Wednesday, March 25, 2009

[Yasmin_discussions] ARTISTS AS INVENTORS, art as invention

Dear Bronac, Robert and All,

Yes, at different times, artists need different strategies and
options, I think also. What is important is where is the goal,
business or fine art, or both. There is a case that the goal
is fine art while the way is patenting.

To establish the schema in three-dimensional arts, "modeling
vs carving" in not only analogue but also digital world is my
goal through inventing 3D bitmap software and printers as the
tools for digital modelings, while all the existing digital
so-called 3D tools (before my invention) had been vector tools
for digital carvings. Furthermore, to connect this schema,
"modeling vs carving" in three-dimensional arts with the other
schema, "painting vs drawing" in two-dimensional arts both in
analogue and digital world is also my goal.

I am giving a table as follows:

(2D) | 2D bitmap|2D vector|
(2D) | painting | drawing |
(3D) | 3D bitmap|3D vector|
(3D) | modeling | carving |

One hint is that 2D bitmap is gathering pixels and 3D bitmap
is piling up voxels in like Demokritos' atomistic way, while
painting ie pointillism is gathering color dots and modeling
ie Rodin's is piling up materials also in atomistic way. Or,
that 2D vector is setting up equations for boundary lines
and 3D vector is setting up equations for surfaces in like
Plato's idea-theoristic way, while drawing ie Florentine
school is setting lines as forms and carving ie Michelangelo's
is setting surfaces as topologies also in idea-theoristic way.

Before the age of computers, no one considered painting being
close to modeling and drawing being close to carving, ie
Greenburg, who identified painting as 2D while claiming
drawing to be close to 3D from a formalistic point of view.
If the above table of mine has been accepted, we can easily
point out Greenburg's mistake: "painting vs drawing" and
"modeling vs carving" are more essential in fine art than
"2D vs 3D." I consider digital technologies clarifies past
art history. I consider we can talk past art history through
today's digital graphic tools. My book "The Lives of the
Western Painters" (in Japanese, 2001) is a trial written from
this point of view.


Hideki Nakazawa

> Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 09:51:37 +0000
> From: Bronac Ferran <>
> Subject: Re: [Yasmin_discussions] ARTISTS AS INVENTORS, art as
> invention
> Message-ID:
> <>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> How fascinating to read some more of these postings. It has been an
> amazing
> month of contributions (I think).
> Perhaps there should be a regular list for this kind of discussion.
> Reading
> Hideiki's post earlier I really feel that this should not be a
> black and
> white situation one way is good, one way is bad - but rather
> it would
> seem that at different times, artists and designer need different
> strategies
> and options and what appears to be missing, often is enough
> knowledge and
> experience to know what might be the best step to take (in terms of
> legal
> options, closed or open) and how best to negotiate.
> I don't know if this is a candidate for some kind of online support
> network.
> The challenge of course may be the need for privacy when one is
> starting off
> with something which one wants to take to market. But there is so
> much stuff
> out there in terms of real life experience and practice and this
> Yasmin
> discussion has provided a much needed valve for this expression and
> place
> for this to rest.
> all best
> Bronac
> .
> 2009/3/22 <>
>> Dear Hideki,
>> While it might be self-evident to most, would you be kind enough to
>> elaborate on your statement: "modeling vs carving"?
>> Many thanks.
>> Best,
>> Robert Thill
>> On 3/20/09, Nakazawa Hideki <> wrote:
>>> Dear Alejandro and All,
>>> Thank you for your understanding on my patenting to serve as a way
>>> for disseminating my ideas in a clear way.
>>> I also understand your saying that the creative technological
>>> outcome can provide so many cultural benefits if left open.
>>> I think this your idea is close (or the same) to the so-called
>>> open source/copyleft/creative commons. I suppose you might also
>>> have considered so.
>>> However, I do not always agree to the idea like open source/
>>> copyleft/creative commons.
>>> First, I think there are two types of invention.
>>> One is improving invention whose value can be understood as to be
>>> needed from the first at least by those who concerned the matter,
>>> because the field has been already existing and is considered
>>> meaningful. Almost all inventions, like blue diode, are of this
>>> type, and I think this type matches well with the idea like
>>> open source/copyleft/creative commons. The talk on open source/
>>> copyleft/creative commons is effective only after the consent
>>> (often being tacit) having been made that the inventions are the
>>> inventions to be valuable self-evidently from the first.
>>> The other type is basic invention whose value is hard to be
>>> understood as to be needed at the first, because nobody is aware
>>> of the existence of the field, or nobody is aware of the field to
>>> be meaningful. Basic (or principled or fundamental) invention is
>>> an action to establish meanings or values on a field where nobody
>>> recognizes being meaningful nor valuable. Only few inventions
>>> are of this type, I consider including mine. What is necessary
>>> primarily on this type is to be consented as a matter being
>>> meaningful and valuable. The idea like open source/copyleft/
>>> creative commons is necessary mere secondarily, and I think
>>> it is even harmful before the consent having been made, because
>>> the idea like open source/copyleft/creative commons will sometimes
>>> work to block establishing the value of the invention, likely to
>>> be said, "Your new idea is interesting, although being not valuable.
>>> Being suitable for toys for kids." As for this latter type, the
>>> process of invention is not the response of a recognition of a need.
>>> Secondly, I am not sure that the idea like open source/copyleft/
>>> creative commons always work good for providing cultural benefits.
>>> On the contrary, I experienced several cases that other persons or
>>> other companies have recieved benefits or honor for originalities or
>>> inventions in spite of that I was the originator or the inventor.
>>> I do not deny the idealistic thinking that the open idea can provide
>>> cultural benefits like essential communists' world, but I see the
>>> actual outcomes were far from being idealistic or communistic.
>>> I think the new idea as knowledge is good to be opened always,
>>> while the new idea as rights is good to be paid sometimes. I think
>>> patenting is a scheme to let the new idea being opened always as
>>> knowledge, while being paid sometimes (not always) as rights.
>>> Formerly, in 1980s and in early 1990s, I used to be an advocator who
>>> claimed anti-copyright and anti-patent as a post-modernist from a
>>> communistic or anarchistic point of view. I also denied being a
>>> fine art artist at that time and styled myself an illustrator,
>>> because a fine art artist is a modernist who has to claim
>>> originality
>>> and has to establish values of his/her own works separating from
>>> many
>>> things being not so valuable. However, after I believed that my
>>> inventions to be nothing other than fine art, I reformed character
>>> to claim copyright and patent sometimes (not always) as a modernist
>>> and turned to be a fine art artist with totally changing my style.
>>> Besides, my project "Art Patents" is not business. It is a failure
>>> if it were business because applying and maintining patents costed
>>> great expense, because there was a risk not to be patented even
>>> though I applied them, because there was a risk not to be used by
>>> anyone even after they were patented, and because there was a high
>>> risk to be regarded as an enemy by big companies after my invention
>>> having been recognized valuable. My project "Art Patents" has been
>>> only an artistic matter derived from my righteous indignation toward
>>> the truth in the world of the fine art, modeling vs carving.
>>> Best,
>>> Hideki Nakazawa
>>>> Date: Sat, 14 Mar 2009 14:08:18 -0700 (PDT)
>>>> From: alejandro tamayo <>
>>>> Subject: Re: [Yasmin_discussions] ARTISTS AS INVENTORS, art as
>>>> invention
>>>> Message-ID: <>
>>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>>>> Dear Hideki and All,
>>>> I've been following this discussion from afar and some times I have
>>>> skipped some emails, so my apologies if some of these ideas have
>>>> already been covered.
>>>> I quiet understand your feelings about being considered mad for
>>>> your
>>>> 3d printing proposal back in 1996.
>>>> However, I think that there is a fine line between madness and
>>>> genius
>>>> and, for good or for bad, they are not mutually exclusive, they can
>>>> coexist, and art sometimes happens to be precisely in that
>>>> borderline.
>>>> It is up to the understanding of others which classification to put
>>>> on you or on your work.
>>>> As for the patenting issue, I personally don't have any, although I
>>>> have been tempted to apply for more than one. But I have never
>>>> ended
>>>> up filling out any application, specially after considering that
>>>> the
>>>> creative technological outcome can provide so many cultural
>>>> benefits
>>>> if left open. Although I agree that patenting (as well as writing
>>>> books) could serve as a way for disseminating your ideas in a clear
>>>> way.
>>>> I just feel that today we are more and more understanding the
>>>> importance of open and free processes and the benefit we all
>>>> gain in
>>>> supporting a collaborative, unrestricted, construction of human
>>>> knowledge, and technology in particular. Perhaps what we need is to
>>>> find new strategies for disseminating *clearly*, and *openly*
>>>> our new
>>>> ideas.
>>>> best,
>>>> alejandro
>>>> --- On Sat, 3/14/09, Nakazawa Hideki <> wrote:
>>>> From: Nakazawa Hideki <>
>>>> Subject: [Yasmin_discussions] ARTISTS AS INVENTORS, art as
>>>> invention
>>>> To:
>>>> Received: Saturday, March 14, 2009, 2:08 PM
>>>> Dear Robert,
>>>> Because patenting was the closest way to describe fully my original
>>> idea
>>>> of my invention.
>>>> The actual product software "Digital Clay," which I persuaded Ask
>>> Company
>>>> to produce, had very limited functions (i.e. only 32x32x32 voxels)
>>>> because of the then machine specs in 1996 and to save on expenses
>>> as well.
>>>> However, I could describe ideal 3D bitmap software with full
>>> functions in
>>>> my patent even in 1996.
>>>> I could persuade no company to produce 3D bitmap printers at that
>>> time.
>>>> However, I could describe 3D bitmap printers in my patent.
>>>> As for my invention of 3D bitmap printers, patenting was the
>>>> only way
>>>> which made 3D bitmap printers "exist" in this world.
>>>> Anyway, I can say as the following also: describing idea as
>>>> intangible
>>>> idea like patents is more perfect than making actual tangible
>>> products,
>>>> especially in the case of basic invention, not mere improvement.
>>>> (Close to Plato's Idealism)
>>>> Writing monographs to a scientific society might be another
>>> intangible way.
>>>> However, my invention is actual invention rather than to be
>>> academic study.
>>>> Writing books might be another intangible way. However, I was
>>> afraid that
>>>> my claim to be seen mere mad. To be patented by nations was one
>>> way to
>>>> prove my claim being rational, not mad.
>>>> Best,
>>>> Hideki Nakazawa
>>>> Dear Hideki,
>>>> Why did you choose patenting as a way to represent, communicate ,
>>>> and/or embody your method of "inventing 3D bitmap materials;
>>>> software
>>>> and printers (product 3D bitmap software 'Digital Clay' in 1996,
>>>> patents for 3D"?
>>>> There are other ways to establish a "new basic genre '3D
>>>> bitmap' as
>>>> digital modeling."
>>>> Best,
>>>> Robert Thill
>>>> On 3/9/09, Nakazawa Hideki <nakazawa at> wrote:
>>>> ARTISTS AS INVENTORS, art as invention
>>>> Hideki Nakazawa
>>>> Dear Yasminers,
>>>> Thank you to Roger and Robert for inviting me as one of the
>>> discussants.
>>>> I am a fine art artist who invented the first 3D bitmap software
>>>> and
>>>> printers in the levels of both products and patents. In this my
>>>> case,
>>>> I believe invention itself is ART, rather to call art-RELATED
>>> invention.
>>>> Yes, my interest is whether art as invention or invention as art
>>> can be
>>>> accepted or not.
>>>> Besides, I do not want to think about some kind of conceptual art
>>> which
>>>> places non-art objects into an art context. NOT because non-art
>>>> objects (such as invention) can be called art in the sense of
>>> conceptual
>>>> art, I believe some of inventions are core of art as they are.
>>>> Here I am giving 3 past cases with 1 my case.
>>>> 1) George Seurat's pointillism
>>>> Purpose = representative painting focusing color
>>>> Method = pointillism (color division and touch division)
>>>> Result = many of Seurat's pointillist paintings
>>>> I think creating method from the purpose is invention, while
>>>> creating
>>>> art works using method is making-art. Here, pointillism is
>>>> invention.
>>>> We can say with no doubt that pointillist paintings are art and
>>>> Seurat
>>>> is one of the artists as inventors. Then, can we say inventing
>>>> pointillism itself art? We know that Seurat himself disliked to be
>>>> called pointillist. But I think inventing pointillism itself
>>>> was core
>>>> of visual art.
>>>> 2) Arnold Shoenberg's dodecaphony
>>>> Purpose = music composition using 12 notes equally
>>>> Method = dodecaphony (forming tone rows symmetrically)
>>>> Result = many of Shoenberg's dodecaphonic pieces
>>>> Here dodecaphony is invention, the method created from the purpose.
>>>> We can say Shoenberg's dodecaphonic pieces are art and Shoenberg is
>>> one
>>>> of the artists as inventors. We know that Shoenberg himself
>>> emphasized
>>>> dodecaphonic "COMPOSITION" denying "DODECAPHONIC" composition.
>>>> But I
>>>> think inventing dodecaphony itself was core of music composition.
>>>> 3) Leonard Da Vinci's inventions of paint material and drawings of
>>> ideas
>>>> Purpose = representative painting
>>>> Method = preparing better paint material and better drawings of
>>>> ideas
>>>> (later called academism)
>>>> Result = very few Da Vinci's paintings in spite of many tried paint
>>>> materials and many drawings of ideas
>>>> We know that Da Vinci tried each different paint material for each
>>>> different painting and even he often invented it. We know that he
>>>> prepared many drawings of ideas. (Attention: drawings came to be
>>>> considered art today, while not in those days. Drawings were
>>>> kind of
>>>> invention.) We also know that once he thought his invention has
>>>> done,
>>>> he lost interest to continue making art works. Only few paintings
>>>> remain till today; one reason is that some of his paint material
>>>> which
>>>> he invented was defective, another reason is that he lost interest
>>>> after invented paint material or finished his drawings of ideas.
>>>> Let's think more about the latter. I believe the core of Da
>>>> Vinci's
>>>> art is inventing paint material or drawings of ideas rather than
>>> making
>>>> art works. In this case method as invention itself turned to be
>>>> the
>>>> purpose again. I want to say method is art and invention is art in
>>>> this case.
>>>> 4) My 3D bitmap software and printers
>>>> Purpose = to establish new basic genre "3D bitmap" as digital
>>> modeling,
>>>> while so-called "3D" is only the world of 3D vector as digital
>>>> carving
>>>> Method = inventing 3D bitmap materials; software and printers
>>>> (product 3D bitmap software "Digital Clay" in 1996, patents for 3D
>>>> bitmap software and 3D bitmap printers in 1996)
>>>> Result = no 3D bitmap art works of mine yet
>>>> First I have to say that I have produced many art works as a
>>>> fine art
>>>> artist, but I have never produced 3D bitmap art works except
>>>> examples
>>>> for my software. When I decided to apply patents in 1996, I
>>>> consider
>>>> patents themselves art. Again the method turned to be the purpose.
>>>> No need my 3D bitmap art works, because I do not think that 3D
>>>> bitmap
>>>> materials are mere steps to making 3D bitmap art works. My
>>>> purpose,
>>>> establishing a genre "3D bitmap," is more essential than making art
>>>> works, I thought. I named this project "Art Patents" that is to
>>>> claim
>>>> my intangible patents themselves being art without any tangible art
>>>> works. However, I am feeling to be misunderstood even today, 2009.
>>>> If you also have questions, I am willing to hear.
>>>> If you want to know more on my inventions, please visit:
>>> related_patent_inventions_in_t.html
>>>> If you can read Japanese, the above argument is written in my
>>> monograph
>>>> "Method of Art and Art of Method" carried on
>>>> "Philosophy Vol. 7,"
>>>> Iwanami Lecture Series, 2008.
>>>> Hideki Nakazawa
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