News

Against loneliness – Enactive Avatar

Against Loneliness: Sharing with Enactive Virtual Agent

The very nature of the human species is social. Loneliness correlates with mental and physical ill-being within, for instance, the elderly, or people with disabilities, or other conditions causing reduced life-environment. Simultaneously, an increasing trend in the European lifestyle is to outsource taking care of such members of family, or in a broader scale, the society, into the hands of professional social and medical care. In the light of recent studies, loneliness can be considered a fatal condition. Loneliness reduces the ability to improve one’s life-conditions, motivation of taking care of one’s health, and affects negatively the functions of society, thereby indirectly also the European economy. As an indication of the urgency of the matter, UK has even appointed a Minister of Loneliness.
The issue dictates the need to figure out all plausible ways to fight loneliness. While human company must be the primary solution, other solutions must be considered to provide socio-emotional comfort to those who suffer of the lack of human accompaniment. An intriguing suggestion is whether technology in some form might contribute to relieve this sore issue.

Work-in-progress: Enactive Virtuality Lab, BFM, TLU (MOBTT90) in collaboration with University of Tartu (UTARTU) Estonia, University of Barcelona (UB) Spain, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC)Israel, Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) Germany, Sense of Space Oy (SoS) Finland, Trotzkind GmbH (TRO) Germany and Tartu Linna Pensionäride Organisatsioon “Kodukotus” (TLPO) Estonia.

Image below: Skype group session during the project in development.

Video image: A conceptual 3D sketch of the shared experience between a bed-bound elderly and an enactive virtual accompaniment in VR immersive environment. The video depicts a first-person perspective to the co-presence when addressing loneliness by means of artificial accompaniment and virtual reality technologies. Against Loneliness: Sharing with Enactive Virtual Agent, MOBTT90. The 3D art work Eeva R Tikka, 2019.

Workshop on Enactive Mind in Design @ Imagis lab Politecnico di Milano

ENACTIVE MIND IN DESIGN

Dr Ilkka Kosunen on affective computing, at the Enactive Mind in Design workshop, the 2nd workshop week organised by Enactive Virtuality Lab at Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano, invited by Prof. Francesca Piredda.
In this workshop we familiarise ourselves with the concept of enactive mind and learn by practical work how enactive narrative systems can be applied to designing media projects.
The concepts of enactive cinema (Tikka 2008) and enactive media (Tikka 2010) are discussed, against the theoretical foundations of enactive cognitive sciences (Varela et al. 1991). Accordingly, a holistic first-person experience can be understood as being and playing a part in the world. The approach suggest going beyond the conventional concept of human–computer interaction by emphasising unconscious interaction between the experiencing participant and narrative systems. Instead of directly manipulating the narrative, the unfolding of the story is affected by the participant’s enactive emotional participation, tracked, for instance, by biosensors.
LEARNING MODES:
Lectures with video screenings, reading articles, and discussing on enactive mind and narratives; instructed/tutored hands-on enactive design exercises in small teams, analysing and reviewing created projects, demos and/or concepts.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
Basic understanding on enactive mind and enactive narrative systems
Basic understanding of the use of biofeedback in enactive media design
Hands-on designing and producing enactive narrative systems (proof-of-concept)
Collaborative team work and presentation skills
TEACHERS:
Prof. Dr Pia Tikka, Dr. Ilkka Kosunen, School of Film, media, art and communication & Center of Excellence MEDIT, Tallinn University; Several visiting lecturers (t.b.a.)

Berlinale – VR Now Conference and several days of VR Screenings

Meet Pia Tikka at the Berlinale 360° VR Screenings! 

Join the talks and meet-ups with other VR professionals at the new screening venue “VR Cinema at Marriott”, which provides the ideal infrastructure to present VR content, thanks to our partner INVR.

 

Screening Schedule & VR Library

Location: VR Cinema at Marriott
Opening hours: The cinema is open daily from 10 am-7 pm.
Experience all VR projects in the VR Library from the 12th to 13th February.

 

 

2 TALKS on EMOTIVE VR Film by Marie-Laure Cazin

Freud’s last Hypnosis, a neuro-interactive 360 movie for EMOTIVE VR

Presentation of the ongoing project Emotive VR prototype, an innovative form combining VR and EEG headsets. A neuro-interactive omnidirectional movie has been realized, visualized in Virtual Reality (VR) Head-Mounted Display (HMD). During the visualization, the EEG signals are recorded and analyzed in real time. Some visual effects and an interactive music vary according to the emotional state of the viewer.

Marie-Laure Cazin is a Fine Arts teacher in the High school of Arts and Design ESAD-TALM (France) and in Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Part of the Enactive Virtuality Research Group, in BFM, University of Talinn, she is currently completing a PhD in Aix-Marseille University (France) on Cinema and Neurosciences. As an artist and a filmmaker, she has developed many experimental cinematic prototypes, using digital tools to create a live interaction between the film and performers or spectators. She collaborated with scientists for art-science projects, working with brains’ datas of emotions in her last interactive projects.

See projects on line (Fr)

Sound designer Matias Harju webpages (Eng

EMOTIVE VR documentation online (Fr)

2 TALKS on EMOTIVE VR by Marie-Laure Cazin (ESAD-TALM, France)

Visiting lecture at Aalto University, Aalto Studios, organised by Virtual Cinema Lab & Enactive Virtuality Lab, January 30, at 14-15

January 30, at 14-15 Place: N-416, BFM, Narva Mnt 27, Nova Building, Tallinn University.

 

Visit at Medialab-Prado Madrid

Enactive Virtuality Lab on excursion at the Medialab-Prado AVLab, a space for creative experimentation involving sound art, visual art and performance art based on open and collaborative processes. Its areas of activity are: experimental music, live audio and video processing, video games, media facades, performance art and live performances.

And participating in AVFLOSS meeting for project initiatives (above).

Meeting @EmpaticaXR and eRMLab/UAM Madrid

 

EmpaticaXR is a Transformative Technology and Evolutionary company translating cutting-edge neuropsychological knowledge into experiential narrative XR experiences aimed towards human flourishing. The researchers at EmpaticaXR are encoding concepts from the cognitive sciences, in combination with the emotional power of the cinematic narrative storytelling arts, to create the audiovisual transformative experience of wonder and awe that can only be massively spread through the power of XR, AI & Biometric Technologies.

Meeting with Alejandro Sacristán, EmpaticaXR Business Development & Operations, Madrid and Jorge Esteban Blein, VR Creative Director, and immersive storytelling consultant (in image).

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Followed by a visit to the reactive professor Jose Maria de Poveda at empathic Reactive Media Lab (eRMLab)”, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, UAM.

(In image at left Profesor Jesús Poveda de Agustin, in the middle professor Jose Maria de Poveda)

 

Awarded the 2018 Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for The Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies

The chief editor Douglas Rosenberg is very excited to share the news:

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

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.

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

EEVR #21 Community meeting @SuperNova Kino Dec 15

TIME Dec 15, Noon

LOCATION SuperNova Kino, room 406, 4th floor, Narva mnt 27

 

An inspiring EEVR community event organised by MEDIT, including presentations, vivid discussions, technical and artistic demos with highlights by visiting  Finnish media artist Hanna Haaslahti (middle) and producer Marko Tandefelt (right).

Announcement by Madis Vasser:

EEVR #21 will once again find itself in familiar territory on the fourth floor of the BFM school in Tallinn, but this time around our host is MEDIT – TLU Center of Excellence in Media Innovation and Digital Culture. We’ll be mixing film, photogrammetry, and some very interesting hardware. Everyone interested in VR/AR are very welcome! The event is free, but do click the attend button early if you plan to show up! Go to FB.

On the schedule:
* Hanna Haaslahti (http://www.hannahaaslahti.net/) – some cool photogrammetry projects
* Madis Krisman & Johannes Kruusma (Avar.ee) – some more cool photogrammetry projects
* Rein Zobel (MaruVR.ee) – VR Days 2018 recap etc

Demos:
* State of Darkness VR – Enactive Virtuality Research Group
* Magic Leap (curtesy of https://www.operose.io/)
* “Hands-on” with some prototype hardware (top secret)

 

Highlighting:
CAPTURED

Captured is a narrative simulation about social injustice where your digital double has a role to play. In the installation, people are captured as 3D Avatars who become actors in a scenario where individual freedom is taken over by collective instincts.

Team

 

 

 

 

 

Hanna Haaslahti is a Finnish media artist working with ideas from technological theater, expanded image and interaction. She holds MFA from Medialab in University of Arts and Design Helsinki (Aalto). Currently Hanna Haaslahti lives and works in Helsinki. She has been artist-in-residence at MagicMediaLab, Brussels (2000), Nifca NewMediaAir, St.Petersburg (2003), Cité International des Arts, Paris (2008) and SculptureShock organized by Royal British Society of Sculptors, London (2015). She has received honorary mention at Vida 6.0 Art and artificial life-competition (2003) and was selected in 50 best category in ZKM Medien Kunst Preis (2003). She has received the most prestigious Finnish media art award, AVEK-award (2005).

 

Marko Tandefelt is a Helsinki based concept designer, educator and musician with extensive experience in art, design, media and technology fields. Among his interests are: Concept design, sensorbased interface prototyping, immersive multisensory cinema, and experimental visualization systems.

Marko has lived in New York for 20+ years, working at companies such as NEC R&D Labs, ESIDesign, Antennadesig and the Finnish Cultural Institute. During 2007-2015 Marko worked as the Director of Technology & Research/Senior Technology Manager at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center. Marko taught Masters Thesis courses at Parsons School of Design MFADT program in New York from 2001 til 2016.

In his native Helsinki Finland, Marko has worked since 2016 as a Technology Consultant and Producer in various interactive projects, including Hanna Haaslahti’s realtime 3D Body scanning installation system “Captured”. Marko works currently at Kunstventures as a media art producer, concept designer and prototyper.

Marko holds a B.M. degree Summa Cum Laude in Music Technology from NYU, and a Master’s degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Film & TV School Interactive Telecommunications Program ITP. He is a longtime member of ACMAESIEEESIGGRAPH, and SMPTE, and has worked as a paper reader and jury member for SIGGRAPH and ACE conferences.