Category Archives: Visual Art

FOURTH NEW MEDIA DOCTORAL SEMINAR of SPRING 2022 – Thursday, 12 May, 16:30 – 18:30

WELCOME TO THE FOURTH NEW MEDIA DOCTORAL SEMINAR OF THE SPRING SEMESTER!

The seminar will take place on Zoom, Thursday 12 May, starting at 16:30 and ending at 18:30 (UTC/GMT+3, Helsinki, EEST). Mediated by Professor Lily Díaz-Kommonen, we have an interesting presentation by Kirsi Manninen about her work “Using ‘A Digital Pocket Atelier’ For Creative Teamwork — What Are the Impacts and Meaning of Digital Screen Sketching On the Professional Competence of Costume Designers?

Zoom link: Please click here to join the seminar!

PRESENTATION

Using ‘A Digital Pocket Atelier’ For Creative Teamwork — What Are the Impacts and Meaning of Digital Screen Sketching On the Professional Competence of Costume Designers?
by Kirsi Manninen

Illustration Image depicting a woman practicing self-regulating, organisational and work-related skills included with key-words. by Kirsi Manning

ABSTRACT

Over the past decades, costume designers have begun to combine traditional hand-drawing and digital sketching techniques in a costume design procedure. In addition to computer-aided costume design and traditional hand-drawing, costume designers have recently switched to advancing more and more different tablets and mobile devices while designing costumes for the characters. This thesis builds an understanding about costume sketching and considers how the particular competency of a costume designer — digital costume sketching — affects a designer’s subjective knowledge of one’s own skills as well as their ability to perform the tasks required for the design process and collaborative teamwork. The role of sketching techniques and digital sketchbooks has so far received too little attention from a research perspective. The participants in this study were recruited from costume designers who utilized a tablet device as a portable ‘pocket atelier’ and created costume sketches on the screen of the tablet. This thesis presents ideas and theories on the effects of digital costume design methods in the field of performing arts, as sketching tools and methods play a crucial role in the visual presentation of costume sketches and communicating with them.

This practice-based research relies on ethnomethodology and is interested in the routines of sketching and the outcomes and meanings of specific design activity. In this study, the source of knowledge is based on thinking through drawing and on the interpretation of physical and digital costume sketches. The purpose of this thesis is to find answers to the research question: what are the impacts and meanings of digital costume sketching on the professional competence of costume designers?

Qualitative methods offer an effective way to use a practice as a source of data by illuminating retrospective accounts related to sketching techniques. In this thesis, I have approached and participated in my research topic openly from many perspectives. The key method in this dissertation has been that by making things progress. For this reason, I have avoided over-planning both in the conduct of research and in the preparation of written outputs. I tried to do matters one thing at a time and see how the research that has already been done leads to new subjects.

The material for this study is collected through a literature review, samples from digital character creation courses (students), the researcher’s own autoethnographic data and through semi-structured interviews. Participants in semi-structured interviews consist of eight professional costume designers between the ages of 20 and 60, drawn from the fields of theatre, film and other performing arts from across Finland. The aim of the data collection is to obtain answers to research questions. The focus of my research is to examine the nature of costume sketching methods and the significance of the research topic from the point of view of the practical working life of costume designers.

Regarding the research question, it was found that the positive feedback as well as the better management of the use of sketching tools, time and space had a positive effect on the whole costume design process. Overall, the results indicate that there was an association between digital costume sketching methods and the professional competence of the designer. Taken together, these results suggest that the digital transformation changed the costume designers’ vision of their expertise to better meet the needs of the organization they worked with.

Keywords: costume design, digital costume sketching, screen sketching, tablet device, competence

BIO

Image showing DA candidate and Scenographer Kirsi Manninen and some of her self-portrait works

DA Candidate Kirsi Manninen

Kirsi Manninen, MA, is a Helsinki-based costume designer, teacher of digital character creation and doctoral candidate at Aalto University. The topic of her research is: Digital Transformation and Professional Competence in Costume Design. Her professional credits include designing costumes for more than one hundred productions for television, theatre, and film. She is one of the pioneers in the development of digital sketching methods for costume designers. She has taught and lectured digital character creation in several institutions in Finland and abroad: Aalto University School of Art and Design, London College of Fashion: UAL, University of Arts London, University of Lapland, Prague Quadrennial (the world’s largest exhibition of theatre architecture) and (Teme, LP) Union for the Theatre, Film and Television Designers and TV1, Finnish Public Broadcaster Yle. In 2020, she was awarded an Artist of the Year in Helsinki.

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Defence of Doctoral Thesis in the Field of New Media, MA Ilan Manouach

MA Ilan Manouach will defend the thesis ‘Estranging Comics – Towards a novel comics praxeology’ on 22 April at 12:00 in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art and Media.

The defense is organized as a hybrid event. and will be held live at Väre, lecture hall F101 (Otaniementie 14, Espoo), and in Zoom (please click here for link).

Doctoral Candidate: MA Ilan Manouach
Opponent: Dr. Jan Baetens, KU Leuven, Belgium
Custos: Dr. Bassam El Baroni, Assistant Professor in Curating and Mediating Art at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University.

Information at Aalto University web page: EnglishFinnish

The doctoral thesis is available and publicly displayed 10 days before the event here.

Image of Shapereader by Ilan Manouach, a system for tactile storytelling specifically designed for blind and partially sighted readers/makers of comics .

Shapereader by Ilan Manouach.

ABSTRACT

The industry-wide adoption of digital and network technologies has produced long-lasting and unevenly distributed effects in all the sectors of the comics industry. The globalization of markets and services has profoundly reshaped comics labor. Its effects are economic (the precarization of craftsmanship traditions), social (the rise of entrepreneurial fan culture and the consolidation of increasingly diversified communities with novel forms of amateur and semi-professional activity), technical (the introduction of digital tools for the distribution, the archival and retrieval of media artefacts) and aesthetic (the gradual integration in the production pipeline of AI and synthetic media). As is demonstrated by the recent emergence of radical forms of experimentation documented in the Conceptual Comics media collections of Ubuweb and Monoskop, comic artists are often able to leverage the dependencies of the ever-growing network infrastructure of the comics industry. Nevertheless, these disruptions foreground an epistemic crisis in the understanding of contemporary comics, both in academia and in more traditionally established professional spheres.

This thesis embraces an attitude of productive estrangement towards the medium’s forms, material qualities and operations, and constructs comics as a “contemporary object”. According to philosopher Anne-Françoise Schmid, a contemporary object is an extra-disciplinary entity that is massively distributed in space and time. Understanding such an object depends on the increasingly aggregate nature of knowledge production and dissemination in the computational age. Both in theory, with a series of papers in peer-review journals, and in artistic practice, by way of published comics and commissioned curatorial projects, this thesis examines the mutations of the comics ecology as an expansion of the scope of knowledge. It embraces the cumulative impact of digital transformation and articulates a novel comics praxeology predicated on two conditions. First, the thesis appeals for a systematic exploration of comics outside of narrow media purviews, the implicitly disciplinary conceptions, and the dominant historical perspectives in Comics Studies. It aims to develop a conception that embraces a rigorous application of a non-hegemonic interdisciplinarity in comics research. Second, and most importantly, the thesis argues for the expansion of operational agency on the part of comics professionals. This agency is described as a heightened contextual appreciation of the industry’s infrastructural backend, an awareness of its imbricated institutions and a diversification of the professional toolbox. I argue that a novel comics praxeology is a necessary attribute in order to embrace future, speculative, unclaimed or hitherto impossible forms in comics expression.

THE DOCTORAL CANDIDATE

Profile picture of doctoral candidate, MA Ilan Manouach

MA Ilan Manouach

Ilan Manouach is a researcher, a musician and a multidisciplinary artist with a specific interest in conceptual and post-digital comics. His research examines how this century’s frontier technologies such as AI, financial technologies and globalized logistics reshape the comics industry. He is mostly known for Shapereader, a system for tactile storytelling specifically designed for blind and partially sighted readers/makers of comics. He is the founder of Echo Chamber, a Brussels-based non-profit organization with the mission to produce, fundraise, document and archive radical and speculative artistic practices in contemporary comics. The topics of his research and artistic practice include conceptual comics, post-internet publishing, and synthetic media and AI. On the side, Ilan works as a pirate/librarian for the Conceptual Comics Collections at Ubuweb and Monoskop, is an appointed expert in experimental comics for the Belgian government for its national public funding program (CCAP) and works as a strategy consultant for the Onassis Foundation and its visibility through its newly funded publishing activity.

Contact information: email / +30694169008

SECOND NEW MEDIA DOCTORAL SEMINAR of SPRING 2022 – Thursday, 24 March, 16:30 – 18:30

WELCOME TO THE SECOND NEW MEDIA DOCTORAL SEMINAR OF THE SPRING SEMESTER 2022!

The seminar will take place in Zoom on Thursday, 24 March, starting at 16:30 and ending at 18:30 (UTC/GMT+2, Helsinki, EEST). Mediated by Professor Lily Díaz-Kommonen, we have an interesting presentation by Ningfeng Zhang about his work ‘From “Roll Up Our Sleeves to Work Hard” to “Lie Flat”: Mediated Discourse Analysis of How Memetic Engagement Exerts its Potential in Shaping Collective Memory in China’s Social Media‘.

Zoom link: Please click here to join the seminar!

PRESENTATION

From “Roll Up Our Sleeves to Work Hard” to “Lie Flat”: Mediated Discourse Analysis of How Memetic Engagement Exerts its Potential in Shaping Collective Memory in China’s Social Media
by Ningfeng Zhang

Image related to DA candidate Ningfeng Zhang's work 'From “Roll Up Our Sleeves to Work Hard” to “Lie Flat”: Mediated Discourse Analysis of How Memetic Engagement Exerts its Potential in Shaping Collective Memory in China’s Social Media'

ABSTRACT

The

This study focuses on the modal and discursive capability of online discursive repertoire as a “memetic engagement” in the potential shaping process of collective memory in China’s social media. The case study involved in this research concerns an ongoing online socio-cultural phenomenon called the “Lying flat movement”, and its essence can be considered as a form of memetic social action to challenge the existing, institutionalized glorification and aestheticization of a kind of chaotic social competition process that curls inward instead of outward, ensnaring its participants within an endless cycle of meaningless self-flagellation. This hustle working culture is disguised with the term “Spirit of Hardwork”, which was originally brought forth by the founder of the Chinese Communist Party Mao Tse-Tung in the 1950s.

The material consists of 11,555 comments collected from Chinese social media platforms, namely “Sina Weibo” and “Toutiao”. The former is China’s leading microblogging platform, and the latter is seen as one of China’s leading news and information platform that uses its algorithm models to generate a tailored feed list based on both popularity and personal interest of contents for each user.

Mediated discourse analysis (MDA) was applied to understand the form, content, and stances of the total 11,555 comments in a holistic way as a discursive repertoire, a memetic engagement inheriting a series of intermedial affordances that function as mnemonic shaping potentials in collective recollection.

Through this study, the author aims to expand and deepen the understanding of online memetic engagement as (1) a multimodal “hupomnemata” with formal capabilities in memory shaping; (2) an ideological cluster with narrative capabilities in memory shaping; and (3) a social action stemming from the entanglement of “discourse in place”, “interaction order”, and “historical body”.

BIO

Profile picture of New Media DA candidate, Ningfeng Zhang

New Media DA candidate Ningfeng Zhang

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 the Chinese media environment, exploring the mechanism of how internet memes, as a form of visual rhetoric, a propaganda entity, a phenomenological studying subject, a discursive hypomnemata, as well as a facet of citizen journalism, generate, mutate and proliferate in a highly homogeneous media environment.

ARTIST TALK: Art Studio Kimchi and Chips

Image of Kimchi and Chips artist talk event containing event time (Oct 19, 6pm - 8pm), location (WHS Teatteri Union, Helsinki, Siltavuorenranta 18), and event organizers (Aalto Media Lab, WHS Teatteri Union, Object Festivatl)

Seoul based art studio Kimchi and Chips, founded in 2009 by Mimi Son (KR) and Elliot Woods (EN), will be giving an artist talk on October 19 at WHS Teatteri Union, Helsinki, from 6pm to 8pm (18:00 – 20:00). Mimi Son and Elliot Woods introduce their research-based approach to creating artworks that often involve volumetric images in fog and 3D projection onto non-designed forms.

Kimchi and Chips’ practice begins at the recognition that the arts, sciences and philosophy are not distant disciplines which must be bridged, but act as alternative maps onto the same territory, and that employing these maps in tandem allows the territory to be navigated more readily.

Free entry, but pre-registration is required. Register to the event by filling this form:
https://forms.gle/ZB7mtk1dfCw3YVR59

More information: Kimchi and Chips

TIME AND LOCATION

October 19, 2021
18:00-20:00

WHS Teatteri Union
Siltavuorenranta 18, Helsinki
https://teatteriunion.fi/

The event is organized by Aalto Media Lab,WHS Teatteri Union, and Object Festival