The 2005 Leonardo Global Crossings Award
Now here is a refreshing initiative from LEONARDO, the old-time tech/sci-fi/computer art society. Leonardo was founded in the 60’s by former rocket scientist turned tech artist, Frank Malina as an academic, i.e. peer-reviewed journal for art and technology. After Frank Malina died editorial control of the journal was taken over by his son, Roger Malina, himself a scientist in Astronomy with special interests in Space Art.
The 2005 Global Crossings Award winners, the brother-sister team of Abdel Ghany Kenawy and Amal Kenawy, of Cairo, have been collaborating on large-scale installations since 1997. These works, whether tower-like structures containing glass balls rising up towards the ceiling or tunnels leading to a block of frozen ice in a room surrounded by chiffon, demonstrate that there is no “natural” barrier between the worlds of art and science.The Kewanys’ unique collaboration is built partially upon Abdel Ghany’s background in the physical sciences and Amal’s background in filmmaking, yet their individual efforts cannot be so neatly defined as singularly “scientific” or “artistic.” Committed to their creative processes, they work very closely together on every aspect of their projects from conceptualization and structural design to production and execution in their workshop. Characteristic of all their projects is the power of texture and image, and sensorial play with surfaces between spaces (loosening up the inside/outside polarity)–whether it is a “textured” video, the texture of light projected on a triple screen of chiffon, the texture of human hair bows on a pair of wax legs in a display case, or the textures (acoustic and visual) of a beating heart on which a pair of lace gloved hands is sewing a white rose appliqué. ”