NECS conference

Paper Presentation accepted to NECS conference

Transitions: Moving Images and Bodies

18–20 June 2020
Hosted by the University of Palermo

Panel members: Ian Christie, Ana Olenina, Julia Vassilieva, Pia Tikka

Conference cancelled due to cover-19.

Pia Tikka:
 
Luria-Eisenstein experiment of embodiment re-enacted in virtual reality 
This talk discusses the practical revival of the psychological experiment that Alexander Luria and Sergei Eisenstein conducted a century ago into a virtual reality (VR) setup. The experiment, that applied hypnosis to subjects in order to study the linkage between sensorimotor behavior and mental states, was rediscovered by Julia Vassilieva in 201#.
The talk has several goals: 
(1) To highlight the parachronic nature of theoretical discoveries: As proposed in my Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense (2008, 42), theoretical ideas have the tendency to re-emerge anew in cycles, adapted to the current context again and again. Even today’s embodied mind approach has its roots deep in the theoretical ideas of historical practitioners in arts and sciences, such as Luria and Eisenstein. 
(2) To address significant paradigmatic overlaps: The re-enacted experiment allows identifying common grounds between the psychoanalytical ideas as it was conceived of as in the Luria-Eisenstein experiment and the neuro-phenomenological approach introduced by Francisco Varela in 1996. Furthermore, it allows relating Raymond Bellour’s idea of the hypnotic nature of cinematic experience (2009) to the experience of immersion in virtual reality settings, as also discussed recently by Marie-Laure Cazin (unpublished thesis 2020). 
(3) To reconfigure the practical set-up of the Luria-Eisenstein experiment by means of VR with a focus on comparing the methodologies of producing immersive experience in their time and today.
In sum, following the original protocol reported by Luria and Eisenstein, the re-enacted experiment extrapolates the theoretical ideas of Eisenstein-Luria collaboration onto the 21st century art-science context.

https://necs.org

COMING SOON: SEMINAR ON ENACTIVE STORYTELLING IN NEUROMARKETING April 14, 2020

BOOSTING COMMERCIAL AND SOCIETAL-AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS WITH PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCES

Tallinn University

The Seminar day is designed for professionals working with commercials and social-awareness campaigns.

The aim of the seminar is to cultivate new ideas for designing personalized media messages by means of enactive storytelling. Stories are the key to human mind, emotions, and social behavior, is it in politics, shopping, or bringing up our kids. Stories allow people to justify their decisions to the others, but, perhaps even more importantly, to themselves.

These stories one makes up are simultaneously inter-personally shared and very personal. And this is where the professional business of storytelling for commercial and social media messages comes onboard.

The speakers with expertise from the field provide understanding of enactive storytelling, the state of the art on neural and physiological methods, and recent trends in neuromarketing. The talks spark fresh insights to challenging topics of (a) designing personalized experiences and (b) measuring personal experience data.

The full day program with lectures and Q&As on elaborated campaign concepts equip the participants with an inspiring package of new ideas to take back to their daily practice.

The participants will have access to knowledge on:
  • Principles of enactive storytelling
  • Recent trends in neuromarketing
  • Real-time biofeedback in designing interactive content
  • Interdependence between human experience, content of media, and physiological measures

 

SPEAKERS

 

 

 

 

KEYNOTE: ERIK BÄCKMAN Partner, Strategy Director, Miltton

 

 

Erik Bäckman (MA) has 30 years of experience in strategic communication, media and journalism. He works at Finland’s biggest communication agency with leadership training, strategy, branding and crisis communication. Prior to Miltton, Erik has worked as head of strategy, head of media research and concept development and as a TV news journalist at the Finnish national broadcaster YLE. His very practically oriented approach to storytelling is based on the current findings of psychological and neuropsychological research.


 

KAIDI REEDE, Consumer and Market Research Manager, Initiative

Kaidi Reede is a consumer and market research manager in media agency Initiative, Tallinn, Estonia. Before joining Initiative 3 years ago she worked as a research expert in Kantar Emor.
Kaidi holds the Master of Social Sciences (psychology and organizational behavior, Tallinn University). Psychology studies and experience in research led to understanding that people do not always behave as they say and we process a lot of information unconsciously. This is where the interest towards neuromarketing started and in 2012 Kaidi was issued a neuromarketing researcher certificate by neuromarketing agency NeuroHM. Since that time Kaidi has conducted numerous neuromarketing surveys in Estonia using different methodologies like EEG, GSR, facial coding, eye-tracking and reaction time measurement. The most recent neuromarketing study concerned alcohol visibility in the shops before and after the restrictions on displaying alcoholic drinks passed into law in June 2019. Kaidi has also performed on neuromarketing topic at different conferences and as a guest speaker in universities.

 

 

 

HEIDI REINSON, Senior Consultant in Behavioural Sciences, Kanta Emor

Heidi Reinson started her career in marketing and brand management, working in The Coca-Cola Company and Valio Baltics. She soon realised that her degree in Economics is not enough to fully understand the consumer. Her interest in the scientific background of consumer behaviour led to her MSc studies in Cognitive and Decision Sciences at University College London (UCL). After UCL, Heidi’s mission has been to combine the two distinct research areas – marketing and cognitive science – in the most practical ways. Heidi was the first in the Baltics to conduct neuromarketing studies (spring 2012) and has been active in popularizing behavioural sciences’ application in the region. She has presented at various conferences in the Baltics (incl TEDxRiga 2015), Finland and Austria as well as written popular science articles. Since 2013, she also teaches Economic and Consumer Behaviour at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga.


 

PIA TIKKA, Filmmaker, Research Professor, Enactive Virtuality Lab, TLU

Dr. Pia Tikka is a professional filmmaker and EU Mobilitas Research Professor at the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School (BFM) and MEDIT Centre of Excellence, Tallinn University. She holds the honorary title of Adjunct Professor of New Narrative Media at the University of Lapland. Prior to her joining BFM, she was the Principal Investigator for the NeuroCine project  (2010-2017)  at Aalto University, Finland, contributing also to the neuroeconomics in NeuroService project at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences (2014–2015). In 2010, she was a Fulbright scholar in the Institute for Multimedia Literacy at the University of Southern California and a researcher in residency in Neuroaesthetics at the Minerva Foundation, Berkeley, US. She was a lecturer in Film Theory and Film Analysis at the Baltic School of Film and Media (2006-2007). As a filmmaker, Pia has directed the feature films Daughters of Yemanjá (1996), Sand Bride (1998), several interactive media projects, and published on the topics of enactive media, including her book “Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense”(2008). She holds degree of Graphic Designer in Advertising, and has a decade long work experience in advertising and concept designing. Currently, her Enactive Virtuality research group studies psychophysiological and emotional basis of cinematic systems, storytelling and creative imagination.

 

 

 

ANDREAS UNT, Videomarketing Expert, Brandem

Andreas Unt’s experience in psychology and marketing includes co-developing automated neuromarketing web-based tools. His team received funding of Vega fund kickoff capital awarded for science-based business ideas. Currently, he studies advertising in Tallinn University and works in the employer branding agency Brandem, Tallinn, Estonia.

PROGRAM (t.b.c.)

9:30 Registering & Mingling

9:50 Opening of seminar 

10-11 Enactive storytelling – Pia Tikka

The lecture binds together the storytelling as driving cognitive dynamics of decision making and ‘enactive’ as unconscious interaction between a person and media. A set of case studies highlight the interdependence of narrative sense-making and personalized media experiences.

11-12 Neuromarketing in practice – Kaidi Reedi

The first hand insights to neuromarketing methods used in Estonia, highlighted with case studies. The pros and cons of methods used in real life environments and laboratory settings are discussed, including eye-tracking, valence/arousal measures, electroencephalography (EEG), reaction time measurement and emotional coding surveys.

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00-14:00 Nudging – a toolbox for marketing professionals and policy makers– Heidi Reinson

The presentation will give an overview of human decision making processes and inspire you to use behavioural insights in designing marketing activities and social interventions. She will combine academic research findings with real life examples.

14-14:15 Case: Videoblogging and automated web-based tools – Andreas Unt

14:15-14:30 Case: (t.b.c.)

4:30-14:45 Case: (t.b.c.)

14:45-15 Coffee break

15-17 Engaging storytelling – Erik Bäckman

How can you engage people with storytelling that conveys your message and involves people in co-creating the story and making it their own? A practical introduction to applying classical storytelling structures and tools in dialogue with your audience.

17-18 Panel and open discussion

New challenges and ethical implications – sustainability, big data, privacy, and other issues

 

Changes in program may occur.

 

 

 

ORGANIZING TEAM

Organizer: Pia Tikka, research professor, Enactive Virtuality Lab, Center of Excellence in Media Innovations and Digital Culture MEDIT, BFM, TLU
Seminar assistant: Andreas Unt, video-marketing specialist in BRANDEM employer branding agency, Estonia.
Creative Lab: Ermo Säks, manager
Consultation: Tiina Hiob, Lecture of Advertising theory, BFM, TLU; Katrin Sigijane, Creative Lab, MEDIT, BFM, TLU

COURSE FEE

220 euros

Accommodation and meals are not included in the the price.

CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION

pia.tikka@tlu.ee

A talk at the Forum on Arts & Social Robotics in Hong Kong

Invited talk by Pia Tikka at the Hong Kong Forum Nov 2, 2019.

Hong Kong Baptist University will be partnering with the Consul General of France and the Alliance Francaise to mount an exhibition and a forum, October 31 – November 2, 2019.

The exhibition will focus on the work of the French artist Yves Gellie, specifically his photographs and films related to social robotics and artificial empathy. (t.b.c.)

Hong Kong offers possibilities to play with Sophia from Hanson Robotics.

 

Affective Computing ACII 2019 conference Cambridge

 

The 8th International Conference on. Affective Computing & Intelligent Interaction ( ACII 2019). 3rd-6th September, 2019. Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Enactive Virtuality team has two abstracts accepted for multidisciplinary Special Tracks :

(1) Neural and Psychological Models of Affect and (2) Technological and Biological Bodies in Dialogue: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Multisensory Embodied Emotion and Cognition.

Image: Jelena Rosic in action during an TLU ‘s internal pre-presentation of the  ACII conference talk “Phenomenology of the Artificial” by Kosunen,  Rosic, Kaipainen and Tikka,

Keynote at Actor and Avatar seminar at ZHdK

An invited keynote at the two day conference “Actor and Avatar” organised by Professor Anton Rey, IPF, ZHdK August 29th and 30th 2019 at the Toni Areal, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). The “Actor and Avatar”  project explores aspects of actor performances particularly aimed to provide facial expressiveness for a virtual character (avatar) and is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

The VR Installation The State of Darkness previously exhibited in the Science Gallery, Dublin (Dec 2018) and in the 360 degrees (Prague 2019) will be presented at the conference. In addition, Enactive Virtuality Lab’s team member Victor Pardinho will run a Master’s Class for ZHdK students and staff.

The keynote by Pia Tikka 29th of August will address a range of topics related to the actors and humanlike virtual characters in the collaborative setting as described under the image.

Images: Two examples of the recordings of a dyadic realtime setting where the two actors are seated in front of a Green Screen in the ZHdK IPF Film studio looking at each other through a display in front of them directly connected to the camera in front of the other actor. The other actor takes the role of an asylum seeker’s interviewer (I), while the other actor plays the role of an asylum seeker (AS). Both are listening to the dramatised background story of the latter while engaged in evaluation of each others emotional state within the dramatised context. The performances are applied to humanlike virtual characters in the project Booth developed at the Enactive Virtuality Lab. Actors (upper row) Dr. Gunter Lösel [AS] and Tim Woody Haake [I]; (row below) Corinne Soland [I] and Samuel Braun [AS]. Images©IPF courtesy of Dr. Rey and Miriam Loertscher from ZHdK research group.

Presenters included:

Images: Derek Bradley, Walt Disney Research Studio Zürich (above) and Matthias Wittmann, Digital Domain (below)

ACTOR & AVATAR EXHIBITION: STATE OF DARKNESS INSTALLATION

 Industry engagement: Derek Bradley, Walt Disney Research Studio Zürich was one of the enactive experienters of facing Adam B in the State of Darkness. Here with Pia Tikka and Victor Pardinho (Sense of Space, Finland).

The State of Darkness: Master’s Class at the ZHdK

 

VR installation The State of Darkness exhibited at the ZHdK Sept 28–30.

Master Class by Victor Pardinho 28 Aug

Master’s Class by Victor Pardinho at the ZHdK September 28,2019

Topic:

Volumetric intelligence: A framework for the creation of interactive volumetric captured characters.

 

In this workshop, the author will introduce a framework for virtual characters based on the volumetric scanning of real actors and 3D real-time engines. Participants will have an opportunity to check the system used at “The State of Darkness”, a biosensor driven VR art installation where human and non-human narratives coexist. The structure of the meeting is flexible and can be adjusted accordingly to the participant’s interests. We will discuss topics such as 3D asset workflows, real-time engines, volumetric capture and the design and production of XR experiences.

 

The Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize winner

The Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies has been awarded the 2018 Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research by The Dance Studies Association. 

Pia Tikka & Mauri Kaipainen contributed with the chapter on “Screendance as Enactment in Maya Deren’s At Land: Enactive, Embodied, and Neurocinematic Considerations” 

The award will be conferred at the annual Dance Studies Association Conference at Northwestern University, August 8 – 11, 2019.

 

The following is the citation offered by the selection committee about the book:

The Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies, which is skillfully edited by Douglas Rosenberg, features a gracefully comprehensive introduction and thirty-six impactful chapters from leading scholars who expand our understanding of screen technologies as creative, collaborative tools for dance. Both foundational and insightful, the essays focus on pioneering figures like Loie Fuller, Maya Deren, and Norman McLaren; on histories from Harlem and Hollywood to Brazil and Bollywood; and on themes that productively intertwine virtual bodies, framing, editing, space, race, gender, and politics. Authors from Dance Studies and related fields turn their gazes toward the way screendance can provide a liberating or controlled space, an ever-changing canvas, a democratic frontier, a site for social justice, new aesthetic pleasure, or a viral phenomenon with many meanings. Readable, rigorous, and thought-provoking, The Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies engages popular, contemporary, traditional, and historical dance, offering wide-ranging new ways of understanding how ideas travel and can transform our lives through the “stage” of the screen.

The award will be conferred at the annual Dance Studies Association Conference at Northwestern University, August 8 – 11, 2019.

The Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies is the first publication to offer a scholarly overview of the histories, practices, and critical and theoretical foundations of the rapidly changing landscape of screendance.

 

VRHAM — Virtual Reality & Arts Festival Hamburg

With Piotr Winiewicz (in image) and Mads Damsbo at the VRHAM! (Virtual Reality & Arts Festival Hamburg), the Germany’s first international Festival for Virtual Reality Art. Established by Ulrich Schrauth in Hamburg in 2018, VRHAM! opened its doors for the second time, from 7 – 15 June 2019, in Hamburg’s Oberhafenquartier. Under the year’s motto “DIS:SOLUTION” a large selection of extraordinary Virtual Reality experiences and live performances by contemporary artists was presented.

Image: Cinematographer and my doctoral student Sampsa Huttunen (University of Helsinki) exploring the Augmented Reality work by–

0AR
AOI NAKAMURA, ESTEBAN FOURMI, UK, 2018

Experiencing 0AR communally via three connected devices, audiences are encouraged to explore, move around the space and interact where their actions have a unique influence within the performance. 0AR is based on seminal masterpiece zero degrees (2005), a collaboration between dancers/choreographers Akram Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, sculptor Antony Gormley and composer Nitin Sawhney.

Below a selection of other exciting  VR works:

DAS TOTALE TANZ THEATER

INTERACTIVE MEDIA FOUNDATION & FILMTANK, GERMANY, 2019

Who are humans in the age of technology? What role do they play and how do they interact with the machines that surround them? These types of questions were already negotiated at the Bauhaus 100 years ago. DAS TOTALE TANZ THEATER frames these questions today in the context of the development of artificial intelligence by staging a virtual reality dance experience.

LAST WHISPERS: AN IMMERSIVE ORATORIO

LENA HERZOG, USA, 2018/2019

At an unprecedented speed faster than the extinction of most endangered species, we are losing our linguistic diversity—and the very means by which we know ourselves. This immersive oratorio is an invocation of the languages that have gone extinct and an incantation of those that are endangered.

CLAUDE MONET – THE WATER LILY OBSESSION

NICOLAS THÉPOT, FRANCE, 2018

From 1899 to 1926, Claude Monet painted more than 250 scenes devoted to the water lily theme, which became what he himself called “an obsession.” This contemplative VR experience invites the user on a sensory journey starting off in Claude Monet’s garden, stopping along the way at the workshop of the artist and ending in the exhibition rooms of the Orangerie Museum.

VESTIGE

AARON BRADBURY, UK/USA/FRANCE, 2018

Vestige is a room-scale VR creative documentary that uses multi-narrative and volumetric live capture to take the viewer on a journey into the mind of Lisa as she remembers her lost love, Erik.

SCSMI conference Hamburg

Image: Dr Johannes Riis opens the plenary session for honouring the academic career and contribution of professor Torben Grodal at the SCSMI, chaired by Dr. Stephen Prince (right corner). 5 invited speakers included in addition Ed Tan, Mette Kramer, Pia Tikka, and David Bordwell on the June 13th.

 

Conference presentation Pia Tikka: Enactive Virtuality: Modelling triadic epistemology of narrative co-presence

 

The presentation discusses the concept of enactive virtuality in terms of a triadic epistemology, in which holistic understanding is accumulated via reflecting subjective experience against its psychophysiological epiphenomena and varying narrative contexts. Film narrative can evoke strong emotional identification with the screen character, however, in a context-dependent manner. The aim is to deepen the holistic understanding of cinematic narrative in particular as simulated person-to-person encounter. Two concretising case studies of person-to-person encounter are discussed. The first setting applies conventional film as a model of life situations, while another dramatic setting assigns the viewer an enactive role when engaging with an artificial screen character. These settings are compared and analysed in terms of the mentioned triadic epistemology.

EEVR @ EKA Estonian Art Academy

EEVR nr 23 tuleb EKAs!

Estonian Virtual Reality Community meeting at the EKA Estonian Art Academy June 8, 2019.

Image: The Head of the VR Lab, teaching staff, and specialist tutor Johanna Jõekalda, presenting the EKA’s student projects that have applied biosensor data for studying the participant experience.

 

Program in Estonian:

Enne suurt suve vaatame üle Eesti Kunstiakadeemia VR Labori ja kuulame/proovime palju huvitavat. Kohtumisel tutvustatakse EKA VR Laboris möödunud aasta jooksul läbi viidud kursuseid (Johanna Jõekalda), VRi rakendusvõimalusi disainiprotsessis (Artur Staškevitš) ning VR-prillide uut tähte Oculus Questi (Kristjan Oliver Kuus). Olete oodatud mõtteid vahetama!

12:00 Esitlused:
– EKA VR Labori kursused (Johanna Jõekalda)
https://www.artun.ee/erialad/arhitektuur-ja-linnaplaneerimine/vr-labor/
– VR tehnoloogiate kasutus projekteerimistöös (Artur Staškevitš)
http://arturstashkevitsh.berta.me/
– Oculus Questi esmamuljed (Kristjan Oliver Kruus)

13:30 Demod:
– EKA VR Labori projektid
– Oculus Quest
– TASE lõputööde näituse VR projektid

Ürituse järel soovi korral ringkäik EKA uues majas ja TASE lõputööde näitusel.

Sissepääs peauksest aadressil Põhja puiestee 7. Üritus toimub 4. korrusel arhitektuuriosakonna ruumides.