Category Archives: New Media

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.

New Media Doctoral Seminar (DOM-L0007) – 25.2.2021

Rtualising Exhibitions: In Search of Novel Engagement Approaches In Experimental Museology

VRtualising Exhibitions: In Search of Novel Engagement Approaches In Experimental Museology. © Cvijeta Miljak

Welcome to the second New Media Doctoral Seminar (DOM-L0007) of 2021! The seminar will be held virtually on Zoom on Thursday 25th of February.

SCHEDULE: 16:30 to 19:30 (GMT + 02.00, Helsinki, EEST)

Presentations are open for everyone! 

Mediated by Professor Lily Díaz-Kommonen we will have two very fascinating presentations. A Q&A discussion will take place after the presentations.

PRESENTATIONS

VRtualising EXHIBITIONS:
IN SEARCH OF NOVEL ENGAGEMENT APPROACHES IN EXPERIMENTAL MUSEOLOGY
by Cvijeta Miljak

Cvijeta Miljak

The research is carried out in the framework of a pan-European interdisciplinary project that brings together Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture and ZKM – Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (Germany), the Centre Pompidou, Paris (France), the Ludwig Muzeum, Budapest (Hungary), Tallin Art Hall (Estonia) and Tirana Art Lab (Albania), the institutions encompassing fields of cultural heritage, digital art conservation, digitalising heritage, new media art and experimental museology.In broadest terms, this artistic practice-based research in the emerging field of virtual museology is concerned with developing novel engagement approaches with the aim to encourage co-creative participatory practices for community involvement and social inclusion. The research will take a particular interest in documenting and studying museum audiences’ responses to digital cultural heritage and to virtual exhibitions. The research will support further development and implementation of Performance-oriented Design Methods for Audience Studies and Exhibition Evaluation (PORE), a methodology coined by Lily Díaz-Kommonen.

Miljak’s interest focuses on exploring emerging narratives, visual language and implications of digital tools in relation to immersive media, through developing methods for nonintrusive participatory evaluation practices to re-examine and expand forms of storytelling in digital media.

Cvijeta Miljak is a doctoral candidate working as a researcher with Prof. Lily Díaz -Kommonen on the Creative Europe co-funded project Beyond Matter – Cultural Heritage on the Verge of Virtual Reality (2019-2023).

For a more detailed bio, please check:

GAMIFICATION IN MIXED-REALITY FOR DIGITAL CULTURAL HERITAGE by Gautam Vishwanath

Gautam Vishwanath

This study is focused on the mechanisms through which gamification can be implemented within mixed reality in order to support museum-based activities in the realm of digital cultural heritage. A large part of the work carried out in this study takes place within the context of an EU-H2020 funded project dedicated to citizen curation of cultural heritage called SPICE. Through the use of workshops and tools for design, end-user communities and other stakeholders from the SPICE Case Studies are involved using participatory methods for design and development in order to discern new ideas as well as create prototypes. The research involves a component of practice and draws upon a mixed-method approach employing a variety of qualitative as well as quantitative methodologies such as case sampling, visual thinking strategies, user-experience evaluation, and ethnographic interviews. The projected results of the entire research process are anticipated to provide novel insights regarding mechanisms for gamification in mixed-reality as well as a series of methods that need to be taken into consideration in order to support museum-related activities for digital cultural heritage. In order to ensure maximal ethical integrity and conduct the research in a respectful manner, this study follows the guidelines of the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK as well as other relevant ethical guidelines.

Gautam Vishwanath is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Media having begun his tenure in June 2020. As a member of the Research group ‘Systems of Representation’, he is advised and supervised by Prof Lily Díaz-Kommonen. His research is focused on integratingserious games and new forms of media such as mixed reality into digital cultural heritage.

For more info on Gautam, please visit: Gautam Vishwanath at Systems of Representation research group in the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Media Lab

Event at Aalto.fi

Defence of dissertation in the field of New Media, Msc Massimo Menichinelli

 

Title of the doctoral thesis:

Open and collaborative design processes – Meta-Design, ontologies and platforms within the Maker Movement

Opponent: Professor Elisa Giaccardi, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlandsa

Custos: Professor Lily Díaz-Kommonen, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Media

Abstract

“The emergence of the Maker Movement has taken place in the context of a design practice and research that is now open, peer-to-peer, diffuse, distributed, decentralized; activity-based; meta-designed; ontologically-defined and defining; locally-bounded but globally-networked and community-centered. For many years the author participated and worked in the Maker Movement, with a special focus on its usage of digital platforms and digital fabrication tools for collaboratively designing and manufacturing digital and physical artifacts as Open Design projects. The author’s main focus in practice and research as a meta-designer was in understanding how can participants in distributed systems collaboratively work together through tools and platforms for the designing and managing of collaborative processes. The main research question of this dissertation is: How can we support and integrate the research and practice of meta-designers in analyzing, designing and sharing open and collaborative design and making processes within open, peer-to-peer and distributed systems?

The focus evolved and changed with three main phases: from facilitating collaborative design processes with 1) guidelines for a generic design approach, process and tools, to the use of 2) design tools and workshops that encode the methodology to developing 3) a digital ontology and the related digital platform. In the latter, the ontology for describing, documenting, sharing and designing collaborative design processes was developed as part of a broader conceptual framework, OpenMetaDesign, that builds the ontology on top of concepts describing design processes, and encodes it in a digital platform. The role of the ontology is to support the practice and research with a Research through Design approach that works not just on understanding the practice but also informing it, navigating it and continuously redesigning it. This dissertation is an exploration of the possible role, practice and profile of meta-designers that work in facilitating distributed, open and collaborative design and making processes in the Maker Movement. As a result, it provides insights on the practice and artifacts of the author and also a strategy and tools for applying the same exploration to other meta-designers. Following a Research through Design framework for bridging practice and research, the dissertation redefines Meta-Design in the Maker Movement as the design of digital ontologies of design processes as design material. Ultimately, the practice of designing a Metadata Ontology for Ontological Design through the design of bits (digital environments) and atoms (physical artifacts) with and for Open, Peer-to-Peer, Diffuse, Distributed and Decentralized Systems. Finally, it redefines meta-designers as designers, facilitators, participants, developers and researchers embedded in social networks that define their activities, profiles and boundaries for the ontologies they design.”

Public display of the doctoral thesis is arranged as online display:

http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-64-0091-4

Slides available here

Post-doctoral Party

Contact information of the doctoral candidate: Massimo Menichinelli

 

Defence of dissertation in the field of New Media, MM Daniel Landau

Title of the doctoral thesis:

Becoming Other. Virtual Embodiment – Blurring the Self-Other Binary

Opponent: Professor Mel Slater, Universitat de Barcelona

Custos: Professor Lily Díaz-Kommonen, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Media

Abstract

“The research presented in my dissertation explores the impact of virtual reality (VR) and virtual embodiment technologies on the distinction between ‘self and other’ in interpersonal and intergroup contexts. In a series of five empirical experiments and three art projects, I investigated this self-other distinction in the context of the ever-evolving relationship between technology and the self.

Using stereoscopic 180º video, I explore the impact of virtual encounters transitioning from meeting others to becoming ‘the other.’ The first study shows that meeting in VR a person who shares a painful story elicits a high degree of empathetic care and facial synchrony. The next study shows that experiencing ingroup aggression from an outgroup perspective increases empathy towards the outgroup compared to seeing the same scenario from the ingroup’s perspective. Next, I present an art project devising a novel and effective technique to induce virtual embodiment using 180º stereoscopic video, followed by empirical evaluation and validation of this technique. Next, I show that meeting yourself in virtual reality as an experimental paradigm can increase self-compassion. And finally, in a VR museum installation, I demonstrate the potential of VR for social impact.

This manuscript explores various VR methods of placing participants “in others’ shoes” and provides both new insights and novel methods for using VR and virtual embodiment for storytelling, art installations, and social interventions. ”

The dissertation is publicly displayed online 10 days before the defence at:https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/doc_public/eonly/riiputus/

Doctoral Seminar // 19.11.2020

New Media / Doctoral Seminar (DOM-L0007)

Welcome to November’s New Media Doctoral Seminar!

Presentations are open to everyone!

Join us in Zoom:

Thursday // 19.11.2020 // 16:30-19:30

https://aalto.zoom.us/j/61913960646

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Mediated by Professor Lily Diaz-Kommonen we will have two fascinating presentations + Q&A discussion after the presentations.

Presentations by:

Yrjö Tuunanen

Doctoral Candidate / Aalto University / Department of Media / School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Heidi Hirsto

DSc(Econ), works as Associate Professor in University of Vaasa, School of Marketing and Communication and Digital Economy Research Platform.

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Yrjö Tuunanen

Narrative Frames and Framing Narratives – Narrative transparency in news discourse

Abstract

Narrativity and transparency in news media can be regarded as reactions to the ubiquitous communication online where numerous actors seek for audience attention and compete for claims to truth. Yet, the relationship of narrativity, transparency, and truth, is complex, and there is a need for studying their relations from the perspective of narrative persuasion. Nevertheless, definitions of and research on narrative transparency in journalism has had little attention among news media scholars. The research of the author aims to contribute for filling this gap.

In his dissertation the author seeks to contribute to an increased need for knowledge about narrative structures, how these are used in the news, and the effect they have in the attribution of truth-value. In order to do that, he explores possibilities and challenges brought about by the internet, social media, and digitalization, as well as the shift in professional journalistic ideals and practices from objectivity towards transparency and narrativity. The research indicates that while there are some studies that analyze the challenge of “false narratives” in news discourse as well as media manipulation in online environments, there is still a need for studying subtle forms of narrative persuasion in both digital and more traditional forms of journalism.

The current mediasphere can be seen as a complex discursive environment where numerous known and unknown storytellers deploy narrative framings to direct attention toward certain interpretations of news. Digital media and the internet facilitate openness, interaction, and instant access to media discourses for media professionals and audiences alike. It enables new discursive platforms and facilitates new narrative forms as well as transparency practices online. While the potential of social media to promote diverse voices is widely acknowledged, there are also several problems and challenges associated with social media and their relation to professional journalism. Fake news, social bots, internet trolls, and echo chambers on social media platforms are phenomena related to disinformation campaigns and manipulation on public opinion in news discourse.

In this presentation, in addition to the etiology of some of the central concepts of the research, the author focuses specifically on how non-journalist participants affect news discourse. In other words, the presentation sheds light on a form of narrative persuasion through which non-journalist participants may affect news discourse by importing content from outside the primary “news frames” and cueing into underlying “framing narratives”. The author introduces a conceptual analysis model, titled Narrative Transparency Model, and discusses how it may help to theorize and demonstrate how framing narratives may be imported into news stories to unsettle journalistic narrative frames, and how imported content, such as vague or misplaced references, may generate discursive power through mobilizing framing narratives.

Bio

Yrjö Tuunanen is doctoral candidate in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Media, Media Lab, Helsinki, Finland. He holds a Master’s Degree in Photography from University of Industrial Arts, Helsinki, Finland. His research interests concern critical, multimodal, and narrative approaches to media discourses in both digital and more traditional forms of journalism. His dissertation focuses on discursive functions of narrative assets in media discourses. In his current research, he studies how narrative transparency may support credibility of professional journalism as well as advance analytical and critical news discourse skills for media audiences and professionals alike.

During 1990 – 2012, he worked as a photojournalist and a teacher of digital and documentary photography. During 2012 – 2013, together with Heidi Hirsto, D.Sc. (Econ.), he implemented an international collaborative research project titled, M-Scopes, Mediated Significations of Finance, focusing on the ways in which economic phenomena and mechanisms are represented in the web-based news media. He has produced, organized, and hosted Talous kuvina Seminar 2010 in Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Finland. Together with Heidi Hirsto, D.Sc. (Econ.), he produced, organized, and hosted international M-Scopes Seminar in 2012 in Helsinki, Finland.  During 2013 -2017 he worked as a consultant on digital visualization of financial information for the Ministry of Finance, Finland. His work has appeared in international scholarly publications and in a book titled, Crisis Talk and the Media – Narratives of crisis across cultural settings.

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Heidi Hirsto

Encounter, relation, constitution: Views from the organizational communication field

Abstract

In this presentation, I seek answers to what happened when I recently opened a box of “The Golden Piggybank” magazines (Kultapossu) published in the 1980s. Drawing on topical reflections in the field of communication studies, particularly in the “communication as constitutive of organizations” (CCO) tradition, I discuss the materiality, affectivity, and relationality of communication, and the resulting, tentative reunion of “transmission” and “constitution” views to communication. It turns out that my plans to “use” the magazines as (textual) data backfired as my encounter with them turned affective and performative.

Bio Heidi Hirsto, DSc(Econ), works as Associate Professor in University of Vaasa, School of Marketing and Communication and Digital Economy Research Platform. She is specialized in the study of discourse and communication across a range of disciplines and topics, spanning from media studies and consumer studies to organizational discourse and communication. Her current work focuses on the ways in which digital culture and digital spaces reorganize people’s possibilities to exert social influence as economic citizens. Her work has appeared, e.g. in Organization Studies; Consumption, Markets and Culture; and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, as well as in research books.

 

Doctoral Seminar //  15.10.2020

New Media / Doctoral Seminar (DOM-L0007)

Welcome to the second New Media Doctoral Seminar of the semester.

Presentations are open to everyone!

Join us in Zoom:

Thursday // 15.10.2020 // 16:30-19:30

https://aalto.zoom.us/j/68065435302

Mediated by Professor Lily Diaz-Kommonen we will have two fascinating presentations + Q&A discussion after the presentations.

Presentations by:

Andrew Gryf Paterson(Doctoral Candidate / Aalto University / Department of Media /  School of Arts, Design and Architecture)

Vytautas Michelkevičius(Curator, researcher and associate professor. Head of Photography and Media Art Department and Doctoral Programme in Fine Arts in Vilnius Academy of Arts)

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Andrew Gryf Paterson (Doctoral Candidate / Aalto University / Department of Media /  School of Arts, Design and Architecture)

Autoarchaeologies / of an artist-organiser

(doing fieldwork) in Finland and Latvia.

Abstract

As we live our lives in environments which are increasingly digitised—pervasively recorded in databases and archival systems, with each social exchange and encounter—the more concerns exist about personal data, metadata, and the digital shadow or footprint that we leave behind in our mobilities using mobile devices. How to make sense of and re-present activities and experiences— that have happened as open-ended events and processes in multiple contexts—over time? How do seemingly disparate activities or agencies relate to each other? How do past, present and future practices relate to each other in timelines? What do gaps reveal within our personal data archaeological record, and the stories we make? How does linear-temporal objectification of lived experience and work relate to non-linear foldings and relationships of what I—and we—organise, research, create, make and do?

This article-based doctoral dissertation develops a particular practice-based methodology, named here as autoarchaeologies, to reflect upon the author’s ‘artist-organiser’ practice over an extended durational period of 2002-2020, mostly in Finland and Latvia, with particular focus on the later decade. There are 5 roles of ‘Artist as’.. -organiser, -researcher, -archivist, -archaeologist and -activist which are presented as interweaving into a hybrid arts method. Each of these roles are elaborated with reference to practice-based inspiration or literature. The author presents themselves as a researcher with an autoethnographic ‘artistic fieldwork’ approach to reflecting and contextualising hybrid arts in the social process and environment of its development, which includes media arts festivals & network culture scenes in North-East Europe. However, innovatively, the methodological perspective is to combine perspectives and data-recording methods from traditional and contemporary archaeologies ‘of the recent contemporary past’, which address the data records we are leaving in databases as we live, work, and travel in the contemporary world.

Early inspiration in the research process extended earlier augmented reality research using stratigraphy as an authoring metaphor, which then morphed into explorations of metadata and context with the emerging mobile media interfaces and concepts, such as locative media, in the early-mid 2000s. Participatory arts, design and online platforms have influenced a non-mediated, post-media perspective, and led towards a mix of meta-data coding, printing and mapping large-scale diagrams of the author’s Curriculum vitae. Additional hand-drawn lines were added with the imagination of recovering a literally-personal touch to the mass of objectified and abstract data  (2011a).

Each of the 4 single-author case articles (2011b, 2013a, 2016, 2020) offer a different way to reflect and narrate the process that the author has been involved in over shorter or longer time periods. Each have their own loci, context, and stories, but are heterogeneous to each other, which—with the exception of author centred in narrative each in reflection—need their own meta-narrative. Hence, the ambition of the stratigraphs. However, as the thesis comes to it’s conclusion, there are still subjectivities and externalities that typically are left out from the narrative. It is this very personal data and perspective which the author tries to face up to at the end of the process as an outcome, to move onwards, still outgoing.

In the context of increased meta-data-augmented documentation of practices and everyday life, via ubiquitous mobile computing and online publishing platforms, there is arguably an increasing amount of personal (small or big) data to interpret and analysis. Critical activist-scholars are increasingly concerned with the age of surveillance capitalism, data-(self-)colonisation. As a contribution to this field, this thesis chimes with the multitudes of data available about our own and others past activities, and the need to develop interpretative tools independent of corporate online platforms. It argues alongside prominent contemporary archaeological theorists that we can all (potentially) be archaeologists and narrators of our own personal data. This author joins the argument that we urgently need ways to take back control of our personal data on our own terms, and find ways to de-colonise ourself from platform capitalism. It offers a slow research, long-overview and personal approach, via practice-based research, of self-determination in how we can tell about our past, but also the potential freedom to share our lives in present and future societies.

Articles included within thesis

#1  Paterson, A. G. (2011a). Stratigraphical recall: An auto-archaeological interpretation for artistic fieldwork, In Lily Diaz (ed.), Special issue of Journal of Visual Arts Practices, Vol. 10 # 1, ISSN 1470-2029. Bristol: Intellect Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1386/jvap.10.1.51_1

#2  Paterson, A. G. (2020). ‘Kitchen labs: Spilling one’s guts / Deep fry together’. Accepted September 2020 as full paper to ‘Art of Research’ Symposium, Helsinki, 3-4.12.2020.  https://artofresearch2020.aalto.fi/

#3  Paterson, A. G. (2016). Reflections on soil future(s), present(s) and past(s), In Rasa Smite, Armin Medosch, Kerstin Mey, Raitis Smits (eds.), Acoustic Space #15: Open fields, Peer-reviewed Journal for Transdisciplinary Research on Art, Science, Technology and Society, Riga-Liepaja: RIXC-MPLab, 2016. Accessible from: https://archive.org/details/agryfp-2015-soil-presents-pasts-futures

#4  Paterson, A. G. (2013a). Mountain crowberries: Foraging and measuring knowledge or experience, In Laura Beloff, Erich Berger & Terike Haapoja (eds.), Field_Notes: Field and Laboratory as Sites for Art&Science Practices , Helsinki: Finnish Bioart Society, 2013. Accessible from: http://bioartsociety.fi/book/Field_Notes-From_Landscape_To_Laboratory-2013.pdf

#5  Paterson, A. G. (2011b). From a pull-down screen, fold-up chairs, a laptop and a projector: The development of Clip Kino screenings, workshops and roles in Finland, In Geert Lovink & Rachel Somers Miles (eds.), Video Vortex Reader II: Moving images beyond YouTube, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2011. p.81-94. Accessible from: http://networkcultures.org/videovortex/vv-reader/

Additional Reference links

• Presentation in the ‘Creative Disruption in Archaeological Theory and Practice’ track within 2018 Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) international conference, 19-23.3.2018, at University of Tübingen, Germany. ‘Towards Autarchaeological Archiving’ [EN]: https://archive.org/details/agryfp-2018-towards-autoarchaeological-archiving

• Presentation at National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) Kaliningrad, Russia, with title ‘Artistic Fieldwork in Finland and Latvia’ [EN/RU]: https://archive.org/details/agryfp-2013-artistic-fieldwork-in-finland-latvia-ncca-kaliningrad

Bio

‘Artist-organiser’, cultural producer, educator and independent researcher. Specialises in developing and leading inter- and trans- disciplinary projects exploring connections between art, digital culture and science, cultural activism, ecological and sustainability movements, cultural heritage and collaborative networks. Originally from Scotland, Andrew has been most active in the past decades in Helsinki, Finland, aswell as Latvia and the Baltic Sea region, in particular. He works across the fields of media/ network/ environmental arts and activism, pursuing a participatory practice through workshops, performative events, & storytelling.

His main involvement of recent years has been with memembers of Pixelache Helsinki node of Pixelache Network. From early 2011 until end of 2014, he was coordinator and facilitator of the ‘Pixelversity’ around-the-year informal educational programme for Pixelache [http://pixelache.ac]. Within Pixelache context, he was most recently involved in the collaborative work-group project ‘Ferment Lab’ (2015-2018) and BioSignals (2018-2020). Over the longer period since 2003, his experience, reflections and findings have been written as articles in various international cultural publications, journals, presented in inter and trans-disciplinary festivals.

He is currently completing a long-term Doctor of Arts candidacy at Aalto University School of Art and Design, Media Department, with working thesis titled “Autoarchaeologies”. Paterson already holds a multi-disciplinary education, with a BA(Hons) Fine Arts degree from Glasgow School of Art (1997), and a MSc degree in Computer-Aided Graphical Technology Applications from University of Teesside (2001).

Download abstract, table of contents & bibliography 

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Vytautas Michelkevičius (Curator, researcher and associate professor. Head of Photography and Media Art Department and Doctoral Programme in Fine Arts in Vilnius Academy of Arts)

“Atlas of Diagrammatic Imagination” (2019): How Can Maps Transfer Knowledge in Artistic Research”

Abstract

How does a diagram differ from a text? What are the pros and cons of diagrams when compared to text? Can a map be a research component, an artwork, and a scientific means of communication, all at the same time? How do diagrams mediate between different cognitive systems? How can diagrams convey bodily experiences and gestures? How do they facilitate education? These are only few questions that delineate a general research territory where the book authors’ imaginations overlap.

Even though cartographic references play an important role, many of the maps presented and discussed in this atlas go beyond the geographical notion of map, and they often bear no reference to either a location or its representation. They may involve multilayered diagrams, trajectories of a freely moving body or a hand, visual signs of hesitancy, tools of material or visual thinking, charts of tacit knowledge, notations of sensual data, or the models of research hypotheses or findings.

This research is also a response to the times we live in. In the face of ever-increasing information flows and the challenges of big data processing and rendition, a linear text is not always the most suggestive form of communication. Meanwhile in maps, within a single plane, we can operate with multiple layers of knowledge, and use different means of expression in order to discover unexpected links.

And yet, in the context of our lifestyles as driven by ubiquitous touchscreens, this atlas might appear as a capricious act of dissent.  We call our readers and users to slow down, get comfortable, and immerse or even lose themselves in the essays, diagrams, and fold-out maps.

“Atlas of Diagrammatic Imagination: Maps in Research, Art and Education”, Lina Michelkevičė & Vytautas Michelkevičius (eds.), Vilnius Academy of Arts Press, 2019

Bio

Dr. Vytautas Michelkevičius (Vilnius, LT) is a curator, writer and researcher whose focus was gradually shifting from photography in expanded field to media art & theory and lately to artistic research in academia and beyond. He is teaching art practice & theory BA, MA and DA/PhD students in Vilnius Academy of Arts and served as artistic director of Nida Art Colony (2010-2019). Since 2019 he is the head of Photography and Media Art Department and Doctoral Programme in Fine Arts in the same academy. He has curated numerous symposiums and exhibitions, among them Lithuanian Pavilion in Venice Biennale. He has edited and authored more than 10 books on art, media and residencies.https://vilnius.academia.edu/VytautasMichelkevicius

Doctoral Seminar // 24.09.2020

New Media / Doctoral Seminar (DOM-L0006)

Welcome to the first New Media Doctoral Seminar of the semester!

Thursday // 24.09.2020

16:30-20:00

Join us in Zoom

https://aalto.zoom.us/j/61323477009

We start by having a catch up with the M’Labbers between 16:30-17:00

The presentations are OPEN TO EVERYONE and will start at 17:00

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Mediated by Professor Lily Diaz-Kommonen we will have two great presentations + Q&A discussion after the presentations!

Massimo Menichinelli (Doctoral Candidate / Aalto University / School of Arts, Design and Architecture)

Open and collaborative design processes. Meta-Design, ontologies and platforms within the Maker Movement

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the Maker Movement has taken place in the context of a design practice and research that is now open, peer-to-peer, diffuse, distributed, decentralized; activity-based; meta-designed; ontologically-defined; locally-bounded but globally-networked and community-centered. For many years the author participated and worked in the Maker Movement, with a special focus on its usage of digital platforms and digital fabrication tools for collaboratively designing and manufacturing digital and physical artifacts as Open Design projects. The author’s main focus in practice and research as a meta-designer was in understanding how can participants in distributed systems collaboratively work together through tools and platforms for the designing and managing of collaborative processes. The main research question of this dissertation is: How can we support and integrate the research and practice of meta-designers in analyzing, designing and sharing open and collaborative design and making processes within open, peer-to-peer and distributed systems?

The focus evolved and changed with three main phases: from facilitating collaborative design processes with 1) guidelines for a generic design approach, process and tools, to the use of 2) design tools and workshops that encode the methodology to developing 3) a digital ontology and the related digital platform. In the latter, the ontology for describing, documenting, sharing and designing collaborative design processes was developed as part of a broader conceptual framework, OpenMetaDesign, that builds the ontology on top of concepts describing design processes, and encodes it in a digital platform. The role of the ontology is to support the practice and research with a Research through Design approach that works not just on understanding the practice but also informing it, navigating it and continuously redesigning it. This dissertation is an exploration of the possible role, practice and profile of meta-designers that work in facilitating distributed, open and collaborative design and making processes in the Maker Movement. As a result, it provides insights on the practice and artifacts of the author and also a strategy and tools for applying the same exploration to other meta-designers. Following a Research through Design framework for bridging practice and research, the dissertation redefines Meta-Design in the Maker Movement as the design of digital ontologies of design processes as design material. Ultimately, the practice of designing a Metadata Ontology for Ontological Design through the design of bits (digital environments) and atoms (physical artifacts) with and for Open, Peer-to-Peer, Diffuse, Distributed and Decentralized Systems. Finally, it redefines meta-designers as designers, facilitators, participants, developers and researchers embedded in social networks that define their activities, profiles and boundaries for the ontologies they design.

 

BIO

Massimo Menichinelli is a designer and researcher who works on open, collaborative, and co-design projects and the systems that enable them since 2005. Massimo has published several books and scientific articles about Fab Labs, the Maker movement, Open Design and collaborative design processes; furthermore, he has given lectures and workshops in various countries including Italy, Spain, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom, Mexico, Colombia, South Korea and Singapore. He worked on the development of several Fab Labs including the Aalto Fab Lab (Helsinki), the MUSE Fab Lab (Trento) and Opendot (Milan), and has facilitated more while working as a Director at Make In Italy Italian Fablab & Makers CDB Foundation where he researched and facilitated Fab Labs and Makers in Italy. He lectured on Digital Fabrication and Open Design at Aalto University, SUPSI (Lugano) and at the Fab Academy edition at WeMake and Opendot (Milan). He also worked as a project manager for research projects at IAAC | Fab City Research Lab / Fab Lab Barcelona, especially in the MAKE-IT, SISCODE and DSISCALE Horizon 2020 European projects, as coordinator of the DDMP – Distributed Design Market Platform project of Creative Europe and as project manager of Fablabs.io, the official and open source platform for the global Fab Lab Network. He currently is Research Fellow at RMIT University – Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, in its European Hub in Barcelona, managing the Horizon 2020 MSCA-RISE project OpenInnoTrain.

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André Rocha(Adjunct Professor at the Higher School of Education from the Polytechnic of Lisbon)

ABSTRACT

GROUU is a Research through Design process aimed at understanding the role of Tacit Knowledge (TK) in an Open Source Agriculture ecosystem. To do so, different iterations of the same system – GROUU – will be introduced to different real agricultural contexts and communities.

‌GROUU is also an Open Source modular system formed by a set of sensors and actuators. GROUU automates some agricultural tasks, like fertilizing and watering, to optimize it by recognizing success patterns from Sensor and User-Generated Data. Optimization is directly related to the amount and diversity of data and users.

This Research project explores the hypothetical formation of Digitized TK through a diverse implementation of Open Source Agriculture, and by assuming that some of the sensor data recorded throughout the process is formed by practical actions of the Farmer over its surrounding environment (the farm) and therefore by TK.

The project is divided into three stages:

  • The first focuses on GROUU’s adoption by diverse Users and tries to understand it by testing different dissemination strategies.
  • Then, it will address the engagement of users in the design process. Open Source is fundamental, but what about the engagement of the actual Users: Apart from Makers and motivated designers, how can Farmers and Farming communities engage in developing Open Agriculture?

The last step is about the possible implications and applications of TK in Open Agriculture:

    • On a technical level, to digitize and integrate it into Open Source Agriculture.
    • On a design level, to generate new Open Data streams between different agricultural contexts and communities:

Can Agricultural TK become Open Agricultural Knowledge? So, therefore, a Common?

Bio

André Rocha is Adjunct Professor at the Higher School of Education from the Polytechnic of Lisbon.

André ran his own design office (EVOL/LEVO) between 2003 and 2017 when he decided to dive into full-time design education and research.As a senior designer, André has the privilege of working in a wide variety of contexts.This mixture turned him into a maker, enchanted by creative and productive processes.His research also tries to blend these, by continually looking at expanding design into/on fields such as informal education (fabschools.pt) or agriculture (grouu.cc).

The later – GROUU – being the project through which he pursues his PhD at Nova University of Lisbon / University of Porto Digital Media Program.He recently (2019) graduated from Fab Academy, an intensive 6-month digital manufacturing and rapid prototyping program led by Neil Gershenfeld at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA).

At the Higher School of Education from the Polytechnic of Lisbon, where he teaches Product and Interaction Design, he co-manages the local Fablab (Fablab Benfica), coordinates its participation in the Distributed Design Platform, and is in charge of Maker Faire Lisbon.

Lastly, as an Open Culture and Design activist, he co-founded DAR – a non-profit association – and is currently Open Design and Tech Lead at the Creative Commons Portuguese Chapter. At DAR, he was director, manager at the Fablab and ran a one hundred episodes interviews radio show/podcast about Open Culture. He is an active collaborator of the Creative Commons Global Network and an organizing committee member of the CC Global Summit since 2016.

ELLIPSIS- Media Lab Exhibition

Participants in the Systems of Representation: Culture Laboratory (DOM-E5003) at the Department of Media, Media Lab have created an exhibition named Ellipsis that is on display at the Harald Herlin Learning Centre, Otaniementie 9, 02150 Espoo, from 15 May – 6 June 2019. The exhibition, that is a collaboration with the Aalto University Archives, depicts speculative design interventions related to three case studies presented in the course: Time and its Representation in Narrative, Exhibiting the Body, and Space in Digital Media.

Five works are exhibited. These include: Marko Alastalo, A Dress as an Interactive Artwork; Teemu Korpilahti, The Things that Make Us Remember; Ning Feng Zhang, Fleeting Moments that Never Exist; Jennifer Greb, Dekorativ Vorbilder and Aino-Nina Saarikoski, Herääminen-Awakening.

How is the representation of time constructed differently in genres and narratives across different cultures and epochs? What are some of the parameters involved when exhibiting the body? How can we use media to augment our notion of space in an exhibition? Aside from historical documentation what other roles do archives fulfill in art and design productions? These are some of the topics pondered in the works presented.

Opening hours are: Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 21:00 PM; Saturdays 10:00-15:00; Closed on Sundays.

Media Lab Doctoral Seminar; Environmental Media: a study on the mediation of technology in ecological artistic practices.

On the 25.04.19, at 16.30-19:30, led by Professor Lily Díaz in Learning Centre, JUHO the doctoral student Juan Duarte will present his on-going research titled:

Environmental Media: a study on the mediation of technology in ecological artistic practices

Abstract:

The research aims to work around technologies on location, that are used on open environmental data sensing for intermedia art context. The production of devices aims follow a usability process of Interaction Design focusing on principles of sustainability and maker culture. As an outcome of the research, I expect to collect field experiences active communities Accompanying study cases, the research wants to question the role of media technologies in the field of environmental arts to support the development of both art and science collaborations.

The existing scientific proof of planetary issues such as global warming still seems trivial to an important sector of the population. Thus a data platform for environmentalist art could support scientific research by bringing attention to environmental degradation. Artistic research could help reconcile society with a planetary vision through citizen initiatives that empower us with tools that help with making decisions, such as monitoring pollution levels or mapping relations between technological footprints, and planetary cycles.

Bio:

Mexican-born media artist Juan Duarte Regino works on interaction as a tool for generative art experiments. He is part of Pixelache – art and activist group based in Helsinki. Currently a doctoral student in New Media in Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, he reflects on the information society paradigm from the point of view of his background in media art, with a special focus on open source technologies developed in DIY communities and grassroots initiatives. Duarte’s work has been presented in IAMAS, Spiral Gallery, Ljudmila, Radio, and TV Museum of Lahti, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Mänttä Art, Generate! Festival, CTM Festival, Lofoten Sound Art Symposium.

His background is in Audiovisual Communication (Bachelor of Arts), and New Media Arts (Master of Arts). His research is around technologies on location, to be used for open environmental data sensing in an intermedia context. The sensing devices developed follow an Interaction Design process focusing on principles of sustainability and maker culture. The outcome of the research (consisting of workshops, lectures exhibitions, and live media performances) expects to collect field experiences from a community of creators, specialized on potentialities of locative media, in order to serve environmental queries through artistic and scientific procedures.

Guest speaker: Martin Howse

Abstract:

Symbiotic ur-networks of silent fungal and root chatter and earth vibration, named chemical gradients tasted by rooty and human tongues fruit forest-wide in fairy rings, rising up in form and outgrowing Jodrell bank and Arecibo, outclassing them unknown in bringing down the stars to Earth.Martin Howse, 2017

Noting simple parallels between the scaled formations of radio telescope arrays, and the arrayed forms of certain mushroom bodies such as those of Amanita Muscaria, Martin Howse aims to further explore this spored coincidence of cosmos and micro-cosmos, initiating the first forest Radio Mycelium Array.

Conventional radio telescope arrays make use of a technique called interferometry to combine signals received on multiple smaller antennas, creating a larger, more precise view of the electromagnetic Universe. In the case of the RMA, the arrayed Amanita mushrooms act as receiving antennas for deep space signals, to be combined in underground mycelial electrochemical signals. Star dust and mushroom spore combine imaginatively, with both technologies provoking potentially meaningful earth and cosmic signals.

Radio Mycelium Array (RMA) is exhibited both as a speculative prototype (mushroom bodies connected to a digital interferometer device and display), and as documentation of “working” forest studies with similar equipment. Audio recordings of received signals are also available (inscribed on vinyl in sleeves printed with copper spore patterns from the Amanita mushrooms, the antennae).

Bio

Martin Howse’s work spans the fields of computing programming, writing, education and performance. A true explorer of urban scapes, his ideas consider our intimate and embodied relationship with our environment. His work has been received several awards (including first prize at Art & Artificial Life competition VIDA 8.0, 2005) and he has curated and participated in several seminars and performances (ICA, London, Transmediale, Berlin, Tuned City, Berlin & Brussels). In 2006 Martin co-founded xxxxx, organising one large-scale conference and concert series in London (xxxxx) and publishing the acclaimed xxxxx [reader]. From 2007 to 2009 he has hosted a regular workshop, micro-residency and salon series in Berlin, most recently under the banner of _____-micro-research. More recently micro-research has been established as a mobile platform for psychogeophysical research with ongoing projects in London, Peenemuende, Lyme Regis and Berlin. For the last ten years he has collaborated on numerous open-laboratory style projects and performed, published, lectured and exhibited worldwide.

http://1010.co.uk/org

Thermocultures of Memory by D.A Samir Bhowmik 

W E L C O M E  E V E R Y O N E
T O  T H E  L E C T U R E   

Thermocultures of Memory by D.A Samir Bhowmik 

12.04.2019 16.00-17.30 at Aalto Learning Center // Seminar room JUHO (1st floor room 126) 

Memory institutions depend on heating-cooling infrastructures for the long-term preservation and mediation of cultural heritage. The energy-intensive thermal regulation of object and data storage environments is guided by the need to ward off decay and to safeguard computer hardware and operations. Despite the tremendous dependence of memory institutions on thermal regulation, temperature has been regarded as merely metaphorical in media studies (Sterne & Mulvin, 2014; Starosielski, 2014). Digital studies in cultural heritage (Cameron and Kenderdine, 2007) have also bypassed the topic of temperature and humidity as it affects the representation of cultural memory. In fact, there hardly exists any literature on the evolution of thermal cultures of memory institutions even though they might be considered as thermally-dependent media institutions.

This talk explores how thermal infrastructures are entangled with the preservation of cultural heritage in order to show how the latter is linked to the expanding use of energy and the embodied energy of natural resources. Understanding the energetic and material impacts of thermal infrastructures and practices in museums and archives demands us to ask ourselves: What are the origins of temperature control and humidity in memory institutions? How did the superimposition of the thermal cultures of the factory affect the practices of the museum? In addressing these questions, my goal is not only to direct attention to the materialities of thermal practices but also to provoke an ecological approach for the future of the memory institution. Could a re-evaluation of thermal infrastructures and practices shape an ecological institution?

Bio

Samir Bhowmik’s multi-disciplinary art practice deals with contemporary issues in Media, Memory and the Environment. His research at Aalto Media Lab and the Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin examines the architectural, infrastructural and energetic entanglements of Cultural Memory. Samir graduated as a Doctor of Arts in New Media from Aalto University, Finland, and holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland, United States. Samir’s current artistic research project “IMAGINARY NATURES: Extractive Media & the Cultural Memory of Environmental Change” is funded by the Kone Foundation (2019-22). His latest infrastructural performance art project ‘Memory Machines’ opened at the Helsinki Central Library in January 2019, as part of the Library’s Other Intelligences project organized by the Finnish Cultural Institute of New York.