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.

 

Prague Quadrennial’s 36Q˚ exhibits The State of Darkness

The State of Darkness is exhibited at BLUE HOUR of the Prague Quadrennial’s 36Q˚ June 8-16, 2019.

Enactive Virtuality Lab is presented by associated team members Tanja Bastamow (Virtual Cinema Lab, Aalto ARTS) and Victor Pardinho (Sense of Space Oy). Biosensor adaptation for  the event by Ilkka Kosunen.

Prague Quadrennial’s 36Q˚ (pronounced “threesixty”) presents the artistic and technical side of performance design concerned with creation of active, sensorial and predominantly nontangible ironments. Just like a performer, these emotionally charged environments follow a certain dramatic structure, change and evolve in time and invite our visitors to immerse themselves in a new experience.

WORKSHOPS, MASTERCLASSES
Curated by Markéta Fantová and Jan K. Rolník
8 – 16 June
Small Sports Hall

Our global society seems to be obsessed with fast paced progress of technology and elevates rational intellectual and scientific pursuits above arts that are intuitive and visceral in their nature. And yet creative minds based in the arts are proving that the boundless imagination paired with new technological advancements often result in original and highly inspiring mind-expanding projects. Even though performance design doesn’t need to use modern technology and is often the most inspiring when it uses simple human interaction, we need to explore and experiment with wide range of possibilities new technologies have to offer. PQ Artistic Director Marketa Fantova established 36Q˚ with those thoughts in mind and with a focus on the young, emerging generation of creatives.

Blue Hour

An experimental, interactive environment that fills the entire space of the Industrial Palace Sports Arena will welcome visitors on 8 June and remain open until the end of PQ 2019. The project, based on intensive team work that brings together experienced artists with emerging designers to collaboratively create, will be led by renowned French visual new media artist Romain Tardy.  The curatorial team seeks to experiment with the shifting boundaries between the “non-material” or “virtual” and the “real” world, to explore the capacity of performance design to enlist technology in cultural production.

See more here

TALK by professor Iiro P Jääskeläinen Brain and Mind Lab Aalto Uni

 

Invited lecture and a collaboration meeting with professor Iiro P Jääskeläinen and Enactive Virtuality Lab May 21-22, 2019.

Image: Pia Tikka, Iiro P Jääskeläinen, Jelena Rosic, and Ilkka Kosunen at MEDIT meeting space.

May 21 at 3-4 pm Dr Iiro P. Jääskeläinen, Associate Professor of the Brain and Mind Laboratory, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University School of Science, Finland,
gave an open neurocinematic talk on “Using movies as real-life like stimuli during neuroimaging to study the neural basis of social cognition” (room M-134).

Abstract:
Movies and narratives are increasingly used as stimuli in neuroimaging studies. This in many ways helps bridge the gaps between neuroscience, psychology, and even social sciences by allowing stimulation of, and thus also measurement of neural activity underlying, phenomena that have been less amenable to study with more traditional neuroimaging stimulus-task designs. Observation of signature patterns underlying discrete emotions across largely shared brain structures have suggested that both basic and dimensional emotion theories are partly correct. Robust differences in brain activity when viewing genetic vs. adopted sisters going through a moral dilemma in a movie clip have shown that knowledge of shared genes shapes perception of social interactions, thus demonstrating how neuroimaging can offer important measures for social sciences that complement the traditional behavioral ones. Furter, more idiosyncratic brain activity has been observed in high-functioning autistic than neurotypical subjects specifically in putative social brain regions when watching a drama movie. Development of data analysis algorithms holds keys to rapid advances in this relatively new area of research. Modeling the stimulus and recording brain activity is significantly complemented by behavioral measures on how the subjects experienced the movie stimulus.

Image: Jelena Rosic and Ilkka Kosunen engaged in  discussing correlations between ‘pheno’-dynamics and ‘neuro’-dynamics for our micro-phenomenological Memento study, a follow-up for Kauttonen et al 2018.

Neurocinematic talks @ Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main

The Brain on the Screen

Invited talk on “Narrative Sense-Making – A Neurocinematic Approach” at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (MPI), Frankfurt am Main, March 26, 2019.

Presentation at the Cinema of the Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, Brain on the Screen public series of 4 introductory talks: Ed Vessel, Vittorio Gallese, Marie Therese Forster, and Pia Tikka.

 

Run Lola Run (German: Lola rennt) is a 1998 German thriller film written and directed by Tom Tykwer, and starring Franka Potente as Lola and Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni. The story follows a woman who needs to obtain 100,000 Deutsche Mark in twenty minutes to save her boyfriend’s life.

 

 

The Brain on Screen

Vier Filme – Vier Vorträge – Ein Akteur: Das menschliche Gehirn

Diese und weitere Fragen stehen im Zentrum der Film- und Vortragsreihe „The Brain on Screen“, die das Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik gemeinsam mit dem Deutschen Filminstitut & Filmmuseum im März 2019 veranstaltet. An vier Dienstagen (5., 12., 19. und 26.03.2019) werden vier Experten jeweils eine Einführung in vier Filme geben, die aus neurowissenschaftlicher Perspektive interessant sind.

Während der anschließenden Film­vorführung hat das Publikum die Gelegenheit, hautnah mitzuerleben, wie neurowissenschaftliche Forschung zum Filmerleben aussehen kann.  Wer möchte, kann Teilnehmer in einer den Film begleitenden Studie werden.

The Brain on Screen“ bietet einen wissenschaftlichen und praktischen Einblick in ein spannendes Forschungsfeld und verwandelt das Gehirn selbst in einen Akteur.

Wenn Sie Interesse haben teilzunehmen, können Sie sich hier anmelden.

 

 

 

 

Talk @ Hong Kong Baptist University

Pia Tikka:

Public lecture

Enactive Virtuality – Conceptualizing the dynamics of narrative cognition

Date:  21 March, 2019

Time:  4:30 – 5:45 pm

Venue: AAB 905, Academic and Adminstration Building, Baptist University Road Campus,  Hong Kong Baptist University, March 21, 2019.

https://talent100.hkbu.edu.hk/

Abstract

I will introduce my concept of enactive virtuality, associated with the idea of narratives as fundamental constructs of human mind. Inspired by the approach to enactive mind by Fransisco Varela and colleagues, the concept of enactive virtuality describes the experiencing mind as a dynamical system of body, brain, and the world. The epistemic triangulation is suggested as a means of translating the concept to practice.

While audiovisual narratives have been shown to elicit very similar physiological responses in different viewers, however, individual life experiences define how the story is interpreted by each. The approach of triadic epistemology, a combination of methods from arts, social sciences, and psychophysiology allows generating integrated knowledge about how different viewers experience particular narratives. The method builds on the fundamentally pragmatist idea that no two domains of knowledge are enough to explain each other, but a third is always required to provide the interpretative angle. Therefore, understanding narrative content needs to be analyzed not only based on subjective reports of the viewers, because that is not anchored to any overall understanding, but they also need to be related to a neurophysiological repertoire of experiences. Similarly, being able to describe the neural activity data collected during the viewing of a film, it is not enough to relate it only to subjective reports of the viewers, but the observations also need to be interpreted to conventions of narrative dramaturgy and filmmaking. A selection of cases are described to clarify the concept of enactive virtuality and the proposed triadic method.

 

 

And a great aftermath of the Talk at the HKBU campus Cafe with Roger Carcia, Chianly Sze, Samantha Goh, Mette Hjort, and Eugene Birman.

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.

 

 

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).

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

 

Neuroadaptive dance project “Trisolde”

TRISOLDE – Neuroadaptive Gesamtkunstwerk: The Biocybernetic Symbiosis of Tristan and Isolde”

Exploring the final frontier of human-computer interaction with a neuroadaptive opera…performed by the audience, dancers and computational creativity .

Team of “TRISOLDE” (Tiina Ollesk, Simo Kruusement, Renee Nõmmik, Ilkka Kosunen, Hans-Günther Lock, Giovanni Albini) performed in Festival “IndepenDance” in Göteborg, nov 29 and Dec 2, 2019.

A symbiotic dance version of Wagner´s “Tristan and Isolde” where dancers are controlling the music via body movements and implicit psychophysiological signals. This work explores the next step in this coming-together of man and machine: the symbiotic interaction paradigm where the computer can automatically sense the cognitive and affective state of the user and adapt appropriately in real-time. It brings together many exciting fields of research from computational creativity to physiological computing. To measure audience and to use the audience’s reactions to module the orchestra is new way of doing “participatory theatre” where audience becomes part of the performance.

“Tristan and Isolde” is widely considered both as one of the greatest operas of all time as well as beginning of modernism in music, introducing techniques such as chromaticism dissonance and even atonality. It has sometimes been described as a “symphony with words”; the opera lacks major stage action, large choruses or wide range of characters. Most of the “action” in the opera happens inside the heads of Tristan and Isolde. This provides amazing possibilities for a biocybernetic system: I this case, Tristan and Isolde will communicate both explicitly (through movement of the dancers) but also implicitly via the measured psychophysiological signals.

Dance artists: Tiina Ollesk, Simo Kruusement

Choreographer-director: Renee Nõmmik

Dramaturgy and science of biocybernetic symbiosis: Ilkka Kosunen

Composers for interactive audio media: Giovanni Albini, Hans-Gunter Lock

Video interaction: Valentin Siltsenko

Duration: 40’

This performance is supported by: The Cultural Endowment of Estonia, and Enactive Virtuality Lab and Digital Technology Insitute (biosensors), Tallinn University.

Presentation of project: November 29th-30th and December 1st, 2018 at 3:e Våningen Göteborg (Sweden) at festival Independance. The event is dedicated to the centenary of the Republic of Estonia and supported by program “Estonia100-EV100”.

PREMIER IN TALLINN FEBRUARY 2019 (see more Fine 5 Theater)

 

Hybrid Labs The Third Renewable Futures Conference

Hybrid Labs Symposium
The Third Renewable Futures Conference
May 30 – June 1, 2018, Aalto University, Otaniemi Campus

June 31 NeurocinemAtics on narrative experience

Hybrid Labs is the third edition of Renewable Futures conference that aims to challenge the future of knowledge creation through art and science. The HYBRID LABS took place from May 30 to June 1, 2018 at Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, in the context of Aalto Festival. Celebrating 50 years of Leonardo journal and community, the HYBRID LABS conference looked back into the history of art and science collaboration, with an intent to reconsider and envision the future of hybrid laboratories – where scientific research and artistic practice meet and interact.
http://hybridlabs.aalto.fi/hls2018-symposium/

Pia Tikka and Mauri Kaipainen:
Triadic epistemology of narrative experience

We consider the narrative experience as a triangular system of relations between narrative structure , narrative perspective , and physiological manifestations associated with both. The proposal builds on the fundamentally pragmatist idea that no two of these elements are enough to explain each other, but a third is always required to explicate the interpretative angle. Phenomenological accounts altogether reject the idea of objective descriptions of experience. At the same time, a holistic understanding must assume that a narrative is shared on some level, an assumption narratology must make, and that even individual experiences are also embodied, as is evident to neuroscientists observing brain activity evoked by narrative experience. It cannot be that these accounts are incompatible forever. Using these elements, we discuss a triadic epistemology, a mutually complementary knowledge construction system combining phenomenological, narratological and physiological angles in order to generate integrated knowledge about how different people experience particular narratives.

Our approach assumes a holistic, or even deeper, an enactive perspective to experiencing, that is, assuming systemic engagement in the embodied, social, and situational environmental processes. Consequently, we propose understanding narrative content needs to be analyzed not only based on subjective reports of theexperiencer, but they also need to be related to neurophysiological manifestations of the experience. Or, describing the associated neural activity during the viewing of a film is not enough to relate it to subjective reports of the viewers, but the observations also need to be interpreted to conventions of storytelling. A selection of cases are described to clarify the proposed triadic method.

Κeywords: neurophenomenology, narrative experience, narrative perspective, enactive theory of mind, epistemology

eFilm: Hyperfilms for basic and clinical research presented by
my aivoAALTO collaborator professor Mikko Sams showed highlights of neuroscience findings related to viewing films in fMRI and introduced the concept of eFilm, a novel computational platform for producing and easily modifying films to be used in basic and clinical research.

June 1 VR TALKS at Aalto Studios

VR Research Talks organised with Virtual Cinema Lab and FiVR Track dedicated on research in and around VR, with a focus on artistic praxes around sound, alternative narrations and the self.

Daniel Landau: Meeting Yourself in Virtual Reality and Self-Compassion
Self-reflection is the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about their fundamental nature, purpose, and essence. Between the internal process of Self-reflection to the external observation of one’s reflection – runs a thin line marking the relationship between the private-self and the public-self. From Narcissus’s pond, through reflective surfaces and mirrors, to current day selfies, the concepts of self, body-image and self-awareness have been strongly influenced by the human interaction with physical reflections. In fact, one can say that the evolution of technologies reproducing images of ourselves has played a major role in the evolution of the Self as a construct. With the current wave of Virtual-Reality (VR) technology making its early steps as a consumer product, we set out to explore the new ways in which VR technology may impact our concept of self and self-awareness. ‘Self Study’ aims to critically explore VR as a significant and novel component in the history and tradition of the complex relationship between technology and the Self (—).

See more on Daniel’s work here)