Embodying Creative Expertise in Virtual Reality Zurich ZhDK May 29-31

In collaboration with BeAnotherLab (The Machine to Be Another), Lynda Joy Gerry taught a workshop, “Embodying Creative Expertise in Virtual Reality” to Masters in Interaction Design students at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZhDK), as part of a course, “Ecological perception, embodiment, and behavioral change in immersive design” led by BAL members.

Image: Poster for the students’ final project presentation and exhibition.

Lynda specifically taught students design approaches using a semi-transparent video overlay of another person’s first-person, embodied experience, as in First-Person Squared. The focus of the workshop was on Leap Motion data tracking and measurements, specifically how to calculate compatibility and interpersonal motor coordination through a match score between the two participants, and how to send this data over a network. The system provides motor feedback regarding imitative gestures that are similar in form and position, and also for gestures that occur synchronously (at the same time), ideally trying to support both types of interpersonal motor coordination. Lynda taught students the equations used and data input necessary to calculate this algorithm for the different match scores, and also how to add interaction effects to this data. Lynda showed students how to implement Leap motion hand tracking on top of stereoscopic point-of-view video and how to record user hand movements. On the 31st, students premiered their final projects at an event entitled “Scattered Senses.”

Mimic Yourself: Mo-cap Workshop Zurich ZhDK May 30 

On March 30th, Lynda Joy Gerry visited the Innovation Lab at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZhDK) for a workshop entitled “Mimic Yourself.”

This workshop involved collaborations between psychologists, motion-tracking and capture experts, and theater performers. The performers wore the Perception Neuron motion capture suit within an opti-track system. The data from the performer’s motion was tracked onto virtual avatars in real-time. Specifically, the team had used the Structure Sensor depth-field camera to create photogrammetry scans of members of the lab. These scans were then used as the avatar “characters” put into the virtual environment to have the mocap actors’ movements tracked onto. A screen was also programmed into the Unity environment, such that the screen could move around the real world in different angles and three-dimensional planes and show different views and perspectives of the virtual avatar being tracked relative to the human actor’s movements. Two actors playfully danced and moved about while impacting virtual effects with their tracked motion – specifically, animating virtual avatars but also cueing different sound effects and experiences.

Image above: Motion capture body suit worn by human actor and tracked onto a virtual avatar. Multiple avatar “snap shots” can be taken to create visual effects and pictures. Images below: Creating a many-arm shakti pose with avatar screen captures created through mocap.

Image above shows examples of photogrammetry scans taken with the Structure Sensor.

Aalto MA evaluation on Robots & Poetics

Examination of Johanna Lehto’s MA thesis “Robots and Poetics – Using narrative elements in human-robot interaction” for the Department of Media, programme New Media Design and Production on the 16th of May 2018.

As a writer and a designer, Johanna Lehto sets out to reflect upon the phenomenon of human-robot interaction through her own artistic work. To illustrate plot structure and narrative units of the interaction between a robot and human, she reflects upon how Aristotle’s dramatic principles. In her work, she applies Aristotelian drama structure to analyse a human-robot encounter as a dramatic event. Johanna made an interactive video installation in which she created a presentation of an AI character, Vega 2.0 (image). The installation was exhibited in Tokyo in Hakoniwa-exhibition on 22.-24.6.2017 and in Musashino Art University Open Campus -festival 10.-11.6.2017.

Neurotech drama VFC by Charles S. Roy in Cannes Next May 8-13

News from our international network.

Since connected by Storytek Content+Tech Acceleator in fall 2017 Pia Tikka has consulted the VFC project directed by Charles S. Roy on screenplay and audience interaction.

Charles S. Roy, Film Producer & Head of Innovation at the production company La Maison de Prod, develops his debut narrative film+interactive project VFC as producer-director. VFC has been selected at the Storytek Content+Tech Accelerator, the Frontières Coproduction Market, the Cannes NEXT Cinema & Transmedia Pitch, the Sheffield Crossover Market, and Cross Video Days in Paris.  In the vein of classic portrayals of female anxiety such as Roman Polanski’s REPULSION, Todd Haynes’ SAFE and Jonathan Glazer’s BIRTH, VFC is a primal and immersive psychological drama about fear of music (cinando.com). Its main innovation is in bringing brain-computer interface storytelling to the big screen by offering an interactive neurotech experience.

On the premises of the Cannes Film Market, as a grant holder for the Estonian innovation and development incubator Storytek Accelerator, Charles presented his work to the audience of the tech-focused NEXT section (8-13 May).

 

If you are not there where are you? 27 Feb 2018

Pia Tikka

With the IYANTWAY director Maartje Nevejan, cinematographer Jean and sound designer Fokke in the Kaurismäki Brothers’ Moscow Bar Helsinki. The group is seeking to gain new insights to the experience of absence seizures through artistic contemplation. See more at the productions’web pages  http://www.ceruttifilm.nl/documentaire.php?filmid=12

My interview on neurocinematic topics was flavoured by watching a powerful scene from Aki Kaurismäki film Match Factory Girl, which we have shown to elicit broad whole brain activity in several viewers (orange colour) in functional MRI. This research was conducted at the aivoAALTO research group at Aalto University (2009–2014), and AK’s film was the first that our neurocinematic team took into brain imaging lab.

See more in our research article:

Juha M. Lahnakoski , Juha Salmi, Iiro P. Jääskeläinen, Jouko Lampinen, Enrico Glerean, Pia Tikka, Mikko Sams (2012). Stimulus-Related Independent Component and Voxel-Wise Analysis of Human Brain Activity during Free Viewing of a Feature Film. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0035215

 

Common VR/AR grounds with TTÜ and EKA Jan 25

Pia Tikka

Enactive Virtuality team in search for the common grounds with TTÜ and EKA at Ericsson Connectivity room in Mektory House (Raja 15, 12618 Tallinn) 25.01.2018. In order to cultivate successful research environments to study and develop innovations within virtual reality, augmented reality and other related audiovisual fields, collaboration across distinct academic institutions with their specific expertise is essential.

Hosts@TTÜ: Aleksei Tepljakov Research Scientist, Eduard Petlenkov Associate Professor, and Ahmet Kose Junior Researcher at TTU;  Guests: Kristjan Mändmaa, Dean of Design, Ruth Melioranski Design Researcher, Tanel Kärp Interaction Design Program Manager at EKA; Suk-Jae Chang, AR/VR businessman; Pia Tikka, Professor TLU.

Link to Recreation Lab at TTU: https://recreation.ee

NeuroCine collaborator Professor Emerita Riitta Hari awarded due to excellence in brain research

Olav Thon Foundation grants the 2018 international research award to Academician, Professor Emerita Riitta Hari

The researcher prize was awarded due to excellence in brain research.

Picture: Mikael Ahlfors, The Women Leaders Program of Finland Chamber of Commerce.

 

The Norwegian Olav Thon Foundation has named Professor Emerita Riitta Hari the recipient of its international researcher award for excellence in brain research. The award totals 5 million Norwegian kroner, which is approximately 518,000 euros.

According to the foundation’s chairperson Olav Thon, Professor Emerita Riitta Hari is a highly respected brain researcher. Many breakthroughs have been made in the field of brain science thanks to Hari.

According to Ole Petter Ottersen, head of the Olav Thon Foundation’s Expert Committee and President of Karolinska Institutet, Hari has been a pioneer of magnetoencephalography (MEG) since the 1980s.

‘This award came as a complete surprise to me. I have been Professor Emerita at the Aalto University Department of Art since 2016, with the aim to lower the borders between art and neuroscience. I take great delight in the award, as well as in the possibility to continue my interesting research, and even to participate in the ceramics courses at the Departments of Art and Design,’ says Professor Emerita Riitta Hari.

Hari directed brain research at Aalto University for over three decades. In 2010, she was granted the honorary title of Academician of Science. Hari has published over 300 peer reviewed articles and numerous other publications. In 2009 Hari was the recipient of the Finnish Science Award, in 2003 she received the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine and in 2001 Hari was granted the Matti Äyräpää award.

Previous awards

Pia Tikka

Celebrating Academician Riitta Hari, the director and leading neuroscientist of our globally unique neurocinematics research project aivoAALTO at Aalto University (2009–2014). And the inspiring dialogue between arts and sciences continues – now across the Finish Gulf 

See our co-authored papers at neurocine.net

 

 

TALK by Bruce Sheridan on Creativity: Embodied, Extended, and Enactive 19 Jan 2018

Speaker: Bruce Sheridan (University of Auckland) 
Time: January 19th (Thursday) at 15:00
Place: M-213

Creativity: Embodied, Extended, and Enactive

Cognitivism and computational theories of mind drove approaches to creativity through the 20th century, and formal education across arts and sciences continues to draw on assumptions that are increasingly challenged by developments in neuroscience and artificial intelligence. By emphasizing the physically embodied, socially extended, and inherently enactive nature of human mentation, creativity can be understood as a fundamental, ubiquitous, and highly dynamic capacity central to all human activities. In this presentation I consider ways to conceptualize creativity and learning holistically, and how this approach can both draw from and contribute to work in the biological, physical, and social sciences.

Professor Bruce Sheridan is a filmmaker and educator based in Chicago. He began his filmmaking career in New Zealand, where he produced and directed drama and non-fiction projects for cinema and television, and won the 1999 Best Drama Award for the tele-feature Lawless. From 2001-2017 he was Chair of Cinema Art + Science at Columbia College Chicago, where he led the creation of the Media Production Center, a unique laboratory for modeling and investigating professional collaborative filmmaking practice. Professor Sheridan is Chair of the North American region of CILECT, the international organization of screen education institutions, and a member of the Creativity Research Initiative team at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where he is currently completing his PhD in philosophy.

With Bruce and Pia in the middle: Vice-Rector for Creative Activities and Cooperation Andres Jõesaar, Head of BFM Katrin Saks, and our EU Mobilitas Plus -project coordinator Maria Hansar.

Keynote @ ITMO St Petersburg Nov 2017

Pia Tikka

Keynote titled

Lighting the neural scene of storytelling – A neurocinematic approach

at the International research-to-practice conference Lighting Design in St Petersburg, hosted by CLD ITMO University and RULD
The main goal of the conference is to connect Science with Business through Art and Innovative technology to develop a competitive market of lighting design and produce new ideas and trends. Over 500 architects, lighting designers, engineers, IT and multimedia specialists, scientists, representatives of Russian government, top-managers, set designers, producers and artists are expected to attend this year’s conference and discuss the main theme “Identity”. The two-day event features four general panel discussions, more than 20 presentations, workshops and lectures given by key Russian and international experts. In addition to the main program, there will also be cultural and social events arranged, as well as open lectures for the city to promote the development of lighting culture and to increase awareness and knowledge amongst the local citizens in the field of science and light.