Leonardo was founded in 1968 in Paris by kinetic artist and astronautical pioneer Frank Malina who saw the need for a journal to serve as an international channel of communication among artists, with emphasis on the writings of artists who use science and developing technologies in their work. Published by The MIT Press and led by executive editor Roger Malina, Leonardo has become the leading international peer-reviewed journal on the use of contemporary science and technology in the arts and music and, increasingly, the application and influence of the arts and humanities on science and technology.
Leonardo is interested in work that crosses the artificial boundaries separating contemporary arts and sciences. Featuring illustrated articles written by artists about their own work as well as articles by historians, theoreticians, philosophers and other researchers, the journal is particularly concerned with issues related to the interaction of the arts, sciences and technology. Leonardo focuses on the visual arts and also addresses music, video, performance, language, environmental and conceptual arts—especially as they relate to the visual arts or make use of the tools, materials and ideas of contemporary science and technology. New concepts, materials and techniques and other subjects of general artistic interest are covered, as are legal, economic and political aspects of art.
Beginning in 2021 Leonardo journal will include a regular section on music and sound art, folding content from the standalone Leonardo Music Journal, retiring in 2020, into its editorial focus.