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.

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

Enactive VR research project “The State of Darkness” – ICIDS2018 Dublin

In the VR-mediated experience of the State of Darkness the participant will meet face-to-face with a humanlike artificial character in immersive narrative context. See ICIDS2018 Art Expo catalogue here

Human mind and culture rely on narratives people live by every day, narratives they tell to one another, narratives that allow them to learn from others, for instance, in movies, books, or social media. Yet, the State of Darkness connects the notion of non-human narratives to the stories experienced by our virtual character, Adam B. Trained by an exhaustive range of human facial repertoire, Adam B has gained access to control his facial expressions when encountering with humans.

Our concept builds on the idea of a symbiotic interactive co-presence of a human and non-human. Adam B will be experiencing his own non-human narrative that draws to some extent from the behavior of the participant, yet driven mainly by Adam B’s own life story hidden from the participant, emerging within the complexity of Adam B’s algorithmic mind. The State of Darkness is an art installation where human and non-human narratives coexist, the first experienced and lived-by our participant and the latter experienced by our artificial character Adam B, as they meet face-to-face, embedded in the narrative world of the State of Darkness.

 

Above: Janet H. Murray meeting face-to-face our Adam B. at ICIDS2018 Art Expo, Trinity College Science Gallery, Dublin (Nov 5)

 

 

 

Image above: Enactive Scenographer Tanja Bastamow testing Installation at ICIDS2018 Trinity College, Science Gallery, a day before opening of Art Exhibition Dec 5.

Team

Idea, Concept, Director Pia Tikka; Script & Dramaturgical  supervision Eeva R Tikka; Enactive Character design and production pipeline design Victor Pardinho; Enactive Scenography Tanja Bastamow; Sound design Can Uzer; Sound design II Iga Gerolin; Technical 3D Artist Maija Paavola; Symbiotic Creativity Ilkka Kosunen; Machine learning consultation Paul Wagner; Unreal engine consultation Ats Kurvet.

Team funding

Finnish Cultural Foundation Huhtamäki Fund; Virtual Cinema Lab Aalto University School of ARTS, ; Digidemo Promotion Center of Audiovisual Culture with Oblomovies Oy;   VR equipment by Creative Lab, the Center of Excellence in Media Innovation and Digital Culture & Empatica4 biotracking by Digital Technology Insitute, Tallinn University; Tikka & Kosunen: EU Mobilitas Pluss Top Researcher Grant (2017-2022), Estonian Research Council in association with Tallinn University.

For more information, contact: piatikka@tlu.ee

The International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling ICIDS 2018 5-8 December 2018, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. The State of Darkness VR-installation premiered in the ICIDS 2018 Art Exhibition, a platform for artists to explore digital media for interactive storytelling from the perspective of a particular curatorial theme: Non- Human Narratives. See https://icids2018.scss.tcd.ie

Aalto University News

 

Neurocinematics @ the Worlding the Brain Conference, Aarhus University

Enactive Virtuality Lab presented the collaborative research with the Brain and Mind Lab of the Aalto School of Science at the Worlding the Brain Conference in Aarhus University, Nov 27-29.

Image: The son (Juha Hippi) confronting his father (Vesa Wallgren). Short film The Queen (Kuningatar) is directed by Pia Tikka, Production Aalto University in collaboration with Oblomovies Oy 2013.

 


TITLE: Narrative priming of moral judgments in film viewing

Authors: Pia Tikka, Jenni Hannukainen, Tommi Himberg, and Mikko Sams

How does narrative priming influence the moral judgements of the film viewers? In two studies we focus on the evaluation of the rightness of the perceived action of the characters and the acceptability of these actions, in relation to the viewers experience of sympathy and filmic tension.
Providing additional narrative information beforehand for the viewers is an effective method to manipulate how they perceive and make sense of the film narrative. Our experiment data is collected from two different studies, behavioral and psychophysiological. In both experimental settings two groups receive additional background information of either the male or the female character, while the third controls are not primed. All subjects view the same 25 minute long drama film and reply to post questionnaires online.
Based on the collected data in the first experiment using parallel mixed method analysis we showed that the narrative priming itself does not increase the spectrum of the moral judgment statements and the acceptance of the wrong-doings by the characters but more influential factor seems to be the type of the action and its relation to the generally accepted moral norms. Yet, the narrative priming increased the explanatory spectrum of the subjects, which showed to some extent the trend for accepting or trying to understand actions that embody socio-emotionally complex situations. In the second currently on-going psychophysiological study (HR, EDA; EEG) we expect the explanatory spectrum collected via online questionnaires to correlate with the results of the first behavioral study. However, we also expect to show more priming dependent and spatio-temporal film-event dependent differences in arousal between all groups, indicating the influence of priming to the unconscious emotional and cognitive processes related to moral judgements

The Booth @ Worlding the Brain conference in Aarhus Uni

The Booth

Due to on-going experiments more details added about this art/science project only after the experimental data collection has been completed. Our presentation in Aarhus University Worlding the Brain Conference, 27–29 Nov, 2018, showed initial findings.

Team: Pia Tikka, Ilkka Kosunen, Lynda Joy Gerry, Eeva R Tikka, Victor Pardinho, Can Uzer, Angela Kondinska, Michael Becken & Ben Ighoyota Ajenaghughrure, with others.

Finnish Cultural Foundation Huhtamäki Fund; Virtual Cinema Lab Aalto University School of ARTS; BioLab by Digital Technology Insitute, Tallinn University; Tikka & Kosunen: EU Mobilitas Pluss Top Researcher Grant (2017-2022), Estonian Research Council in association with Tallinn University.