscience-today/ I argued about the un-knowables ( eg what happens inside a black hole), the un-observables, un-translateables and I would now also use Kaufman’s concept of ‘un-prestatables’) and how the way our bodies and minds are constructed, shapes, and constrains our thinking processes so fundamentally that I just don’t see how the mathematics vs experiment can be resolved through this false thinking dichotomy. We need to combine multiple ways of ‘knowing’ or ‘making sense’ of ourselves and the worlds we are part of, not just two. I have never seen a mathematical proof that there can only be two ways of knowing Mr Farmelo !

 In our ArtSciLab, https://atec.utdallas.edu/content/artscilab/?portfolioCats=125%2C126%2C127%2C128%2C129%2C130,  we are struggling with what we mean by ‘transdisciplinary’ approaches to making sense. Fundamental to our thinking is that there are multiple ways of making sense that range from the cognitive sciences reading of signals emitted by our brain structures, to the phenomenological, to the purely mathematical to the messy, contextually experimental to many others.

So I am now confronted by the ‘fact’ that I have here compared and contrasted TWO books, why “two” (and why both by men of the human species). As I have argued elsewhere false dichotomies of the kind that Farmelo farms are one unprestatable consequence of our being a species that is bilaterally symmetric (thanks Stelarc, obviously if we were three handed we would be obsessed with tri-symmetrical structures). 

As Einstein said, I paraphrase:  our ideas are as independent of the nature and shape of our bodies, as our clothes are. 

Fortunately, Helga Nowotny has laid the groundwork for complexifying these discussions with her seminal thinking on transdisciplinarity ( http://helga-nowotny.eu/ )  and more recently on the ‘cunning of uncertainty” https://www.wiley.com/en-us/The+Cunning+of+Uncertainty-p-9780745687612 ).

Yes, the sciences are in desperate need of redesigning. The scientific method is evolving, for example with the emergence of AI beings that reason, and the social embedding of science is becoming more ‘robust’ as Nowotny argues with the open science , co working and artscience movements. I forget what its called when you are both happy and unhappy at the same time, ambivalent ( why not tri-valent). But we all function on the spectrum of wisdom and madness and in between, and beyond to make sense, so we can survive due to our own  individual constraint closures.

Roger Malina

Escape from the Earth and Human Foibles


I need to give you advance warning of a book about to come out, which describes the work of my father Frank Malina and his leadership of the team that launched the first human made object to reach outer space.

Ironically his mistreatment by the US governement of the time, during the so called “Mc Carthy” period, led to his becoming a political refugee in France. He became a full time artist, funded through the start up aerospace company Aeorojet that he co-founded. He became an early pioneer of the art and technology movement that now seems like basic cultural common sense today.

He founded the Leonardo artscitech publications that have championed and documented the work of transdisciplinary misfits whose work naturally crosses the arts, sciences and emerging technologies.

Escape from Earth:
A Secret History of the Space Rocket

by Fraser MacDonald

taken from

“”The long-buried truth about the dawn of the Space Age: lies, spies, socialism, and sex magick.
Los Angeles, 1930s:
 Everyone knows that rockets are just toys, the stuff of cranks and pulp magazines. Nevertheless, an earnest engineering student named Frank Malina sets out to prove the doubters wrong. With the help of his friend Jack Parsons, a grandiose and occult-obsessed explosives enthusiast, Malina embarks on a journey that takes him from junk yards and desert lots to the heights of the military-industrial complex.

Malina designs the first American rocket to reach space and establishes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. But trouble soon finds him: the FBI suspects Malina of being a communist. And when some classified documents go missing, will his comrades prove as dependable as his engineering?
Drawing on an astonishing array of untapped sources, including FBI documents and private archives, Escape From Earth tells the inspiring true story of Malina’s achievements–and the political fear that’s kept them hidden. At its heart, this is an Icarus tale: a real life fable about the miracle of human ingenuity and the frailty of dreams. “”

Frank Malina’s best friend at the time at Caltech, was Qian Xuesen
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qian_Xuesen who was expelled against his will back to china, around the time my father became a political refugee in France. Qian Xuesen went on to found and head the Chinese Space Program.

My father’sPhd advisor was Theodore Von Karman
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_von_K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n . In a wonderful irony of history, the Chinese recently landed the first rover on the back side of the moon.

And they landed in the Von Karman crater !!! Arthur C Clarke, a good friend of Frank Malina named one of the spaceship captains in his books after Frank Malina. Truth can be stranger than fiction.

History is cruel, but perhaps this book will help develop a different narrative of the space age at a time that the leadership of space exploration is transitioning from the western powers to the eastern powers and commercial companies. Frank Malina was a co founder of UNESCO, and part of a generation that advocated that outer space should be the common heritage of human kind- an idealistic vision that our current systems seem unable to grapple with.

Leonardo for a number of years has held space and the arts workshops ,
http://olats.org/space/sasc21/2019/sasc21_2019.php in collaboration with the International Federation of Astronautics Technical Activities Committee for the Cultural Utilisation of Space.

Ironically in ealier workshops there was much discussion of the “Space Option” argued by space artist Arthur Woods,
https://www.leoalmanac.org/the-space-option-by-arthur-woods/ , arguing that human survival might require emigration from earth. With the near term crisis of climate change , within the next generation, space tourism is unlikely to be the approach needed to make space a common heritage of mankind.

Yes indeed
“At its heart, this is an Icarus tale: a real life fable about the miracle of human ingenuity and the frailty of dreams. “” but also the victory of mathematics as a tool for human survival. Von Karman is particularly known for demonstrating that mathematics could be use to understand and use turbulent and complex phenomena ;this made rocketry possible for human aims at a time when mathematics was not fully part of “STEM”. Today we debate the integration of the arts and humanities into STEM, or STEAM. Yes history is cruel, but perhaps reality is more exciting than fiction.

The multidisciplinary, and somewhat weird, team that founded a succesful aerospace start up company, led to the founding of JPL, the Leonardo artscitech movement. My father advocated ‘a high degree of tolerance for strange people’. Sometimes they are geniuses expelled from the Academy, and yes sometimes they are nut cases. Bucky Fuller was part of the Leonardo founding group, now we name molecules after a strange person !

Roger Malina

Space Artists of the Universe Meet at MIT oct 28/29 2019

colleagues in the space exploration and the arts villages- am
delighted to announce
this major conference on the arts and space explortion !
roger malina


The International Academy of Astronautics is holding the Second
Symposium on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics for
Space on October 28-29, 2019 at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
The theme is “STEAM for Space Leaders of Tomorrow.” This symposium is
organized under the auspices of the IAA Multi-commission Study Group
6.16 on “STEM/STEAM for Space Grand Challenges.” The first day will
involve presentations by experts and leaders from academia, government
and business. The next morning visits are planned to laboratories,
centers and institutes involved in space-related activities at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Participants will be free to
visit MIT faculty in the afternoon.

Possible Topics:

Programs to enhance STEAM education for space, e.g. communications,
earth observation, transportation, space physics, life sciences, space
technology, planetary science. Multi-disciplinary and
multi-institutional efforts. Contributions of national and
international space agencies and organizations. Development of
qualified scientists, engineers and leaders for future space
activities. Educational trends and expected new space fields.
Innovations in STEAM education for Space. Interactions of Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with the creative Arts.
Challenges in improving STEAM education.

Co-Chairs: Liya Regel (IAA), Wesley Harris (NAE, IAA)

IAA Study Group members: Oleg M. Alifanov, Guy Andre Boy, Guobiao Cai,
Duarte Carlos, Yulin Deng, Amalia Ercoli Finzi, Norbert Frischauf,
Alon Gany, Jordi Gutierrez, Michèle Lavagna, Qiusheng Liu, Inessa B.
Kozlovskaya, Roger F. Malina, Giovanni Maizza, Jancy C. McPhee,
Valanathan Munsami, Carol Oliver, Oleg Orlov, Amelia Ortiz-Gil,
Radhika Ramachandran, Giuseppe G. Reibaldi, Alejandro J. Roman M.,
Irina B. Vavilova, Oleg Ventskovsky, Fengyuan Zhuang

For more detailed information, please contact

the IAA Office: http://iaaweb.org/content/view/171/287/

28-29 October 2019, MIT Cambridge, USA

INVITATION:Tale of Thirty Thinking Systems: Art Science Education at US National Academy of Science


If you are attending the US National Academy of Science Convening on April 12


on the Integration of Arts, Humanities, and STEMM in Higher Education

We invite you to discuss, critique and collaborate with us on our TOTTS initiative

The initiative for teaching and learning art and science in the way that brains work

we look forward to meeting you there

details below of TOTTS


Website: https://cdash.atec.io/
ToTTS Team:

Tale of Two (or maybe Thirty ?) Thinking Systems (ToTTS):

The initiative for teaching and learning art and science in the way that brains work

Lauren Bernal, Eun Ah Lee, Kathryn Evans, Linda Anderson, Alex Topete, and Roger Malina
The University of Texas at Dallas

Our brains do not always think in a single, straightforward way. Previous studies suggest different ways of “thinking,” for example, one is fast, intuitive and implicit thinking and another is slow, reasonable and explicit thinking. Traditionally, teaching science mainly focuses on slow, reason-based, and explicit thinking, while teaching art usually encourage fast, intuitive, and implicit thinking. This traditional pedagogical approach, however, might not optimize the utility of how our brains work. Art-based teaching of science or science-based teaching of art can encourage multi-layered thinking systems by activating multi-modal sensory system, by engaging attention using novel and incongruent concepts or by
facilitating to take divergent paths of cognitive processing. This transdisciplinary teaching will bring more fruitful learning outcomes because it helps the way that our brains work. We have been developing and implementing programs, courses, and studies to pursue this transdisciplinary teaching and  initiatives to the campus and toward extended communities:
CDASH (Curriculum Development in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities), a compendium of art-science courses that allow
for the study of the international impact of art-science teaching and provide a platform for instructors of art-science curricula.
TASTA (TAlk Science Through the Arts), a STEM Education Approach based on cross-disciplinary collaboration between high school students and undergraduate mentors. Study the Students, Teach the Teachers, using arts-based workshops as intervention to enhance thinking skills in both high school and college student populations, and informing teaching practices. Teaching Creativity and Innovation Through the Arts, using arts-based learning to develop different methods to teach arts appreciation to STEM and business majors that enhance creative thinking.
HERMES (Highly Effective Research Merging Epistemic Research), researching how researchers and expert practitioners work together in inter- and trans-disciplinary contexts to tackle complex problems with creative solutions, ranging from the
environment, to new ways of learning to technology and societies.

Incentivising Transdisciplinary Individuals and Teams: Donate to the Marjorie Duckworth Fund as a nudge


Our community of practice, or networks of villages face a number of obstacles to crossing the arts, sciences and technologies. Among these are the ways that most institutions are organised around “Disciplines” or narrow “Professions”. Ranging from physics to marketing to everything in between.

I hate to tell you but the earth’s ecology does not care what discipline you are from, or who funded you, as we all work to address climate change and the unsustaibable societies we have all built together.

Last year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Leonardo networks of villages ( www.leonardo.info ). One of the realisations that hit home was how many members of these villages are risk takers bridging disciplines, and how their institutions do everything they can to discourage them. Yes we need disciplinary experts, amazing physicist and marketing specialists. But for many of the problems we work on we need mechanisms to bridge them. We need hybrid individuals team, all the way from amphibians, to axelotls.

We are beginning a new series of crowdfunding campaigns to raise some mulla to help provide incentives to change the way our institutions think. Mulla can be either in kind, ideas and work, or cash mulla.

Four years ago we did a kickstarter campaign and raised mulla to help transdisciplinary individuals make their work visible. We did this through the Creative Disturbance ‘intellectual dating’ service, or podcast platform. We have now awarded numerous small scholarships to students across the planet who have now published their work on https://creativedisturbance.org/ . As part of this Dr Yvan Tina relaunched the Leonardo Virtual Africa Project: https://creativedisturbance.org/channel/virtual-africa/ . 

Yes the problem is not only institutional but deeply cultural. Our ecology doesnt care if you are from Angola or Brazil or India when the rain forests are decimated. We need to work cross culturally.

As a first step in trying to design a transition in our Leonardo work ( using Terry Irwin’s Transition Design methods), we are starting small a call for donations to the new Marjorie Duckworth Fund at the University of Texas at Dallas: .

This runs today April 2 and we hope you will make a symbolic donation as the donations will be matched.


Make the donation to the Marjorie Duckworth fund. Marjorie Malina nee Duckworth among other things married Frank Malina: https: //www.leonardo.info/about-marjorie-malina .  

She was a university graduate in London in the 30s economics, served in the British Army, was part of the founding team of UNESCO and throughout her life contributed to finding ways of preventing WWIII.

The fund initially will be used to reward students who insist on carrying out work that crosses departmental silos ( cognitive science to art to marketing ? yes opera singers can contribute to solving problems as well as nurses).

But also our systems emphasise the recognition of individuals when most transdisciplinary problems require teams. Awards will go to teams of students who work on a common problem crossing disciplines, which often encounters hostility from university departments.

Alex Topete runs the UTD ARTSCILAB Hermes Project ( http://malina.diatrope.com/2019/02/09/are-barabasis-lawsformulas-for-success-applicable-to-transdisciplinary-artscience-practice/ ) and he will be overseeing the use of the funds.

One of Marjorie Duckworth’s grand-daughters, Giselle Malina is leading the coordination of the crowdfunding: http://cultureofempathy.com/References/Experts/Giselle-Malina.htm

Alex Topete in the ArtSciLab is now leading our HERMES project to collect data on the structures and methods of inter and transdisciplinary research labs, and translate this into ‘apprenticeship’ training on EdX -watch this space. We hope the HERMES approach will help us develop similar ‘common sense’ on how to help our colleagues both perform well and also succeed in their chosen hybrid professions that are often excluded from the silo structures of our institutions.

Beyond this first step we will create funds for students across institutional boundaries ( eg universities in the same city) and also for students across the planet using the Creative Disturbance and Virtual Africa methodology: https://creativedisturbance.org/channel/virtual-africa/

We will provide more details over the coming weeks and years, but more importantly we would like to connect with related initiatives and ideas that you may be leading. If you want to go  quickly alone, if you want to go far go together, as they say in Africa, to cross the sahara desert that the earth is becoming as global warming surges.

Please make a contribution  April 2 to:




About Marjorie Malina

Marjorie Duckworth Malina was born 28 April 1918 in Elslack, Yorkshire, England. The daughter of John James Duckworth and Mary Anne Bolton, she was the youngest of four; her sisters were Thyra, Annie and Mary Duckworth. She attended the University of London, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1939. She trained in accountancy while working in her father’s textile company, JJ Duckworth Ltd. During World War II she served in the Women’s Auxiliary Corps, reaching the rank of captain, and with the antiaircraft batteries operated by women that helped defend Britain during the war.

Shortly after the war she applied to work at UNESCO, a newly founded organization, after hearing a radio broadcast by Julian Huxley, and was hired in the personnel department in 1947. There she me Frank Malina, then Deputy Director for Science of UNESCO, and they married in 1949. Frank and Marjorie bought a house in Boulogne Billancourt, and raised two sons, Roger and Alan. The Malina home was the birthplace of the journal Leonardo and the Leonardo Network and a center of art-science debate in Paris in the 1950s and 1960s. It was also the studio where Frank Malina worked as a pioneer in the kinetic art movement. The steady flow of guests and visitors included astronautical pioneers, artists and scholars including Jacob Bronowski, Frank Popper, Academician Sedov, Roy Ascott and Leonardo editorial board members. Numerous friends and colleagues enjoyed the hospitality of Marjorie Duckworth Malina. She worked tirelessly for the success of the Leonardo project and was an ardent defender of the ideals of international collaboration. Marjorie passed away in March 2006.

In honor of Marjorie Duckworth Malina, Leonardo has begun the Marjorie Duckworth Malina Fund in support of the Leonardo special project on Smart Textiles and New Textiles Technology.

Publish-ing when the intended audience are artificial beings such as primitive A.I. life forms


The recent months ave been hectic and productive in our UTD ArtSciLab ( https://artscilab.atec.io/  ) . This semester our seminar is around the topic of expertimental publishing and experimental curating (EXPUCU in our local artscilab dialect).

This is a continuation of the Leonardo experimental publishing initiatives over the last 50 years; we have been seeking to document the work of the art/sci/tech networks of villages so that the work can be shared by others. This is our working definition of publishing: documenting your work and sharing it with others.

Our largest recent projects are the ARTECA.MIT.EDU art/sci/tech aggregator with the CreativeDisturbance podcast platform. We are trying to figure out how to document work in our community using multimodal ( various media, but also rhetorical and performative modes), and multiligually. We now have started pulishing via ARTECA in 12 languages, and soon in a number of indigenous languages. One of the premises is that you should be able to document your work in the languages you ‘think with’ , based on recent cognitive science. This can be your ‘mother tongues” ( learned while your brain was still forming its internal language network tools) to your performative languages ( singing opera, writing academic articles). 100 years from now we will all publish in our mother tongues ( from emoji to arabic to spanish to ?) and translation engines will translate- human translates will provide the metaphorical pattern recognition.

And a key new audience that is emerging for publishing is artificial beings. Dr Yvan Tina in the artscilab has been documenting ( see https://artscilab.atec.io/projects/meta-life ) how artists are now working with artificial life forms ( from AI to CRISPR creations). More recently Thouseef Syed has birthed our first artscilab ‘virtual assistant” whose name is Besso. We are now trying to publish in ways that the intended audience is the AI software being inside Besso, so that we can share our knowledge using publishing forms that Besso can understand.

This monday evening Ahmer, Syed Adnan in the lab led a discussion on how to publish when the intended audience are AI beings, primitive live forms not unlike our own several million years ago. We coined the term: Public-A.I.tion for this form of experimental publishing. Some of us who are concerned about the unpremeditated explosion of these new primitive AI based life forms joked maybe that Public-Machination was a better term ! A yes survival of the fittest- a Artificial Life is now mutating faster than organic life forms.

So this week our local artscilab dialect includes:

Public-Ation: the task of documenting ones work and sharing it with others in a fixed form (eg an academic journal or a blog post like this one)

Public-Action: A public intervention to share ones work ( a public lecture..)

Public-Interaction: A public activity where both implicit and explicit knowledge can be shared ( eg a workshop, but also interactive digital screens as in done in the PIRL Lab in ATEC at UT Dallas under Anne Balsamo and Dale McDonald). Living ebooks can be a form of evolving Public-Interaction, or the evolving annotated public-ations being pioneered through PubPub ( https://www.pubpub.org/)

Public-A.I.tion: Documenting ones work for artificial life forms (AI, CRISPR creatures)

We look forward to our networks of villages translating some of these ideas into their own metaphors and terminologies. I wonder to express these ideas in emoji ?

The work here is very much transdisciplinary ( yes narrow disciplines like astronomy are do much easier to carry out research in- which explains why universities are so often discipinarily myopic).If transdisciplinary research was easy universities would already be doing it.

And collaborative by nature, using current transition co-design methologies. Our transition design approach is led by Prof Cassini Nazir who leads the UTD ATEC Usability research lab. We can list all the 40 or so collaborators involved but they include in addition to the people named above, Scot Gresham Lancaster, Eun-Ah Lee, Kathryn Evans,Linda Anderson, Chandra Ram, Emma Newkirk, Kathrin Ploehn, Aaron Tate, Lauren LaRocca, Shahbazi, Kourosh, …. (this is a ‘3-living’ proto AI publication, and will be updated over the coming years. If your name isnt mentioned yet and you contributed to these ideas, e-yell- this is a Public-Interaction Public-Ation !

Roger Malina





After the Internet : Leonardo call for ideas on what will replace the internet

Leonardo Colleagues

OK how can Leonardo launch a publication for space tourists ? check out


As you will remember Leonardo was an early adopter of on-line publishing, Our fineart forum started in 1988 with ray lauzana’s brilliant initiative and the Leonardo web site was one of the first 400 web sites on the web in 1994.

Here follows , below, a brief history of some of Leonardo’s initiatives in digital culture enabled by the internet and pre internet thanks to a number of adventurous pioneers including Ray Lauzzana, Craig Harris, Judy Malloy, Paul Brown and Nisar Keshvani , the late Carl Loeffler and Roy Ascott ( if i forgot someone -eyell !) (history is cruel)

But what comes next in 50 years the internet will no longer exist what comes next ? we welcome ideas for how Leonardo could be an early adopter in the systems that will replace the internet

Joe Davis is working on art archiving using CRISPR technologies with George Church at Harvard….???? Should Leonardo start CRISPR publishing ?

The late Jean Marc Philippe unfortunately never got to launch KEO, a publishing project intended to return to earth in 50.000 years- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KEO– otherwise we would have the first Leonardo publication in geostationary orbit !

Vint Cerf in the 1990s with JPL tried to set up an interplanetary internet as he discussed at the Leonardo Space Arts Workshops in Paris in 1999- http://www.olats.org/spaceavantRefonte/13avril-III/programme_participants-old.shtml  

Sorry  Vint it never happened 20 years later – you are indeed a visionary

So what new initiatives should Leonardo start to pioneer in the post-internet era ? Leonardo started on-line publishing in 1988- almost 30 years ago-now is the time to pioneer again


Leonardo/OLATS is relaunching its space arts workshops 

http://www.olats.org/space/sasc21/2019/sasc21_2019.php http://www.olats.org/space/sasc21/2019/sasc21_2019.php under the leadership of Annick Bureaud, Jean Luc Soret and Ewen Chardronnet- what will space tourists read ? Leonardo get ready !! We welcome proposals for the first publications for space tourists. Ellon Musk will finance ?

Roger Malina


When Were We First on the World Wide Web?

By Danielle Siembieda

Today (12 March 2019) celebrates the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Needless to say to say this historical moment was critical for Computer Art as it opened the door to a whole new movement of Net Art. Leonardo reserve a few bragging rights for being one of the first websites online. But the mystery of exactly when we launched on the internet, and what the first URL was, is still open for debate.

First, let us give our thanks to Craig Harris, Judy Malloy, Paul Brown and Nisar Keshvani for their pioneering work getting Leo online! Here is a break down of our digital timeline.


Leonardo’s first forays into digital publishing were two bulletin boards: FineArt Forum and F.A.S.T. These bulletin boards predate internet browsers and were accessed over various networks such as the Well, Compuserve and MCI. FineArt Forum, founded by Ray Lauzzana, had been distributed over academic networks since May 1987 through Bitnet, CSNET, ARPA, Internet and Janet, but was supported by Leonardo/ISAST beginning in 1998, when it was added to the WELL system under the Art Com Electronic Network (ACEN), operated by Carl Loeffler. At this time, ISAST begin publishing the subscription publication F.A.S.T, the Fine Art, Science and Technology Bulletin Board, also through the Well and MCI networks under ACEN, and was also available as a diskette!

The announcement below appears in the first issue of Leonardo in 1989 (Volume 22).

Leonardo on the Web 1989


In 1991 Leonardo published a special Art and Interactive Telecommunications issue with guest editors Roy Ascott and Carl Loeffler. An article by Leonardo Executive Editor Roger Malina, “Fineart Forum and F.A.S.T.: Experiments in Electronic Publishing in the Arts,” presents an account of Leonardo/ISAST’s early digital presence.


Leonardo Electronic Almanac issue 1

1993 launched the Leonardo Electronic Almanac under founder and editor-in-chief Craig Harris. Early LEA was distributed by electronic mail. An essay by Craig Harris, “Historical Perspective: Leonardo Electronic Almanac,” that recounts the beginnings of LEA was published in LEA in 2010.


The Leonardo On-Line website was founded in 1994 and was, according to ISAST lore, one of the first 400 websites on the internet! The URL first appeared in Leonardo journal issue 1 of 1995: http:/www-mitpress.mit.edu/Leonardo/home.html [we think the missing slash is sic but the dash is correct]. Was this the first URL? What did the site look like? The ISAST office doesn’t have records!

1994 also brought the first hyperlinked issue of FineArt Forum. You can read an archived version of that issue HERE. In the editorial, fAf editor Paul Brown wrote: “This issue will be the first to appear with full hyperlinking…. Who needs to read when you can point and click?”


Leonardo in the McKinley Yellow Pages 1995
McKinley Group Internet Yellow Pages 1995

Leonardo On-Line and the Leonardo Electronic Almanac were listed in this 1995 version of the McKinley Internet Yellow Pages paper directory. This was before Google Search! This listing also notes that LEA had moved to the World Wide Web at http://www-mitpress.mit.edu/LEA/home.html.


The first screenshot we could find of the actual Leonardo On-Line landing page was in 1999, also hosted on MIT Press website.

Leonardo On-Line MIT Press 1999


At the beginning of the 21st century, we moved our URL to ram.leonardo.org.