Calls for Papers

Astronomy, Lunacies and Ends of the World LEA Call For Papers

Astronomy, Lunacies and Ends of the World, Leonardo Electronic Almanac

In many mythologies, celestial events connect to the earth and the fates of human civilizations.

We know that catastrophic collisions of asteroids with the earth have had large effects on the evolution of the web of life on this planet. Such collisions will occur again in the future.

Solar variability, and the variations in the orbit of the earth, have driven long term climate variations on the earth. The sun, when it has exhausted its nuclear fuel, will swell and envelope the earth.

We know that the human civilization now imposes an unsustainable burden on the planet as ecosystem. Are we fated to disappear in a hot-house like the planet Venus?

The Astronomy, Lunacies and Ends of the World issue of LEA, in preparation for 2012, is an interdisciplinary issue opened to historical and sociological analysis, astronomical insights, ways that the universe connects to life on earth, artists dealing with the heavens or the cataclysmic end of the world, the search for extra terrestrial life and intelligence and human migration off the planet.

Astronomy, Lunacies and Ends of the World will analyze the role played by astronomy and earth sciences in the arts and sciences, but more importantly in shaping sociological relations, mass behaviors and hysteria that are at times inspiration for new artistic practices or scientific rigor.

Raymond H. Wilson, Jr., wrote that “the realm of the heavens is obviously large and mysterious, and its tantalizing unattainability has always invited myths and illusions, even among the proudest sophisticates.”

Are the contemporary lunacies and conspiracy theories on the end of the world in 2012 just another cultural fad similar to the end of the world in the year 2000 or in the year 1000? Is the world really destined to end or the Mayan calendar’s prediction represents another excuse to develop myths and illusions?

Alternative reactions to catastrophic futures include the drive for deep ecology and the global management of the earth ecosystem. New observational technologies allow us to watch and monitor the earth and sky in detail, anticipate future catastrophes, and put in place mechanisms that would preserve the planet and the web of life. Can we anticipate, and deflect, incoming asteroids that threaten life on earth? Can we learn to manage Buckminster Fuller’s “Spaceship Earth”? Is the “Space Option” the only way to develop approaches for balancing the earth as a system? How will the evolution of the web of life on earth be managed?

The Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA) is inviting proposals for an issue on these themes co-edited by Lanfranco Aceti and Roger Malina.

Proposals are invited from artists and scientists that work on issues related to astronomy, mythologies, social behaviors, conspiracy theories inspired by astronomy as well as eschatological interpretations of historical and contemporary times. Interdisciplinary proposals that merge astronomical science and psychology, popular culture, sociology, mass media or philosophical analyses are particularly welcome. We welcome exploration of deep ecology and global management of the earth as a system as ways of avoiding catastrophic futures.

The articles can take the form of traditional academic papers, that will be refereed or more creative approaches to the proposed theme as videos, online artworks and collections of images.

We are open to unconventional submissions that exploit functionalities of the world wide web.

The Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA) will produce an online and printed issue, as well as host curated images and videos online.
Proposals to:

a) Subject heading: Astronomy and Lunacies
b) 500 hundred word abstract for articles
c) Deadline for proposal submission: June 1, 2012
d) Deadline for submission of full article: July 1, 2012
e) 2 images at 72 dpi resolution no larger than 800 pixels width for artists
f) Links to previous work, videos or personal sites

Our publication formats allow for full-color throughout and we encourage rich pictorial content where relevant and possible.  Note however that all material submitted must be copyright cleared (or due diligence must be evidenced).  For online publication a wide variety of media content may be considered (animation, mp3, flash, java, etc…)

* For scholarly papers please submit the final paper ready for peer review.  Your contribution will be reviewed by at least two members of the LEA board and revisions may be requested subject to review.
* For themed and pictorial essays please submit an abstract or outline for editorial consideration and further discussion.
* Please keep your news, announcements and hyperlinks brief and focused – include contact details and a link to an external site where relevant.  We reserve the right to sub-edit your submissions in order to comply with LEA policies and formats.  Where material is time-sensitive please include both embargo and expiry dates.
* In all cases specify special system considerations where these are necessary (platform, codecs, plug-ins, etc…)
For further information or images submission contact:

Posted by:  Lanfranco Aceti