Media Lab Doctoral seminar together with the Department of Design!

Welcome to the first joint research seminar hosted by Department of Media and Department of Design. During the seminar you will be treated with inspiring and cutting edge research as well as some sparkling!

When? Wednesday 13 December, from 15:00-17:00.
Where? Johanna meeting room (116), Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre, Otaniementie 9, Espoo (Otaniemi), 1st floor.

Presentations in the event follow the PechaKucha format: each presentation contains 20 slides that are shown 20 seconds each. Simple and inspiring!

DOM Presentations by:
Khalil Klouche: Designing for Information Exploration
Yrjö Tuunanen: Narrative Transparency in Online Journalism

DOD Presentations by:
Elif Öztekin: Eco-settlements as Niche Innovations for Sustainability Transitions

Responsible teachers: 
Lily Díaz-Kommonen, Professor of New Media, Department of Media
Miikka J. Lehtonen, Visiting Assistant Professor in Design Business Management

This seminar is open for everyone interested in contemporary research in media and design.



Dissertation in the field of photography: M.Soc.Sci. Maija Tammi

The dissertation scrutinises how sickness has been represented in art photography and examines new ways to approach, think about and create photographic art about sickness.

M.Soc.Sci Maija Tammi will defend her dissertation Sick Photography. Representations of Sickness in Art Photography. on Tuesday 12 December 2017.

At 12:00–14:00. Lecture hall 822, 8th floor, Hämeentie 135 C, 00560, Helsinki.

Opponent: PhD Loiuse Wolthers, Hasselblad Foundation, Göteborg
Custos: prof. Merja Salo, Department of Media

The discussion will be in English.

More information:

The dissertation Sick Photography scrutinises how sickness has been represented in art photography and examines new ways to approach, think about and create photographic art about sickness. It is a work of artistic research – it combines the practice of research with the generation of new artworks. The research differentiates between sickness, illness and disease, following anthropologist Arthur Kleinman’s definitions, and illustrates how 67 artworks by known authors sit in relation to these definitions. The research shows that art photographers have mostly concentrated on depicting personal illness experiences. Critics and scholars have concentrated on the ethics of what kind of images of sickness or suffering ought to be shown or on the psychology of why some images of sickness bother viewers. Tammi’s research adds to the conversation of difficult images drawing from writings on disgust, uncanny and abject, and claims that the proximity of photography makes it potent for being abject or uncanny. The main results of the research, artworks Leftover (2014) and White Rabbit Fever (2016), are intertwined with the research and draw their inspiration from it.



The dissertation notice and the published dissertation are placed for public display at the Learning Hub Arabia (Hämeentie 135 C, 5th floor, room 570), at latest 10 days before the defence date.

Event on Facebook:

Media Lab Doctoral Seminar November 23

Welcome to the Media Lab Doctoral Seminar
TIME: Thursday November 23, from 16:00–19:00
LOCATION: Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre, Otaniementie 9, Espoo (Otaniemi), 1st floor room 116 (Johanna meeting room).

DOM-L0003 Doctor of Arts at Media Lab Seminar
Responsible  teacher: Prof. Lily Díaz-Kommonen

Presentations by Professor Jari Saramäki, Dept. of Computer Science, and Khalil Klouche, doctoral student at Media Lab. See abstracts below.

The seminar is open for all. Welcome!

Mobile phones, social networks, and patterns of interaction

by Professor Jari Saramäki

Abstract: The world is run by networks – from networks of biological processes inside our cells to the neural networks of our brains, and very importantly, to the social networks that we are all part of. Many of the most important, disruptive technological changes of the recent decades have been driven by our need to form and maintain social ties: mobile telephones, the Internet, social media platforms. However, science has only lately started to uncover the large-scale features of human social networks. I will present a series of discoveries on human social networks, obtained with the help of Big Data on mobile phone communication between millions of individuals. I will focus on the importance of weak ties, the persistence of the ways how we structure our social networks, and the tendency for similar people to communicate with each other, and discuss the implications of these findings.

file_crop1_1157679_y_384Prof. Jari Saramäki (born 1971) is an internationally recognised scholar working in the fields of complex systems and networks (ISI Web of Science: 80 publications, 3505 citations, h-index 27 / Google Scholar: h-index 35, 7460 citations). He received his PhD in 1998 in engineering physics, studying low-temperature quantum phenomena. He has also worked in data mining and telecommunications industries. He has been appointed an invited professor at École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France (May 2017), visiting scholar at the University of Oxford, UK (fall 2010) and visiting professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium (Sept 2008). He has been one of the pioneers of the temporal networks framework and is well-known for work in social networks and computational social science.


Entity-based Affordances for Fluid Information Practices

by Khalil Klouche

Abstract: In the early 90s, document linking and embedding was described as the new hypermedia structuring paradigm, and the world wide web was quickly spreading, fueled by the miracle of the hyperlink. Since then, users are guided from one source of information to another via fixed references determined by the content creators, and rely on search engines when they need personalized access points to the information space. Although the same paradigm has subsisted so far, it is not suited to the current reality of information access, which brings both challenges and technical opportunities, and makes for an appropriate time to think of an alternative information seeking paradigm.

The amount of available information keeps on growing, and access points provided by conventional query-and-response search engines – the ten blue links – are too narrow to offer a sensible overview of available material related to a given query. We need options for broader and more personalized access to information, as well as support for making sense of it. Thankfully, new technologies in information retrieval create opportunities to address these problems and rethink on-line media access and structuring. As entity search and recommendation become a reality, the user’s information trail relies less on documents linked explicitly by content creators. Users have now the opportunity to finely steer their progression within the information space, in accordance to their immediate needs, understanding and inspiration. Related information and overview of the data can be computed on the fly to suit the very specific needs of each user at any time during the exploration, providing constant access to more detailed or more general information, new directions and branching topics.

My research explores interaction techniques designed to support entity-based information exploration, and grounds it in available literature. The main contribution is a design template describing the hypercue, an interactive representation of entities that provides personalized access points to information, and which serves as a complement to the hyperlink. Hypercues create opportunities to flexibly discover, store and share information, and gain insights of the data. The Hypercue design template consists of a minimal set of affordances that ensure all important features for supporting exploratory search can be addressed, while leaving enough design space to facilitate integration within a variety of systems.

HIIT_OtaniemiKhalil Klouche is a doctoral student at Media Lab Helsinki and a researcher in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at the Computer Science department of University of Helsinki. He holds a master’s degree in interactive design from the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland. His research focuses on the design, development and evaluation of novel interactive systems to access and explore information.

Canadian Theatre Review – Articulating Artistic Research

available online

Canadian Theatre Review

Vol. 172, Fall 2017

CTR Online:

Articulating Artistic Research


“Introduction: Ahr-tik-yuh-leay-ting Ahr-tis-tik Ree-surch”

Bruce Barton

“What Happens When…?”: A Meditation on Experimentation and Communication in Practices of Artistic Research

Natalia Esling

Natalia Esling’s introductory article to this special issue of CTR offers a snapshot of views and experiences of an international colleague (Falk Hübner) as a point of comparison for her own experiences using practice-based research (PBR) methodologies to examine the impact of sensory manipulation in contemporary performance. Discussing in brief her own research methods and experiment design, she considers several fundamental criteria associated with Artistic Research (AR)—process orientation, knowledge generation, and utility/transferability—arguing that the significance of discoveries made and knowledges gained through practices of AR lies in the capacity to communicate those discoveries and knowledges across multi- and interdisciplinary boundaries. The article further articulates the benefit of hands-on processes that lead to more incisive and precise questions related to discrete aspects of the dynamics of performance; it considers a way of thinking about AR in relation to performances/productions that does not necessarily privilege a performance/production as a final “outcome,” but rather that positions it as one aspect within the broader process of addressing a particular question through AR.

Work Quickly but Think Slowly

Brian Quirt

Brian Quirt reviews the history, impact, and current activities related to Nightswimming’s Pure Research program in the context of his own creative practice. The article examines the program’s impact in light of current partnerships with four Nordic theatre research organizations, relating performance lab work conducted in 2016 in Reykjavik, Iceland, to Quirt’s own practice as a dramaturg and theatremaker. The article assesses Nightswimming’s ongoing efforts to archive past research projects, disseminate the results, and by examining the impact of those projects on participating artists, strategize about future Pure Research iterations. Most importantly, the article explores the relationship between Pure Research’s commitment to ‘pure’ performance research, and how its activities and discoveries have had significant impact on how Nightswimming initiates new creative projects and designs the creation process for those works in development. The article refers to a previous CTR article devoted to Pure Research, published in CTR 119 (Summer 2004) also written by Quirt.

Connective Tissue: Practice as Research in Cross-disciplinary Research Collaborations

Pil Hansen

Practice as Research (PaR and its associated forms) is becoming established within a knowledge paradigm encompassing a broad spectrum of different artistic research practices in the performing arts. In this short essay, Hansen first acknowledges and describes methodological characteristics of this work, which appear across different discussions and examples. The author’s primary objectives, however, are to look at PaR in relationship to broadly established scientific and interpretive research paradigms; to identify the points of negotiation that cross-disciplinary research entails; and to discuss the additional capacity of PaR as ‘connective tissue’ between, for example, creative practice and scientific research. These objectives are driven by the observation that contemporary socio-environmental challenges are too complex to be addressed through segregated, discipline-specific research alone.

The Larval Journey

Peter Balkwill

How does a creating theatre artist access inspiration; how are they able to push the bounds of their current practice and find news of working; how do they get to an original idea? This article might not be able to solve those direct questions but provides avenues toward the possibility of answers. We explore the abstract form in Larval Mask as well as larval shape to goad both our mind and body into the unknown fog of the creative cosmos, to see what happens when we release the pursuit of reaching for a predetermined “idea” and to simply explore the arrival of something unexpected. In this manner of process we are able to push the status quo on many different forms of theatre—in this case toward the advancement of puppetry.

“[So] What Do Dancers Know, [Anyway]?”: Voicing the Dancer’s Perspective through Emergent Choreographic Analysis

P. Megan Andrews

[So] what do dancers know, [anyway]? Part manifesto, part essay, this article presents a woven, multi-level text discussion of my dancer/scholar standpoint and practice-as-research approach to articulating the dancer’s perspective. My recent research develops an emergent choreographic analysis of iconic American dance artist Deborah Hay’s choreography and practice, from my first-person experience as practitioner/performer in her solo “At Once” (2009). Writing as closely as possible to the dancing experience from within the practice, and using phenomenological, critical-poetic and performative writing strategies, this approach involves an iterative practicing, performing, and writing process that echoes the principles of adaptation underlying Hay’s own project. Reflecting Robin Nelson’s proposal that, in PaR, theory is imbricated within practice but must be articulated in complementary writing, I draw on Linda Hutcheon’s definition and principles of adaptation as a tool to amplify the resonances between Hay’s work, my artistic research itself, and the framework for its articulation. I ultimately position my research and writing not as a separate analytical reflection but as a critical-creative adaptation of Hay’s choreographic work.

A Way to Work on My Problem without Knowing What It Is

Evan Webber

The article outlines the background, development, method and impact of performance encyclopaedia, an iterative performance work co-created by Ame Henderson and Evan Webber. performance encyclopaedia, proposes that reading and writing are convivial, choreographic actions that produce not objects but temporal, collective, and embodied experience. The inception of this project is connected to a reading of Artistic research: theories, methods and practices by Mika Hannula, Juha Suoranta, and Tere Vadén, which was a major influence on the creators’ thinking.

Rhythm and Rumination: A Three-Course Conversation

Natalie Doonan

This article examines “specific productions” or products as these notions are called into question through artistic research. It reports on a pedagogical experiment that I conducted with a group of eighty students at Concordia University in the fall of 2016. Through writing, photography, and video, I document and reflect upon the relationships between pedagogy, research, and artistic production. These samples show that there are problems with attempting to distinguish between everyday acts and finished works. The process documented in the article calls into question the boundaries that we imagine between educating and artistic research. It does so by demonstrating the creative role of the educator in eliciting dialogue through the senses and in directing dialogue through attention to rhythm.

Of Puppets and Prototypes—Proposals for an Intermedial Performance Design Practice

Richard C. Windeyer

In this brief essay, puppetry serves as a metaphor for thinking about how several design research techniques—such as participatory prototyping or the development of user requirement specifications—may be adapted to the collective creation of intermedial performance projects. The observations and speculations explored in this essay have emerged primarily through the author’s own experiences as a designer of intermedial performance instruments over the past decade. As such, this essay constitutes a personalized proposal for an improved set of working methods capable of identifying and avoiding several recurring processual tendencies. 

The Invisible Opportunity: All the Light We Cannot See (in Research)

Jessica Watkin

This article articulates the growth that occurs in graduate school when the author comes to terms with their disability as being a positive contribution to their scholarly work by using it in practice-based and embodied research. It explores a project which illuminated the possibilities of embodied research by renegotiating the emphasis of visual performance on stage and by claiming space in graduate life to work with disability to bring new perspectives to scholarly work.

To ‘Hack’ and Back: The Professional Actor as Researcher

Martin Julien

This article examines the idea of “articulating artistic practice” from the positionality of professional actors who also work as researchers within a practice-based research framework. Three main areas of concern are briefly outlined and unpacked: remuneration, scheduling, and aesthetic/practical goals and outcomes. Practice-based research is, by definition, interdisciplinary, and often intermedial. Highlighting some of the commonalities and differences that exist between professional performance practitioners and academic researchers is a necessary and fertile exercise in the quest to establish working methodologies and successful collaborations within the broader praxis of research models based in performance behaviours and technique.

Photo Collection

Aria Evans

Emerging to established Toronto dance artists respond to the question: “How is your artistic research or creative process different when there is no deadline associated with the project?”

A Practitioner’s Attempt at Quantifying the Actor’s Experience

Christine Brubaker

This article outlines selected findings from a personal research project I conducted in 2012 in Toronto with support from Nightswimming Theatre’s Pure Research Program—a program for professional artists to investigate questions within their practice free from any outside academic or performance agenda. I conducted a two-day performance lab with eighteen actors to investigate the experience of acting in different performance mediums and the usefulness of the Visual Analogue Scale to quantify this experience. 

Practice and Research: A Report from the Academy

Patrick BlenkarnCole LewisKer Wells

Summarizing a round-table discussion by faculty members at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts, this report presents the arguments and assumptions surrounding Practice as Research within the university. The artists present, drawing from their own experiences in a range of disciplines, debate the terminologies of research, institutional conceptions of methodologies, the function of documentation, their relationship with artists outside of the university system, and the place of teaching within the (potentially false) binary of practice and research. While no ultimate conclusions are made, the report serves as a condensed survey of the significant methodological, if not cultural, divides within contemporary art as it exists within the university institution.

Listening to Animals: Interspecies Understandings through Performance-Based Research

Kimber Sider

We live in an interspecies community, and yet much of the time only human perspectives are acknowledged or considered valid. In order for animal perspectives to be recognized, the mode of inquiry needs to privilege animal ways of knowing and being in the world; it needs to privilege performance, and practice-based research. This paper explores the potential and importance of engaging performance-based research in interspecies contexts. The analysis centers on the performance-based research project, Playing in Silence, which invites musicians to improvise with horses in an open and unstructured space. Playing in Silence demonstrates that through the shared language of performance, humans and horses can co-create understandings, expand knowledges, and learn about one another. Many humans spend an inordinate amount of time speaking about animals, but completely overlook the possibilities of speaking with animals, of learning with and from them, and of discovering their perspectives as unique individuals. However, by tuning into the nuances of another’s performance, through the reflexive inquiry of performance-based research, interspecies understandings can be found, challenging the dominant human-centric perspective of the world, and opening up new realms of understanding.

Interactive Research: Media | Animator | Performer

Gwenyth DobieWilliam Mackwood

This article investigates the emerging methodologies of interactive performance. Interactive performance has been defined as one in which: digital technology is a central strategy, andthere is a corporeal presence (live body) on stage, and there is real-time interactivity between the two. The central question of this study revolves around the evolving systems used to develop this work, specifically searching for solutions to the complex challenges raised when developing digital tools synergistically with dramatic content. As artistic researchers and educators in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, York University, and Artistic Directors of Out of the Box Productions, Gwenyth Dobie and William Mackwood are advantageously positioned to use creative practice as a primary means and method of inquiry. Through their research-creation work they recognize the general term “Animator” as better able to describe the blend of knowledge, interests, and investment needed of all participants for a successful outcome. Further, they implement the terms “Animator Performer” (AP) and “Media Animator” (MA) when working in the world of interactive performance. From the findings on their most recent immersive piece Rallentando — an Installation, Dobie and Mackwood detail new creation methodologies where Media Animator/Animator Performer collaborate in ‘real-time’ throughout the developmental process.

Terms of Engagement: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Artistic Experimentation in the Rencontres/Encounters Project. A Dialogue of Sorts

Rachael Van FossenLisa Ndejuru

Situated within a context of social unease around xenophobic measures such as Québec’s Commission on Reasonable Accommodation and the infamous Charter of Québec Values, Rencontres/Encounters (R/E)’s research-creation process foregrounds what Ric Knowles terms “interculturalism” or “the contested, unsettling, and often unequal spaces between cultures, spaces that can function as performative sites of negotiation.” R/E blurs distinctions of what constitutes “community-engaged,” by experimenting with professional theatre artists from diverse or marginalized communities as an ethical, experimental approach to advancing social engagement processes and artistic creation. Can stepping into performance in the stories of others/another/an Other help build relationships and transform understandings across different life experiences, value systems, racialization, faiths, sexual and gender identities, etc.? The basis of the R/E experimental methodology in studio was to invite performance proposals centred on an ever-evolving set of questions. For example: What personal material can and should be used? How can risks be mitigated in future encounters? What are we looking for? How can we clarify the terms of engagement? Our team now is refining and adapting the experiments for dissemination in the form of workshops, and through a resource guide that will provide a menu of exercises, games, and performance proposals.

The Making of Making Treaty 7: A Practical, Philosophical and Ideological Template for Intercultural Collaboration

Troy Emery TwiggKris DemeanorBruce Barton

The origins of Making Treaty 7 the theatrical production in some ways mirror the treaty signing process itself 140 years ago: Negotiation, protocol, and the quest of two cultures trying to understand each other. Where this process significantly diverges from the murky dealings in 1877 is that the spirit in which this society and this play were created comes out of a need to repair and reconcile the fractured relationship between the First Nations and “newcomers,” a desire to recognize the facts of the past and have it inform us as to how to move forward together on this land. This article is a unique look inside the genesis and creation of Making Treaty 7. Troy Emery Twigg, a Blackfoot artist, dancer, and educator, and Kris Demeanor, a Calgary-based poet and musician, were part of the initial wave of consultation with Treaty 7 elders, research, and discussion with Michael Green, Narcisse Blood, and Blake Brooker that helped define the trajectory of Making Treaty 7. These interviews illuminate how research, largely based on written versions of first hand oral accounts by First Nations leaders, stimulated the artistic process as “theme bundles” were created and as musical and scene creation collaborations were pursued. Ultimately, it is the story of reconciliation through art, and the blending of socially conscious creation with artistic rigour.


Collective Script

Kimber SiderKer WellsNatalie DoonanP. Megan AndrewsPeter BalkwillChristine BrubakerMartin Julien

One of the most complex and complicated aspects of Artistic Research lies in its relationship to documentation, dissemination, and transferability. How does one represent process without turning it into a product? This issue’s ‘script’ is the manifestation of that challenge, a collaboratively realized project that is both a research design and its realization, a material process that is also a work of art.

For a full list of views and reviews:

University of Toronto Press – Journals Division

5201 Dufferin St., Toronto, ON, Canada M3H 5T8

Tel: (416) 667-7810 Fax: (416) 667-7881

Fax Toll Free in North America 1-800-221-9985

CFP: The Literary in Life (LILI18): The Social, Affective and Experimental in Narratives across Media

venue and date: University of Tampere, Finland, 13–15 June 2018

LILI18 targets the social, affective and experimental in literature, and explores literary forms of mediation in everyday life. How are literary conventions and devices, both narrative and poetic, employed in social and cultural meaning-making? We investigate the use of stories and metaphors, affective tone and emotion-expressions, as well as literary experimenting, in literature and social life. This approach will allow literary scholarship to regain its focus on literary works and literariness, and open up the boundaries that in many research traditions have isolated artworks from the world of everyday life and routine textual practices. These boundaries are medial in nature, which means that the traffic between art and the everyday is mediated in the form of social, affective and experimental uses of narrative and poetic modes. We are consistently exposed to media platforms, both old and new, that sustain and challenge our perceptions of the world, and employ similar narrative and poetic, as well as rhetorical and aesthetic, means across the board. In this way, we are presented with medial representations that engage us both affectively and in terms of cultural knowledge. In effect, private experiences are mediated as a public process we may have little control over.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

· Prof. Amy Shuman, Department of English (folklore, narrative, and critical theory), The Ohio State University, US

· Prof. Winfried Menninghaus, Director of Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

· Dr. Jan-Noël Thon, Department of Culture, Film and Media, University of Nottingham, UK

Topics may address but are not limited to (listed alphabetically):

· affects, emotion-expressions and effects in poetry and narrative

· experience and affectivity in mediation / demediation / remediation

· experiencing the experimental: affects, feelings, politics

· experimenting with the print medium: uses and misuses

· means of representing vicarious narrative experience

· medialities, modalities, and the concept of medium-specificity

· new media platforms and affective phenomena (e.g. virality)

· relationship between form and ideology, poetics and rhetorics

· representation of mind, emotions and consciousness in narrative and poetic environments

· representation of the everyday and everyday affects

· shifts between narrative media, intermedial blends and allusions

· situational affects and emotional scripts in life and literature

· traffic of literary modes and means between artistic and everyday storytelling

· types of narrative and narrativity in literature and new media

The length of your proposal for a 20-minute presentation should not exceed 300 words.
Add a bio note (max. 150 words) that includes your affiliation and email address.
Name your file [firstname lastname] and submit it as a pdf.
If you wish to propose a panel of 3–4 papers, include a description of the panel (max. 300 words), papers (max. 200 words each), and bio notes (max. 150 words each).

Submit your proposal at by 15 Nov 2017.
Decisions on all proposals will be made by 15 Dec 2017.

Conference website:

The Academy of Finland research project “Literary in Life”


Väitös valokuvan alalta: TaM Ismo Luukkonen

Toivotamme teidät tervetulleeksi TaM Ismo Luukkosen väitöstilaisuuteen:

Valokuvan ajallisuus.
Maiseman kerrostumista ajan kokemukseen.

Perjantaina 3 marraskuuta 2017, klo 12.00–14.00
Iso Luentosali 822
8krs, Hämeentie 135 C
00560, Helsinki, FI

Väitöskirja on taiteellinen tutkimus, joka tuo esille tekijälähtöisen näkökulman ajan ja valokuvan suhteeseen. Väittelijä esittää tulkintoja ajasta, maiseman kerrostumista sekä muinaisjäännöksistä maisemassa, ja tuo samalla kuvan sekä kuvan tekemisen kiinteäksi osaksi tutkimusta.

Vastaväittäjä: KuT Jan Kaila, Taideylipiston kuvataideakatemia
Kustos: prof. Merja Salo, Aalto-yliopiston Median laitos

Keskustelu käydään suomeksi.


Valokuvan ajallisuus (Maiseman kerrostumista ajan kokemukseen) on tekijälähtöinen taiteellinen tutkimus valokuvan ja ajan suhteesta. Muinaisjäännökset maisemassa, maiseman ajallinen kerroksellisuus ja sen välittyminen maisemavalokuvissa ovat työni lähtökohtia, joiden johdattamana tarkastelen valokuvan ajallisuutta. Pyrin vastaamaan kysymykseen, kuinka aika esiintyy valokuvissa.

Tutkimuksen rakenne on dialoginen. Tutkimustekstin rinnalla on kuvallisia lukuja, jotka pohjautuvat vuosien 2000–2017 taiteelliseen työskentelyyni maisemassa olevien muinaisjäännösten ja valokuvan ajallisuuden parissa. Kuvaustyössäni olen pyrkinyt tarkastelemaan kohteitani erilaisista lähtökohdista, mikä näkyy myös kuvien ilmiasuissa. Kuvallinen työskentelyni on tapahtunut samanaikaisesti teoreettisen tutkimuksen kanssa ja työskentelytavat ovat vaikuttaneet toisiinsa. Kuvalliset luvut tuovat toisen tarkastelutavan sanallisten rinnalle. Ajattelutapa on toinen, mutta tarkastelun kohde yhteinen.

Valokuvan voi nähdä todellisuuden jälkenä tai kuvallisena tulkintana todellisuudesta. Nämä kaksi näkökulmaa esiintyvät rinnakkain sekä tutkimustekstissä että kuvallisissa luvuissa. Kun katson valokuvaa todellisuuden jälkenä, sen ajallisuus liittyy kohteen ajallisuuteen, esimerkiksi maiseman ajallisiin kerrostumiin ja niiden välittymiseen valokuvasta. Jotta ajallisuuden voi tunnistaa kuvasta, se on ymmärrettävä myös kohteena olevasta maisemasta. Mutta jälki sitoo valokuvan aikaan myös toisella tavalla. Kuvattu hetki on tietty ajankohta menneisyydessä, joka väistämättä karkaa kauemmaksi ajan jatkumolla. Mennyt hetki tulee näkyväksi esimerkiksi vertailun kautta. Kuvaa voi verrata toisiin kuviin (samasta kohteesta) tai itse kohteeseen.

Katsoessani valokuvaa todellisuuden kuvallisena tulkintana, sen ajalliset merkitykset ovat riippuvaisia myös valokuvaajan tekemistä valinnoista. Valokuvaajana voin vaikuttaa siihen, kuinka aika jättää merkkinsä kuvan pintaan. Ajallisuutta voi edelleen korostaa käyttämällä erityisiä tekniikoita, joissa aika jo kuvattaessa muovaa valokuvan ilmiasua. Esimerkiksi pitkällä valotusajalla kuvattaessa esiintyvä liike-epäterävyys voi johdattaa katsojan ajallisten merkitysten äärelle.
Valokuva on kuitenkin monitulkintainen, sitä voi tarkastella monista näkökulmista ja erilaisista lähtökohdista. Tulkinta ei aina pysy niissä raameissa, joita tekijä yrittää kuvalle asettaa. Valokuvan merkitykset riippuvat siitä, kuinka katsoja kuvan kohtaa. Tähän kohtaamiseen vaikuttaa valokuvan ilmiasun ja katsojan itsensä lisäksi myös esityskonteksti, se, millaisessa yhteydessä kuva esitetään ja mitä muita kuvia tai tekstejä kuviin liittyy. Näin voidaan johdatella katsojaa myös ajallisiin tulkintoihin.

Valokuvalla on myös oma ajallisuutensa. Se on esine, joka vanhenee minkä tahansa esineen lailla, mutta vielä olennaisemmin ajallisuus tuntuu välimatkassa, joka syntyy valokuvan ottamisen ja katsomisen hetkien väliin. Valokuvaa katsotaan aina jälkikäteen. Se on väistämättä sidoksissa menneeseen ja tietoisuus tästä vaikuttaa siihen, kuinka kuvaa katsotaan. Valokuva on jäännös hetkellisestä tapahtumasta.

Tapahtuma Facebookissa.


You are cordially invited to the Defence of Doctoral Dissertation of MA Ismo Luukkonen:

Temporality of a photograph.
From the layers of a landscape to the experience of time.

Friday 3 November 2017, 12.00–14.00
Lecture Hall 822
8th floor, Hämeentie 135 C
00560, Helsinki, FI

The dissertation is artistic research into the relationship between a photograph and time. Photographing of prehistoric objects in landscape are used to examine the temporality of photography.

Opponent: Doctor of Fine Arts Jan Kaila, University of the Arts Helsinki
Custos: prof. Merja Salo, Aalto University Department of Media

Discussion will be held in Finnish.


The temporality of a photograph (from the layers of a landscape to the experience of time) is artistic research into the relationship between a photograph and time. The prehistoric objects in a landscape, the temporal layers of the landscape and the way the temporality of the landscape is represented in photographs are the starting points of the research. They led me to the key issue: the temporality of a photograph. My question is how time appears in photographs.

The structure of the research is dialogic. There are pictorial chapters beside written ones. The photographs are the results of my artistic work in the years 2000–2017, concerning prehistoric remains in the landscape and the temporality of a photograph. In my photographic work, my aim has been to examine subjects using different approaches. This is also visible in the appearances of the images. My photographic work has been concurrent with the theoretical research, and the two ways of working have affected each other. The way of thinking is different, but the subject is shared.

A photograph can be seen as a trace of reality or as a pictorial interpretation of reality. These two approaches appear both in the written text and in the pictorial chapters. When a photograph is thought of as a trace of reality, its temporality is based on the temporality of the subject, such as the temporal layers of a landscape and their representation in a photograph. To be able to recognise the temporality in the photograph, one must understand the temporality of the subject. However, the photograph as a trace also ties the photograph to time in another way. The photographed moment is a point in time, in the receding past. The gone moment of the photograph becomes visible, for example, if the photograph is compared to another photograph (of the same subject) or to the subject itself.

When I look at a photograph as a pictorial interpretation of reality, the temporal meanings also depend on the choices the photographer makes. As a photographer, I can decide how time leaves its mark on the surface of the photograph. The temporality can be emphasised by special techniques. A long exposure, for example, has an effect on the visuality of the photograph, and it can lead the viewer to temporal interpretations.

The photograph is, however, ambiguous. It can be studied from different viewpoints and using different approaches. The interpretation does not always stay within the frame that the photographer has suggested. The meanings depend on the way the viewer confronts the photograph. They are affected by the appearance of the photograph and the personality of the viewer, but also by the context of the photograph: where it is shown and what other pictures or texts are present. The context can be used to suggest temporal interpretations.

The photograph also has a temporality of its own. It is an object that ages like any object does, but even more essentially, temporality is felt in the distance between the moment when the photograph was taken and the moment when it is viewed. A photograph is always seen afterwards. It is inevitably bound to the past, and the awareness of this affects the way the photograph is viewed. A photograph is a remnant of a momentary incident.

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Ilan Manouach’s Shapereader at Hippolyte

Between the 3rd and 19th of November Hippolyte will show Shapereader, an exhibition by Ilan Manouach (DA candidate in Aalto Visual Communication Design).

Ilan Manouach has developed a repertoire of shapes and forms that transform images and meaning into touchable, tactile formations. Shapereader is an experimental approach to comics and one of its aims has been to provide the visually impaired with a possibility to experience and enjoy graphic novels. Ilan Manouach worked at the Saari residence in 2013 and in 2014 he published the first graphic novel Arctic Circle employing Shapereader, with funding from the Kone Foundation.

The exhibition at Hippolyte will show Ilan Manouach’s continuing work with Shapereader. In connection to it Hippolyte will organize workshops aimed at a varied audience and encourage discussions around the related topics.

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2nd Call for Papers: DRS Special Interest Groups on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG)

Design Research Society 2018 
University of Limerick
25th-28th June 2018
Track Theme:
Arguably, design practice has transformed from one based on the production of artefacts to one that engages expertise and knowledge from multiple disciplines. Collaboration between stakeholders has become indispensible, and research has played a crucial role in exploring the changing territorial context of designing and making. This is particularly evident in the fields of New Materials, Smart Textiles and Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI), where research tends to be conducted in teams comprising different disciplinary experts who may work across academic, commercial and public sectors, and may include designers alongside, for example, scientists, technologists, artists, business strategists and policy makers. Various partners are in dialogue with one another, developing, consolidating and enhancing knowledge while generating new opportunities for interdisciplinary knowledge exchange.

The EKSIG track aims to examine collaboration within design research teams that comprise members with diverse disciplinary expertise. This is to understand how individual experiential knowledge, or knowledge gained by practice, is shared, how collective experiential knowledge is accumulated and communicated in and through collaboration, and how it is embodied in the outputs and may be traced back to the origin of the practice. The track also aims to illuminate making as the action of change in which matter and materials are transformed through collaboration, interaction or negotiation between the collaborative team and their material environment. Making within collaborations occurs in multiple forms, on many levels and in different contexts and, through making, meaning is made, communicated and shared. Learning is a process of change where existing knowledge and experience of a certain topic is reviewed, added or transformed. The track will explore how learning is transferred and articulated within multidisciplinary teams. Starting with an understanding of making and collaborative learning, it will discuss how we can create a greater awareness of our responsibilities as designers, researchers, consumers, teachers and members of society.

We welcome papers which exemplify interdisciplinarity through worked examples, and from researchers and practitioners whose work is centred on the experiential knowledge of collaborative work in interdisciplinary projects. We are interested in building a rich collection of case studies that may contribute to a more systematic approach for studying and integrating experiential knowledge into design practice and research. Submissions should focus on peer-level collaboration, illuminating its usefulness for the partners involved, and highlight the relationships built within the collaboration, as well as the approaches used and the new knowledge gained and transferred within the team.

Keywords: collaboration, design practice and research, experiential knowledge, interdisciplinary, making, materiality

Indicative references:

Abrahamson, D. & Chase, K. (2015). Interfacing Practices: Domain Theory Emerges via Collaborative Reflection. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 16(3): 372–389. DOI: 10.1080/14623943.2015.1052384.

Bhömer, M., Tomico, O., Kleinsmann, M., Kuusk, K. & Wensveen, S. (2012). Designing Smart Textile Services Through Value Networks, Team Mental Models and Shared Ownership. In Proceedings of the Third Service Design and Service Innovation Conference (pp. 53–63). Espoo: Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

Bowen, S., Durrant, A., Nissen, B., Bowers, J. & Wright, P. (2016). The Value of Designers’ Creative Practice within Complex Collaborations. Design Studies, 46, 174-198. DOI: 10.1016/j.destud.2016.06.001.

Ingold, T. (2013). Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture. London: Routledge.

Mikkonen, J. & Pouta, E. (2016). Flexible Wire-Component for Weaving Electronic Textiles. In Proceedings of 2016 IEEE 66th Electronic Components and Technology Conference (pp. 1656–1663). DOI 10.1109/ECTC.2016.180.

Nimkulrat, N. & Matthews, J. (forthcoming 2017). Ways of Being Strands: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration Using Craft and Mathematics. Design Issues, 33(4).

Rutkowska, J., Lamas, D., Visser, F. S., Wodyk, Z., & Bańka, O. (2017). Shaping Loyalty: Experiences from Design Research Practice. Interactions24(3), 60–65.


– Your paper will need to be between 5000 and 6000 words (maximum) in length excluding abstract and references using formatting applied in the template (see attached).
– All submissions must be in the English language.
– The online submission system will be open from 5th September 2017 and full papers must be submitted by midnight on 6th November 2017.

Key Dates:

– Submission system opens:  5th September 2017
– Deadline for full papers: 6th November 2017
– Notification of accepted papers:  8th February 2018
– Deadline for full paper revisions:  6th March 2018
– Final acceptance of revised papers:  27th March 2018
– Conference Dates: 25th-28th June 2018

Track Chair: Nithikul Nimkulrat, Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia

Track Sub-Chairs:

Abigail Durrant, Northumbria University, UK
Camilla Groth, University College of Southeast Norway, Norway
Marte S. Gulliksen, University College of Southeast Norway, Norway
Kristi Kuusk, Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia
David Lamas, Tallinn University, Estonia
Janette Matthews, Loughborough University, UK
Jussi Mikkonen, Aalto University, Finland
Oscar Tomico, Elisava, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, Spain and Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Stephan Wensveen, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Any enquiries about the conference, please contact
Any enquiries about the EKSIG track, please contact

Lily Díaz’s presentation at Workshop IEEE ISMAR 2017 in Nantes

Professor in New Media and Head of Research at the Department of Media in Aalto University Lily Díaz-Kommonen is presenting a paper at Workshop IEEE ISMAR 2017: VR and AR meet Creative Industries on October 13th in Nantes, France.

Interactive Diorama: A virtual reality (VR) reconstruction of The Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt, 1632

Abstract: This document describes some aspects of a design and research project undertaken during the years 2013–2017 by the Systems of Representation research group in the Department of Media at Aalto University in Finland. The objective of the work has been to create an interactive diorama based on the painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. The diorama concept comprises a virtual reality simulation of the artwork in which several of the characters in the painting are re-created as 3D avatars and combined with other audiovisual media including sound and video. Using the HTC-Vive virtual reality system as interface, it is possible for a guest in an exhibition to extent enter the space of the painting itself and to interact with the characters. It is intended that the diorama will be displayed in diverse venues and to a large variety of audiences. This implies a challenge for which there is a need to develop new design knowledge. In this essay I argue that information architecture (IA) can be used in the structuring of the participant’s experience as well as in the organizing and management of contents.

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Media Lab Doctoral Seminar October 26

Welcome to the Media Lab Doctoral Seminar
TIME: Thursday October 26, from 16:00–19:00
LOCATION: Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre, Otaniementie 9, Espoo (Otaniemi), 1st floor room 116 (Johanna meeting room).

DOM-L0003 Doctor of Arts at Media Lab Seminar
Responsible  teacher: Prof. Lily Díaz-Kommonen

Presentations by Jane Vita and Jihye Lee. See abstracts below.


Co-creating digital experiences for places

A multilayered and multidisciplinary view on designing for hybrid services, digital and physical, to empower experiences and build conversations in between people and places.

by Jane Vita

Abstract: Technology in the physical environment can be the elephant in the room when poorly implemented. To better understand how well technology fits into different physical environments, it is necessary not only to discover the right moment to bring digital to space and understand the customer’s needs but also have the multidisciplinary experts involved in its concept creation; working together to achieve the desired goals.

This research aims to help professionals understand the role of technology in places and to give them tools that could meaningfully maximise technology’s role. This study will focus on building a user-centered framework that utilizes concept layers as the groundwork.

The framework will have a significant focus on experience and technology. The layers will be a reproduction of what factors are essential to consider when designing hybrid services, combining physical and digital. The research will result in the production of a user-centered framework, a toolkit and utilization guide for designing better places for a hybrid environment.

To start experimenting, Jane has created the Service Sandbox method and toolkit, and together with few colleagues, she has applied the tool to the context of Smart Living. She has facilitated few workshops with professionals and in conferences around the world. More about Service Sandbox:

jane_picJane Vita – Brazilian living in Finland – Service Design Lead at Digitalist and Ph.D. student at Aalto, New media, LeGroup.

Over the past 19 years, I’ve had the opportunity to gain experience in many of the design competencies, with projects in a range of different industries. At Digitalist I’m facilitating internal and external dialogue around the service design practice area. In client projects, my role is to act as a lead consultant helping customers to discover their digital future. These projects vary from extensive discovery to design sprints.

I conduct a Service Design in Digital Context course lectures in the Service Innovation and Design program at Laurea University. I’m also a Ph.D. student at Aalto University, together with Learning Environments Research Group I get involved in research, design, and development of New Media tools, as well as their use and application, in the field of learning.

Co-creation is an integral part of my work as service design. There are countless tools out there available to map experiences, describe paths and journeys, but what I needed was a tool to explore, play freely and in an open environment and the context of a place. I have experienced many design tools, and I even gave workshops at ISA14, Interaction 16 and Interaction 17 around the topic of Intelligent Spaces. However, together with few colleagues and as part of my research and with the client permission, I’m creating a Service Sandbox to prototype “smart experiences,” along with different canvases to map and validate the value the services would bring for the customers.

More about Jane:

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 12.01.27 copy

(Image Courtesy : The CHESS Project)

Investigating User Experience(UX) Factors in Digital Heritage

by Jihye Lee

Abstract: Digital Heritage presented by augmented/virtual reality technology offers audiences entry to spaces that are difficult to access physically or in time such as the past. Since digital technology has emerged significantly, digital heritage realm seems blossom accordingly. However, a question that emerges is: when digital heritage experience is planned, what elements of user experience(UX) should be considered? The UX might be differently designed in accordance with the heritage’s characteristics or its goal.

Investigating recent digital heritage works, the researcher will analyze them in a point of factors of user experience and argue that each different UX brings different effects for audiences. Conversely, different goal in designing digital heritage should have different UX approach. In this sense, the researcher attempts to categorize the works of digital heritage by its UX approach, and explore its characteristics in details. Throughout the analysis, further study and implementation can be expected for designers who build digital heritage experience to consider more precise and effective UX factors at the early stage of the design process.

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 12.01.45Jihye Lee is a visiting researcher at the Department of Media at Aalto University, and a recent PhD graduate in Film and Digital Media Design at the Hong Ik University, Seoul, South Korea. Her PhD thesis was about participatory process in mobile Augmented Reality with anthropological approach. She has worked in cultural institutions and colleges with interest in interactive storytelling and participatory design. Due to recent participation in digital heritage museum project in Korea, she has begun to focus on designing in digital heritage sector.