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.

 

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.

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.

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

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.)

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.

 

 

 

Talk at Sergej Eisenstein Workshop, The Brandenburg Centre for Media Studies (ZeM), Potsdam, Nov 22-24

Sergej Eisenstein and the Game of Objects 

Workshop at The Brandenburg Centre for Media Studies (ZeM), Potsdam

In the year which marks both the 120th anniversary of Sergej Eisenstein’s birth and the 70th anniversary of his death, the Brandenburg Centre for Media Studies (ZeM) in Potsdam and “Cinepoetics – Center for Advanced Film Studies” at the Free University Berlin are jointly organising a workshop that will take place in Potsdam from the 22th to 24th November 2018. More here.

Title of the talk by Pia Tikka: Simulatorium Eisensteinense: Eisenstein’s legacy in art and science dialogue 

Image form Sergei Eisenstein Elokuvan muoto, p 121 ISBN 951-835-004-3

Tallinn Summer School in St. Petersburg August 26–31

Ilkka Kosunen

With the support of the Estonia 100 programme, Tallinn University, Tallinn Summer School, and ITMO University  offered a summer school course “Experimental Interaction Design: Physiological Computing Technologies for Performative Arts.”

The main goal of the one-week extensive hands-on course in interaction design was to empower people to shape their digital environments thus providing a new level of digital literacy. This edition focused on Neurotheatre, a specific type of interactive theatre, where audience and/or actors can communicate via brain and neural computer interfaces using multimodal sensors and actuators.

The course introduced core design and interaction design topics in a provocative stance, inviting participants to reflect upon ongoing shifts, connections, and re-framings in just about every area of interaction design, and inciting a rebellion against passivity. This was complemented with the development of skills in systematic evaluation of usability and user experience of interaction designs. The expectation is to see participants take ownership of the interaction design process.

http://summerschool.tlu.ee/russia/

 

Compassion Cultivation Training in Bio-Adaptive Virtual Environments Paris, CRI June 8

As part of the Frontiers du Vivant, Lynda Joy Gerry presented and defended her project “Compassion Cultivation Training in Bio-Adaptive Virtual Environments” at the Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity (CRI) in Paris. This project involves using perspective-taking in virtual environments using biofeedback relating to emotion regulation (heart rate variability) to manage the recovery from empathic distress. Empathic distress is conceived as a step in the empathic process towards the understanding of another person’s affective, bodily, and psychological state, but one that can lead to withdrawal and personal distress for the empathizer. Thus, this project implements instruction techniques adopted from Compassion Cultivation Training guided meditation practices cued by biofeedback to entrain better self-other boundaries and distinctions, as well as emotion regulation.

Lynda also participated in a workshop on VR and Empathy led by Philippe Bertrand from BeAnother Lab (BAL, The Machine to Be Another). See Philippe Bertrand TEDx talk “Standing in the shoes of the others with VR”