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november 20, 2000 |
|lawsuit against "leonardo"|
where art, science and technology converge
The journal Leonardo was founded in 1968 in Paris by kinetic artist and astronautical pioneer *Frank Malina*. Malina saw the need for a journal that would serve as an international channel of communication between artists, with emphasis on the writings of artists who use science and developing technologies in their work. *The Leonardo paradigm is founded on a mutually beneficial intersection among the art, science and technology communities.*
Frank Malina, founder of Leonardo, was an scientist and artist. Invited to join UNESCO in 1947 by Julian Huxley, Malina moved to Paris as the director of the organization's science programs. *The separation between science and the humanities was the subject of intense debate during the post-war period*, particularly after the publication of C.P. Snow's Two Cultures in 1959. The concept that there was and should be a natural relationship between science and art fascinated Malina, eventually influencing him to synthesize his scientific experience with his long-standing artistic sensibilities.
In his work as a scientist and engineer, Malina had access to an abundance of scholarly periodicals that enabled peers in any given field to stay abreast of each other's work and to monitor important news developments. There was no equivalent publication for artists, so he decided to start one. The concept was simple, *a publication by serious artists with subject integrity secured by the same kind of peer review of articles that is common in scientific journals*.
*Leonardo* is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal that seeks to document the work of artists involved with the sciences and technology, and of scientists and scholars interested in the implications of techno-science on he arts and culture. It now appears 6 times a year.
the legacy: leonardo/isast
Following Frank Malina's death in 1981, Leonardo was moved to California by his son Roger F. Malina, an astronomer at the University of California at Berkeley. With the support of founding board members Frank Oppenheimer and Robert Maxwell, *the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (*Leonardo/ISAST*) was formed in 1982*.
*Association Leonardo* is a non-profit arts organization (loi 1901) based in France. Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in San Francisco. These two collaborating organizations represent the Leonardo network of some 2,000 artists, scientists, engineers and scholars.
Leonardo is one of the most important --if not the most important-- reference resources in the field of technological art, with a network of web sites and a set of printed scientific journals such as the Leonardo Journal, the Leonardo Electronic Almanac, and the Leonardo Music Journal. It has also published the Leonardo Book Series. These books and journals are published by MIT Press.
the legal attack
Malina received a letter from Transasia Corporation, a Paris-based company, claiming rights to the name Leonardo. Transasia claims to have recently trademarked in France the names Leonardo, Leonardo Finance, Leonardo Partners, Leonardo Invest and Leonardo Experts. "We wrote back documenting our use of the name for over 30 years with the journals. We never trademarked the word Leonardo. There are so many uses of the word Leonardo across the planet that it would be impossible to get worldwide rights to that name."
On the 18th of November 1999, Transasia, filed *the lawsuit against Leonardo Association* . In filing this suit, Transasia asked and obtained a search warrant for the house of the Leonardo Association's founder, Frank Malina, where his 80-year-old widow lives. The search warrant was served with no prior warning by a squad of eight policemen accompanied by a locksmith. The police seized some documents and tried to gain access to the Leonardo web pages via the computer they found in the house. "This raid by the French police, with no warning, was very, very frightening for our family, including my 8-year-old son, who was present at the time of the raid," said Roger Malina.
Leonardo Lawsuit Update
Leonardo journal, current issue
Association Leonardo/OLATS (Observatoire Leonardo des Arts et des TechnoSciences)
(Observatoire Leonardo des Arts et des TechnoSciences)
On the lawsuit against the Leonardo art network, 20 December 1999
Artwork by Miklos LeGrady
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