Category Archives: Seminars

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

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)


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.


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.

#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.

#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:

#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:

#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:

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]:

• Presentation at National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) Kaliningrad, Russia, with title ‘Artistic Fieldwork in Finland and Latvia’ [EN/RU]:


‘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 []. 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 


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”


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


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.

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


Join us in Zoom

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


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


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.



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, 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.


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


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?


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 ( or agriculture (

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.

Doctoral Seminar // 14.05.2020

Media Lab / Doctoral Seminar

14.05.2020  / 16:30-19:30

Moderated by Lily Diaz

Presentations by Andrea Mancianti & Outi Condit




Andrea Mancianti

The Sonic and the Viral

A very unsystematic account of the state of thoughts in a time of isolation


I am a composer, performer and sound artist mostly devoted to experimental sonic arts. I studied composition with Rosario Mirigliano in the Conservatory of Florence. I hold an MA in composition and music technology from the same conservatory (2012) and a Bachelor in Philosophy from La Sapienza, Rome (2006). I also completed the IRCAM Cursus in Paris (2013-2014). Currently I am a PhD candidate in the department of Media, of Aalto University, Helsinki, researching case-specific immersive experiences. My artistic work includes music compositions, installations and mixed media performances, where material phenomena extend in the virtual digital world and complex feedback networks are established between the two realm.

With the media artist Roberto Fusco I work in the audiovisual project quietSpeaker. I am also in the board of the association Äänen Lumo (Charm of Sound), to promote experimental music and sound art in Helsinki. I am a strong supporter of open and DIY culture, and my work is all available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence.

My works have been performed or exhibited in Europe and Usa, for institutions such as Ircam (FR), Biennale Musica (IT), Ars Electronica (AU), Helsinki Festival (FI), Musica (FR), Impuls and KUG (AU), Muziekcentrum De Bijloke (BE), Centre Henri Pousseur (BE), STUK (BE), Boston University (USA), Nuova Consonanza (IT), Sibelius Academy (FI) and others.


Outi Condit

Remote Control Human 


Outi Condit is an actor, performance maker and self-professed pedestrian cyborg, currently in the indefinite final stages of her artistic doctorate in the Performing Arts Research Centre, University of Arts Helsinki. Her research was triggered by sense of wonder at the pliability of bodily selves, both as a theatre actor and an (in)queering body. She takes on theatre as a machine (and vice versa), digging into the politics of staged bodies (and bodies as stages), producing glitched embodiments in process.

In an often-repeated truth of the rehearsal studio, an actor’s body is their tool. And thus I am trained to be part of the theatre machine, its fantasies become my flesh, I am patterned by its patterns, shaped by its rhythms, haunted by its gestures, I am its recurrent reifying dream
singular pluralmore than one, less than many

Theatres have since closed, the proximity of bodies deemed dangerous. We must identify as vectors, transmitters and carriers; we are all media now.

In this moment(um) of enforced telepresence, I take the opportunity to add another screen into the mix: a human body, absented and at-hand as a techno-metabolic (re)actor for thespian ghosts and transmedial affects.




Media Lab // Doctoral Seminar


Media (mis)use: Rhetoric’s of fake arguments


Thursday 23.04.2020

16:30 – onwards



Everyone Welcome

We will have an


gathering and discussion based on your response(but not limited)to


Let’s get together and discuss!


..You can participate with a 5 minutes short presentation or simply join in and listen. You can bring forth links, resources, your current feelings  based on the given topic..

  ↓ Keywords↓  

(this list may give a bit broader frame within which we will be discussing)

Surveillance capitalism, fake news, ethics and media, “attention confetti”, pandemic – personal data – (mis)use of the newly developed tracking apps – authoritarianism, data colonialism



New Media Doctoral (remote) Seminar

New Media Doctoral (remote) Seminar
Following  Aalto Universities protocol under the COVID-19 epidemic, New Media Doctoral seminar will be arranged remotely. 
Thursday  // 19.03.2020 // 16:25-19:30
(Simply click on the link to join the seminar! It is advisable to download zoom before joining the meeting. For further instructions please see
Participants can download the presentation slides (the presentations will be held with audio only!) 09:00 on the morning of the presentation.
Lead by Professor Lily Diaz the presentations for the March seminar are held by:
 Constantinos Miltiadis // Gerriet K. Sharma 
The Situation of Space in Contemporary Media Environments
– two part talk by Constantinos Miltiadis and invited guest Gerriet K. Sharma  
Virtual reality and spatial audio technologies bring about a new paradigm in the fields of architecture and music. Works developed in these media produce experiences beyond what is perceivable in the physical world, extending therefore our capacities to design/compose as well as our sensibilities for spatial and temporal perception. By operating in the spatiotemporal domain, these new media, question our disciplinary understandings of space and time as well as their aesthetics, requiring an altogether new post-disciplinary conception of design/composition and experience. 
The imperative for a new shared paradigm is even more prevalent in the so called “immersive media.” The production of spaces has become the modus operandi for the creation of artificial worlds and sound designs for concerts, VR, cinema and event culture – motivating an industry for hardware and software solutions. However, a closer look at the use of the term “space” reveals an astonishing inconsistency regarding contextualization, meaning and occupation. 
Within this problematic, the aim of this research is the conception of a common space of the perception of spatiotemporal phenomena – a domain that we call the Shared Perceptual Space (SPS). Eventually, we ask whether post-disciplinary and artistic research, drawing from multiple disciplines from mathematics to musicology, architecture and philosophy, can construct a SPS as a common platform for the understanding of spatiotemporal phenomena and as aesthetic strategy for the orchestration of time and space. 
Constantinos Miltiades  
Within Architecture’s Expanded Field 
Space, as the substrate that conditions design and architecture is often taken for granted. Through a brief archeology of the evolution of spatial concepts from Greek mathematics through Renaissance perspective and 20th century physics, this talk intends to present how design-space is a culturally embedded “ideology” that adheres more to tradition rather than to any current scientific theory. Contemporary space-making media however can allow for us to experiment with and explore perceivable spaces beyond the traditions of design, as well as of what is constructible in physical reality, requiring thus a new set of conventions for engagement with space. Akin to writing spaces rather than designing in space, “choropoietic media” from drawing to videogames, VR and spatial audio, challenge us in considering an “expanded field” of architecture and spatial praxis, while providing vehicles for uncovering latent spectra of aesthetic experience.
Constantinos Miltiadis (
Constantinos Miltiadis is a transdisciplinary architect, whose research and practice focus on virtual spatiotemporal environments, as a means of expanding the scope of architecture and its aesthetics. He has studied architecture at NTU-Athens, at the Chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design of ETH Zurich, and pursued studies in computer music at the Institute of Electronic Music of Kunst Uni Graz. His work has been presented in exhibitions, seminars, published in academic conferences as well as by international press, and received awards in international competitions. He has taught creative programming and experimental computation in academic contexts, as well as in conferences and art festivals. In addition, he was founder and curator of the “IAM Open Lectures” and co-founder of “Tabletalks on Architecture” as well as of the experimental electronic music event series . Between 2015 and 2019 he has been assistant professor at the Institute of Architecture and Media of TU Graz, while currently he is a doctoral student between the departments of Design and Architecture at Aalto ARTS, part of the Experience Platform.
Spatial Aesthetics 
in Auditive Media Composition
In the cases both of music and of science, detachment involved the use of mechanical aids: scientic instruments helped discover a world, musical instruments to build one (D. Burrows)
We as composers and sound artists have never confronted a machine of the collective, networked, and externally defined media perception design as we experience it today. So what do we share with our audience, the engineers and scientists working on perceptions in media spaces, and how can we still detect potential for aesthetic experiences and make them useful for the acoustic arts? It seems unavoidable that this question causes us to fall back on our ears and the aesthetic reflection of what is experienced and experienceable in situ. Spatialization is the synthesis of spaces and spatial properties of sounds for audiences using numerous loudspeakers. Although one of the most important developments in music within the past century it is still an area of confusion and fundamentally different opinions between researchers, sound engineers, composers, and audiences. Great advantages in computer and audio technology have not necessarily yet led to similarly greater artistic advances in spatialization strategies and concepts within the past decades when compared with pioneering electro-acoustic music in the 1950s, in which visions of sculptural sound phenomena from the 1930s were firstly created and publicly performed. Moreover, as spatial computer music matures and consolidates within institutions and organizations, it is increasingly involving 3D audio systems which can create auditory virtual environments (AVEs). Quite likely in the very near future AVEs will be part of many people’s everyday life, e.g. in cars, working spaces, intelligent homes, concert halls and computer games. The emerging general question is, who creates these ‘virtual’ environments with which intention and how can music, sound art and sound design aesthetically contribute to this reality with their own strategies?
Gerriet K. Sharma (
Gerriet K. Sharma is a composer and sound artist. He studied Media Art at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and composition/computer music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. In 2016 he completed his doctorate at the scientific-artistic doctoral school Graz. His thesis is titled “Composing Sculptural Sound Phenomena in Computer Music”. Within the last 15 years he was deeply involved in spatialization of electroacoustic compositions in Ambisonics and Wave-Field Synthesis and transformation into 3D-soundsculptures. From 2009 to 2015 he was curator of “signale-graz” concert series for electroacoustic music, algorithmic composition, radio art and performance at the MUMUTH Graz. His works were presented and premiered at festivals in Europe and abroad. Scholarships by the German Academic Exchange Programme (DAAD) in 2007 and 2009. In 2008 he was awarded with the German Sound Art Award. In 2007 and 2010 he was Artist in Residence at Pact Zollverein Essen working on his concept of sculptural sound projection and formation. Within his Residency at the Institute of Musicology Wuerzburg 2011 – 2013 he conceived and established the Atelier for Sound Research. In spring 2014 he was composer in residence at ZKM Karlsruhe/Germany. 2015 – 2018 he was senior researcher and composer within the three year artistic research project “Orchestrating Space by Icosahedral Loudspeaker” (OSIL) funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). He had been appointed as DAAD Edgar Varèse guest-professor at Electronic Music Studio, Audio communication (AK), TU Berlin for WS 2017/18. In 2019/20 he is visiting professor (Music and Technology) at IKG DART doctorate school Madrid. Publications in international journals and books on spatial practices and sound. “Aural Sculpturality. Spatio-temporal Phenomena within Auditive Media Techniques” was published by ZKM in 2019, his text “Surrounded by Immersion – Means of Post-Democratic Warfare” was released in the book Ultra Black of Music by Mille Plateaux in March 2020. He lives in Berlin.
Constantinos and Gerriet are founding members of the Special Interest Group on “Spatial Aesthetics and Artificial Environments” (2019) as part of the Society for Artistic Research (SAR).

New Media Doctoral Seminar

Welcome to the New Media Doctoral Seminar!

Join us!

Thursday 20.02.2020 / 16:30-19:30 / Väre / R113

PhD student at Aalto Media Department / Jelena Rosic

Guest lecture / Dr Janne Kauttonen

Moderated by Professor Lily Díaz-Kommonen

Abstracting and modeling experience – The view from a neurophenomenological isomorphism

In the 2020 seminar, I will look into epistemological and methodological convergence in research on media (artefacts) that combines empiricism of natural sciences with computational approaches. The line of research linking media and neuroscience has been prone to overinterpretation and misconceptions often due to the levels of abstraction and complexity regarding computational tools in neuroimaging. I will present my research that draws on the neurophenomenological programme (methodological bridging of subjective/objective gap) with an aim to underline levels of formalism between multisource data for the meaningful interdisciplinary study paradigms. These sources in my work include 1st/2nd person data (empirical phenomenology) with neuroimaging paradigms and models to characterize different approaches to brain connectivity. I have been using this conceptual and methodological framework with the specialized micro-phenomenology method to research augmented sense-making in interactive media, frameworks for affective computing and more extensively neurocinematics studies (cognitive neuroscience using films as stimuli) in order to model experience in a rigorous manner. The recent experimental work done as an Early-Stage researcher at Enactive Virtuality Lab at Tallinn University builds on previous work of understanding how film and its formal aspects constitute ecologically valid paradigm considered to approximatereal-life dynamic situations. In these terms, the perspective of expert annotation methods of stimuli, the so-called ‘stimulus error’ between the content of stimuli, experience and their brain mapping with the narrative context are addressed.

Finally, methodological aspects of this interdisciplinary approach are discussed with Dr Janne Kauttonen through his interdisciplinary expertise and research in human brain functions during naturalistic conditions using fMRI.

Introducing the guest

In 2019 review of naturalistic neuroscience and its stimuli (Sonkusare et al.Trends in CogSci), authors point out to Kauttonen et al. (2018) study: “A recent study deserves particular mention as it took advantage of cinematic style of the nonlinear narrative structure of ‘Memento’ (C. Nolan), a film that depicts successive scenes in reverse chronological order… (…). Analysis using MVPA identified patterns of activation in higher order cortical networks (precuneus, angular gyrus, cingulate gyrus, frontal poles) during presentation of key-frame scenes, which revealed contextual information about prior events.” 

“Now I know what this goes with!” – recall and narrative reconstruction in Memento

In this study we looked into how the human brain recalls and connects relevant memories with unfolding events. We hypothesized that repeating key-frames in Memento serve as immediate recall cues and would facilitate reconstruction of the story piece-by-piece. The chronological version of Memento, shown in a separate experiment for another group of subjects, served as a control condition. Using fMRI BOLD measurements and multivariate event-related pattern analysis method and representational similarity analysis, focal fingerprint patterns of hemodynamic activity were found to emerge during presentation of key-frame scenes. Despite the highly differential sensory-feature content of the key-frames, focal fingerprint patterns of BOLD activity were shared across the second presentation of the key-frame scenes (i.e., when they served as immediate recall cues) in various higher-order cortical regions. The distributed patterns of brain activity within these regions appear to underlie ability to recall relevant memories and connect them with ongoing events to facilitate understanding of what goes with what in a complex narrated story. Interestingly, there also seems to be anticipatory component in the higher-order sensory areas with the effects preceding onset of the key-frames.


Dr Janne Kauttonen

Dr Janne Kauttonen works as a staff researcher at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. His research background is strongly inter-disciplinary, including aspects from statistical physics, computational sciences, neuroscience and behavioral sciences. His particular areas of expertise are dynamical systems, analysis of large datasets, statistics, machine-learning and mathematical modelling. After obtaining his PhD in physics from University of Jyväskylä in 2012 in the field of statistical physics, he has worked as a researcher at Aalto University, Carnegie Mellon University and Laurea University of Applied Sciences. At Aalto and Carnegie Mellon, he developed computational tools and did research in human brain functions during naturalistic conditions (fMRI data) and visual system of rodents at neuronal level (2-photon imaging data). At Laurea University of Applied Sciences he studied cognitive biases of humans and voting behavior using text analytics and statistical methods. His current research at Haaga-Helia involves studying human interaction with other humans and artificial agents using physiological and behavioral measurements.

Image. Kauttonen, J., Hlushchuk, Y., Jääskeläinen, I. P., & Tikka, P. (2018). Brain mechanisms underlying cue-based memorizing during free viewing of movie Memento. NeuroImage, 172, 313-325.


Jelena Rosic, MA

Jelena Rosic is a PhD student at Aalto Media Department and Early Stage researcher at Enactive Virtuality Lab, Tallinn University. She has a background in professional film editing (&dramatic arts studies), cognitive film studies with embodied perspective and neuroaesthetics of film. Her interdisciplinary research combines empirical phenomenology and enactive cognitive sciences to study embodiment in the spirit of neurophenomenology (Varela 1996). She has specialized in the second-person methods, in particular, the micro-phenomenological interviewing and analyses method (trained with Prof Claire Petitmengin,) to explore usually unrecognized or inaccessible dimensions of lived experiences. Her micro-phenomenological research in the context of augmented sense-making has focused on identifying the conceptual and empirical groundings of meta-perceptual modalities that are reported to emerge in lived experiences of technologically enhanced embodiment. As a member of the NeuroCine research group led by Professor Pia Tikka at Aalto University, she gained several years of experience in conducting interdisciplinary research within neurocinematics, a line of research that applies cognitive neuroimaging methods to study intersubjectively shared narrative experiences of film viewers. In the NeuroCine she participated in developing systematic annotation methods of film stimuli for optimising the linking of cinematic features to fMRI data. As a PhD candidate at the Crucible Studio, a research group at Aalto University that investigated interactive media combining theoretical and empirical methods, she applied her neurophenomenological approach to the study of enactive narratives. Jelena’s current research at Enactive Virtuality Lab applies the micro-phenomenological method to provide understanding on the lived experience of narrative sense-making in the context of movie viewing and engaging immersive environments.

Welcome everyone to the last New Media Doctoral Seminar of the year!

Thursday 12.12.2019 / 16:30-19:30 / Väre / R113


Virtual Embodiment and the Transformation of the Self

Daniel Landau


Self-reflection is the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about their fundamental nature, purpose, and essence. Between the internal process of Self-reflection to the external observation of one’s reflection – runs a thin line marking the relationship between the private-self and the public-self.

From Narcissus’s pond, through reflective surfaces and mirrors, to current day selfies, the concepts of self, body-image and self-awareness have been strongly influenced by the human interaction with physical reflections. In fact, one can say that the evolution of technologies reproducing images of ourselves has played a major role in the evolution of the Self as a construct. With the current wave of Virtual-Reality (VR) technology making its early steps as a consumer product, we set out to explore the new ways in which VR technology may impact our concept of self and self-awareness. ‘Self Study’ aims to critically explore VR as a significant and novel component in the history and tradition of the complex relationship between technology and the Self.


Daniel Landau – is a media artist, researcher, and lecturer. He is the founder and co-director of the Mediated Body Lab at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.  The lab’s activities reside at the intersection of Art, Science, and Technology – critically exploring the Human-Technology co-evolution.

Daniel’s work has been presented in major venues, museums, and festivals worldwide. He was recently invited to teach at UCLA’s Media Arts department and he is currently a Doctoral candidate at Aalto University’s Media Lab.

Guest lecture: 

Using VR to build an empathic brain in times of Conflict

Johnathan Levi


Yoni (Jonathan) Levy is a social neuroscientist at Aalto University and in IDC Herzliya.

He studies mechanisms in our brain that govern the way we perceive and relate to social groups, for instance, Locals vs Immigrants, Israelis vs Palestinians, Rightists vs Leftists.

New Media Doctoral Seminar 21.11.2019

Welcome everyone to the third New Media Doctoral Seminar of the semester! The presentations are open to everyone. Please join us next Thursday!

Thursday 21.11.2019 / 16:30-19:30 / Väre / R113

Additional to the programme, Annukka Jyrämä (Senior Advisor, Research ethics at Aalto) will begin the session with a brief presentation on research ethics and Aalto’s processes and services.

Led by Professor Lily Diaz presentations to follow:

 Reflections on making spatial design tools / Tero Heikkinen


The use of artistic and design processes as part of research has provided exciting realms to explore for researchers in the art and design fields, but these approaches have also brought challenges. In this presentation I take a reflective look back at one practice-led research process. How does the understanding of space become revised for a designer, through building tools and concepts, if this process is seen as a creative project explored through multiple prototypes and tasks? The prototype cases suggest further prototypes and literature, in an “iterative cyclic web” of practice-led research that here alternates between digital software and material tools. How to transform the sometimes chaotic and nebulous experiences of creative processes into a manageable research project, material for study and shareable outcomes? I discuss one way practical cases have become intertwined with each other and what choices informed them.


Tero Heikkinen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Artistic Research at the University of the Arts Helsinki. As a researcher he is interested in approaches that combine creative productions, design processes or artistic activities. He currently researches the uses of media-rich web platforms for artistic research output and publication. He graduated as a Doctor of Arts in design from Aalto ARTS in 2013, where he previously studied Furniture and Spatial Design.

‘Place’ in Internet of Things / Neha Sayed


‘Internet of things’ promises a new configuration of space augmented with data sensing and sharing technologies challenging the notion of ‘PLACE’. The advent of these surveillance technologies promises an ‘openness’ affecting the way we live our daily life. This research aims at exploring the evolution of this place in ‘Internet of things’.Building on the Posthuman Ontology of Karen Barad, I began research by trying to investigate the notion of an architectural place. I designed a methodological framework which is multidisciplinary consisting of four disciplines, architecture, urban design, urban planning and anthropology. The research is autoethnographic and the place selected for study is a market square where last five generations of mine have resided and practiced trade. During 2016-17, I conducted observations with the community on the market square. In the beginning of 2019, along with the community I designed a concept for traffic regulation using sensors for Panasonic Design Competition. The actual design is to be tested within the community. This research presents a meaning of place and attempts to define the change caused by the sensor driven technologies.


Basically an architect from Mumbai Neha has done a combination of architectural practice and teaching for the last eighteen years. She did her Masters in Experience Design from Konstfack, Stockholm, which added another skill of being a researcher. Her work in the Masters was focused on developing user-centred design and studying research methodologies to achieve the expected outcome. Since 2009, apart from teaching and architectural practice she has been conducting research within communities and their relationships to space and in turn place. In 2012-13, she lead a team of researchers to draft street furniture manual for a heritage town of Matheran, which is the only pedestrian tourist destination in India having a very unique community dynamic. The manual is being adopted for the policies and design. The project inspired her to think of place specific design interventions with active participation of the community. Her practice as a designer has remained strong all this while, which is mostly around interior architecture, where the smart technologies are treated as a material. Her concern about the role of sensor driven environments grew and it led her to explore the changing nature of place in the case of Internet of Things.

Residency opportunity at CERN – – Open Call for Entries, dl 4th Nov, 2019 / Accelerate Finland

Accelerate Finland:
Open Call for Entries

Deadline 4 November, 2019

Arts at CERN<>, in Geneva, in partnership with the Finnish organisation Capsula<> (art-science-nature), is offering an individual artist or artistic collective the opportunity to apply for a one-month research residency at one of the world’s largest particle physics laboratories, CERN.

Accelerate Finland is an open call for Finnish artists interested in carrying out artistic research inspired by the world of particle physics, in dialogue with scientists, engineers and staff, during an artistic residency of one month at CERN, the European Laboratory of Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland.

The main goal of the Accelerate programme is to foster artistic investigation in connection with scientific research and fundamental physics. A jury of experts from culture and science will review the proposals received out of the call. One individual artist or collective will be selected from all the received proposals and will be invited to CERN in 2020 to explore possible new scenarios for enquiry in arts and science.

Saastamoinen Foundation<> and and The Committee for Public Information<> (TJNK) support Capsula for the Accelerate Finland residency award, a collaboration with Arts at CERN.

For more information, please enter here<>.