Topic Review
AI Art
Artists have been working with artificial intelligence (AI) since the 1970s. They comprised a minuscule enclave within the early computer art community throughout the 1970s and 1980s and were largely unnoticed by the mainstream artworld and broader public. In the 1990s and 2000s, more artists got involved with AI and produced installations that question the meaning of agency, creativity, and expression. Since the 2000s, AI art diversified into generative and interactive approaches that involved statistical methods, natural language processing, pattern recognition, and computer vision algorithms. The increasing affordance of multilayered machine learning architectures, as well as the raising socio-political impact of AI, have facilitated the further expansion of AI art in the second half of the 2010s. The topics, methodologies, presentational formats, and implications of contemporary AI art are closely related to, and affected by, AI science research, development, and commercial application. The poetic scope of AI art is primarily informed by the various phenomenological aspects of sub-symbolic machine learning. It comprises creative strategies that explore the epistemological boundaries and artifacts of AI architectures; sample the latent space of neural networks; aestheticize the AI data renderings; and critique the conceptual, existential, or socio-political consequences of corporate AI; a few works criticize AI art itself. These strategies unfold in disparate practices ranging from popular and spectacular to tactical and experimental. The existing taxonomies or categorizations of AI art should be considered as provisory because of the creative dynamics and transdisciplinary character of the field. Similar to other computational art disciplines, AI art has had an ambivalent relationship with the mainstream artworld, marked by selective marginalization and occasional exploitation.
  • 271
  • 27 Jan 2022
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Alphonse II of Aragon (1164–1196)
Alphonse II King of Aragon (1164–1196). He was the first king of the Crown of Aragon and son of the Queen Petronila of Aragon (1157–1164) and the count of Barcelona, Ramon Berenguer IV (1137–1162). Aware of the new political reality that he embodied as King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona, Alphonse II made significant changes to his iconography. Among the most important of these is the binomial that he incorporated to his pendent seals; that is, a portrayal of Alphonse enthroned as king on the obverse and Alphonse as count and mounted on a horse on the reverse. As a known bibliophile and as a result of his desire to reorganise his chancellery following the union of various political entities, he ordered the compilation of the Liber Feudorum Maior, the folios of which demonstrate his potestas regia through their lavish iconography. He was no less innovative in his coinage, on which he included, for the first time, the image of his head wearing the crown.
  • 354
  • 13 Apr 2022
Topic Review
Aragonite and Unusual Pigments Identification
Aragonite is a mineralogical form of calcium carbonate, mainly of biogenic origin. Historical sources report its use in Roman times as an aggregate in mortars, and in the literature it has only been shown in Roman wall paintings. Thus, its use in 16thcentury wall paintings of the church of Santo Stefano in Selva (Cerignale, Apennines of central Italy) is surprising.
  • 223
  • 01 Nov 2021
Topic Review
Australian Modernism
Australian Modernism, similar to European and American Modernism was a social, political and cultural movement that was a reaction to rampant Industrialisation, associated moral panic of modernity and the death and trauma of the World Wars. This movement was predominately a reaction of female artists towards the male dominated art style of naturalism. It is also important to note the presence of Indigenous Art during this time of modernity. Indigenous Modernism refers to the unique experience of modernity of Aboriginal people that is vastly different to the White Australians experience of Modernity. The mainstream movement began in Australia approximately in 1914 and continued until 1948. Throughout these years tensions continued between the conservative and the Avant-garde schools of thought. The years following the Second World War is when Australian Modernism gained notability in the art world of Australia. Nationalistic pastoral painting of the Australian landscape were superseded by abstracted, colourful distorted images of Modernist works. After the World Wars the dynamics of society in Australia and overseas changed dramatically causing increased acceptance and attraction towards Modernism. Social and political unrest continued due to the devastation of war and increased immigration occurred. This caused a subsequent amount of European artists to travel to Australia to live. This contributed to the introduction of further art styles to Australia such as Surrealism, social realism and expressionism. Additionally, continued technological progress in the later 20th century contributed to an increase in cubism and print making. The first Indigenous Modernist or Modern Artist is said to be the Artists Albert Namatjira. He created art that aligned with the styles and techniques of western Modernism in Australia and Europe. It was not until the 1960s and 1970s that scholars began to call Indigenous Art Modern as there was a distinction made between Modern and Contemporary art to traditional Indigenous art. However, it is argued that all types of Indigenous Art is Modernist as it is all an aesthetic expression of Indigenous experiences of modernity.
  • 12
  • 28 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Camille Bryen Avant-Gardist/Abhumanist
French artist and poet Camille Bryen (1907–1977) is usually, and always very briefly, cited as a member of the post-Second World War (1939–1945) lyrical abstraction trend in Paris, often designated as Ecole de Paris or Nouvelle Ecole de Paris, Tachisme, or Informel. Bryen painted hybrids of plants, animals, rocks, and humans, mixing the organic with the inorganic, evoking cellular agglomerations, geological structures, or prehistorical drawings. He emphasized the materiality and the process through thick impasto, visible brushstrokes, and automatic drawing. Along with other abstract painters in post-war Paris, Bryen’s work is usually associated with vague humanist interpretations and oversimplified existentialism.
  • 99
  • 11 Apr 2022
Topic Review
Crossing Borders in the Work of Perejaume
The Catalan artist Perejaume (b. 1957) visualizes the migration of art movements across geographical and political borders. In doing so, the artist offers visual forms for intangible journeys through time and space. In sharp contrast to earlier concepts of the development of art, from Vasari’s cyclical model of rise and fall to Alfred H. Barr’s linear ‘Development of Cubism and Abstract Art’, Perejaume’s drawings offer a less definitive, more suggestive, visualization of the migration of art movements. 
  • 153
  • 17 Mar 2022
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Ferdinand II of Aragon (1479–1516)
Ferdinand II king of Aragon (1479–1516). He was the fourth king of the Trastámara dynasty, which had first come to power after the Compromise of Caspe, reached after Martin I died with no living descendants in 1410. Although in terms of artistic patronage Ferdinand II was not as active as his wife Elisabeth I, he was still aware that the wise use of artistic commissions in reinforcing ideas and concepts favourable to the institution of the monarchy. He is a highly important figure in the history of Spain because, along with Elisabeth, he was one of the Catholic Monarchs and thus represents a new conception of power based on their joint governance, a fact that is reflected in the iconography found in his artistic commissions across all genres. All of the images are evidence of how King Ferdinand, at the end of the Middle Ages, wanted to be recognised by his subjects, who also used his image for legitimising and propagandistic purposes. Nobody else in the history of the Hispanic kingdoms had their image represented so many times and on such diverse occasions as did the Catholic Monarchs.
  • 354
  • 13 Apr 2022
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (1208–1250)
Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, King of Sicily (1208–1250). Frederick II of Hohenstaufen was the second king of the Swabian dynasty to sit on the throne of Sicily. He was crowned in 1198, but, in consideration of his young age, he only ruled independently from 1208 to 1250 (the year of his death). He not only held the title of King of Sicily but also was the King of Germany (or of the Romans), the King of Jerusalem, and, above all, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. His most relevant and innovative iconographic representations were in Southern Italy. For this reason, we focus on the images in this geographical context. In particular, we have nine official (that is, those commissioned directly by him or his entourage) representations of him: the bull (in three main versions), the seal (in three main versions), five coins (four denari and one augustale), the statue of the Capua Gate, and the lost image of the imperial palace in Naples.
  • 569
  • 13 Apr 2022
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Frederick III of Aragon (1296–1337)
Frederick III of Aragon, King of Sicily (1296–1337). Frederick III of Aragon was the third king of the Aragonese dynasty on the throne of Sicily. He ruled from 1296 to 1337 and he was the only Aragonese king of Sicily who made a significant use of his image. In particular, we have four official (namely, commissioned directly by him or his entourage) representations of him: the royal seal, the billon silver denaro coin, the lost mosaic from the Church of Santa Maria della Valle (known as Badiazza) near Messina, and the mosaic in the Cathedral of Messina.
  • 410
  • 13 Apr 2022
Topic Review
Gap-Fillers for Outdoor Wooden Artefacts
Conservation of wooden artefacts that are exposed outdoors, mainly in open-air museums, is a very complex and difficult issue that aims to preserve both the integrity and aesthetics of valuable objects. Unceasingly subjected to several factors, such as alternating weather conditions and the activities of microorganisms, algae, and insects, they undergo continuous changes and inevitable deterioration. Their biological and physical degradation often results in the formation of gaps and cracks in the wooden tissue, which creates a need not only for wood consolidation, but also for using specialist materials to fill the holes and prevent further degradation of an object. A variety of substances, both organic and inorganic, have been used for conservation and gap filling in historic wooden objects. The filling compounds typically consist of two components, of which one is a filler, and the second a binder.
  • 279
  • 25 May 2021
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