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

 

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.

Talking about AI & MEDIA with ACE Producers

AI & Media Afternoon by Aalto Studios with ACE Producers / 12.10.2018 / Helsinki
 
Drs Pia Tikka and Ilkka Kosunen (image) gave a joint talk at the AI & Media Afternoon event on Friday the 12th of October, 2018. The event was held at Miltton offices at Vuorikatu 15, Helsinki, from 16:15 until 19:00.
Mika Rautiainen, Valossa Oy:  Applying Video Recognition and Content Intelligence to Media Workflows
Pia Tikka & Ilkka Kosunen: Creating Autonomous Behavior of Virtual Humanlike Characters in Interaction with Human Participants

Conference presentation @Virtual Reality as a Transformative Technology to Develop Empathy June 20

A video conference presentation at the 1st “Virtual Reality as a Transformative Technology to Develop Empathy” Conference, organised by the “empathic Reactive MediaLab Coalition” (eRMLab Coalition) and EmpaticaXR research group.

 

Lynda Joy Gerry: Envisioning Future Technology for Compassion Cultivation

Experiments in cognitive neuroscience have recently dissociated neural pathways underpinning the experience of empathy from that of compassion. Namely, whereas the experience of empathy involves neural activations regarding an affective pain resonance with the distress or suffering of the target, compassion is correlated to reward centers and positive affect regions of the brain. The import of this finding is that empathy may in some instances lead to a withdrawal reflex if there is excessive sharing of distress with the target, whereas compassion appears to involve a care for the welfare of another and an approach motivation. Within the last five years, virtual environments (VEs) have been increasingly researched and developed towards the goal of enhancing users’ social intelligence, self-compassion, positive attitudes towards out-groups, and empathy. However, most of these VEs do not help the user to become more aware of his or her own emotional and psychological states in response to another person or persons, arguably a crucial step in the recovery from empathic distress or over-arousal. Biofeedback training has also been used for improving social cognition skills, but only a few projects have incorporated biofeedback into empathy-enhancing virtual environments. Recovery from empathic distress as a skill trained through biofeedback VEs could enhance interpersonal connectedness, quality of life, and social cohesion.

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”

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)