Category Archives: Media Lab

New Media Doctoral Seminar (DOM-L0007) – 29.4.2021

Welcome to the fourth New Media Doctoral Seminar of 2021, which is the last one for this Spring semester!

The seminar will be held virtually on Zoom on Thursday 29th April from 16:30 to 19:30 (GMT + 02.00, Helsinki, EEST). Mediated by Professor Lily Díaz-Kommonen, there are again two extremely interesting presentations with a Q&A discussion taking place afterwards.

Click here to join the Zoom event!

Presentations are open for everyone. Welcome!

PRESENTATIONS

Picture of Tania Chumaira's work 'Understanding Spatial Affordances in VR environment through Mapping'.

Understanding Spatial Affordances in VR environment through Mapping by Tania Chumaira. Illustration © Harishazka Fauzan.

Understanding Spatial Affordances in VR environment through Mapping

by Tania Chumaira

ABSTRACT

The emergence of technologies has led to creation of novel spaces that aim to mediate and migrate our everyday activities. One of the most engaging novel spaces is the VR environment in which interaction and actions occur in one shared virtual environment in real-time. This new way of constructing space enables the creation of different spatial affordances. This research explores mapping in the VR environment as mapping is one of the most common techniques in architecture to read spaces and understand spatial affordances. This research hypothesises that through using mapping techniques borrowed from architecture discourse, we can be more informed about the VR experience’s spatial affordances.

BIO

Picture of Tania Chumaira.

Tania Chumaira.

Tania Chumaira is an Indonesian-based architect. After few years of practice in architecture and interior design, she started to develop an interest in combining new media and spatial design to experiment with different spatial experiences without making massive and disruptive physical intervention. Being motivated by that idea, she later pursued her masters majoring in Interactive Architecture at The Bartlett, London. Currently, Tania is working on her doctoral research supervised by Lily Díaz-Kommonen and supported by Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.

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Exploring an Illustrated Manuscript through an Interface based on Interactive Data Visualization

by Ferhat Sen

ABSTRACT

With the advance in digital technology, cultural heritage artifacts are digitized to provide access to wider audiences. These digitization efforts resulted in a vast number of digital collections while introducing a problem of how to explore or present these collections. Going over a gallery of images does not convey much information and keyword-based search does not seem to be useful in scenarios where the user is either does not have prior knowledge about the collection or does not precisely know have what s/he is searching for.

The objective of this research is to investigate alternative ways to display/present image collections using data visualization with a use case of an illustrated historical manuscript. Interactive data visualization can offer users the possibility to explore a collection along with the inherent relationships between the items in the collection with references to the specific qualities of the artifact.

By using a user-centered design approach along with interactive data visualization techniques, we created a prototype web application called Exploring Suleymanname.

In this presentation, we share the design, implementation, and evaluation of a responsive web application that enables users to explore the image collection of the Suleymanname manuscript through interactive data visualization.

BIO

Picture of Ferhat Sen.

Ferhat Sen.

Ferhat Sen is a creative designer and engineer. He brings together design and technology to create innovative online/onsite digital experiences. He has produced and collaborated several projects using various media ranging from interactive installations to web applications. Ferhat is currently working at Stereoscape as Chief Technology Officer delivering solutions involving web, mobile, VR and AR technologies and pursuing a doctoral degree in New Media at Aalto Media Lab. His research interests are interaction design and digital cultural heritage.

New Media Doctoral Seminar (DOM-L0007) – 18.3.2021

Welcome to the third New Media Doctoral Seminar of 2021! The seminar will be held virtually on Zoom on Thursday 18th March from 16:30 to 19:30 (GMT + 02.00, Helsinki, EEST).

Mediated by Professor Lily Díaz-Kommonen, there will be two extremely interesting presentations with a Q&A discussion taking place afterwards.

Presentations are open for everyone, welcome!

PRESENTATIONS

Weaponized memes in China: Multimodal discourse analysis of the visual rhetorical appeals of Chinese political memes

by Ningfeng Zhang

Picture of Ningfeng Zhang

Ningfeng Zhang

Abstract:
This study aims to apply multimodal discourse analysis as a theoretical point of entry to define the taxonomy of different rhetorical appeals of political memes in China’s most popular mobile application Wechat. The study views “internet memes” as a form of visual rhetoric, planning to analyze them respectively from representational, compositional, and interpersonal perspectives. The material consists of 357 internet memes posted on Wechat and collected by 10 active Chinese Wechat users in China during July 2019 – January 2021, their referential contents covered a series of social and political events occurring in China, including the Hongkong protest, the outbreak of Covid-19, the Sino-West relationship during the pandemic period and so on.  Multimodal discourse analysis was applied to understand the visual contents, compositional forms, and visual arguments formed communicated via those memes, and ultimately concludes the different visual rhetorical appeals reflected in them. It is both a methodological and theoretical attempt to expand the understanding of the visual rhetorical study and how political memes function in the participatory media culture within a specific social, cultural, and political context.

Ningfeng Zhang is a doctoral candidate currently working as a new media researcher with Prof. Dr. Lily Díaz -Kommonen. His research interest focuses on the social, cultural, and political relevance and the generation mechanism of internet memes in the context of Chinese media environment, exploring the mechanism of how internet memes, as a form of visual rhetoric, a propaganda entity, as well as a facet of citizen journalism, generate, mutate and proliferate in a highly homogeneous media environment.

Intergroup Contact via Telerobtic Puppetry

by Avner Peled

Picture of Avner Peled

Avner Peled

Abstract:
Following the premise of Intergroup Contact, established by Gordon Allport in the 1954 publication The Nature of Prejudice, I am investigating forms of communication that can reduce prejudice between groups in conflict and improve intergroup relations. Technological mediation supports contact in violent conflict scenarios where organizing face-to-face contact is challenging, even more so in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Online contact forms suffer from a lack of agency, a limited set of nonverbal cues, and an impaired turn-taking flow. Virtual Reality supports user engagement but enforces a mind-body split and a dissociation from terrestrial grounds. I, therefore, propose remote-controlled robots (telerobots) as a way to add corporeal depth to mediated contact, situating a midpoint between online communication and a face-to-face meeting. For this research, the chosen form of implementation for intergroup contact is Telerobtic Puppetry. Puppetry (as well as virtual presence) evokes a hybrid state between object and subject, puppet and puppeteer. A hybrid object absorbs prejudice and problematizes it. Deindividuation of the puppet-avatar turns into a performance of group identities and categorization; a lack of signification opens up a path for self-expression. Design-based research and user surveying are now underway toward a telerobotic, textile-based puppet theater workshop and public performance event that occurs in two locations simultaneously.

Avner Peled is a creative technologist and media artist with a background in computer science, neurobiology, and philosophy. Currently, as Doctoral Researcher at Aalto Media Lab, Avner is exploring the use of telepresence robots as mediators for intergroup contact and conflict resolution in Israel and Palestine. He is also developing 3D web visualizations of big data for the New York Times.

The research is supported by the Kone Foundation.