Participatory Digital Arts: Technology and Human Interactions | Dr Rocio von Jungenfeld



hello everyone my name is roti opening and felt and I'm a lecturer in digital media at the School of Engineering and digital arts here at the University of Kent I am part of the research group intelligent interactions and today I'm going to be talking to you about my research in the area of digital arts and most specifically about the role of Technology in the production of participatory digital artworks my research focuses on art in public space and this means that I sometimes very often have to deal with several components this means that I have to work in a multidisciplinary context and that I deal with devices technology digital content as well as with humans people and with their interactions with each other with the interactions that they have with the technology itself and also their interactions with the environment I'm interested in understanding how we humans and the things around us share and perceive the world and in how all these things the human and non-human things are constantly shaping and co-creating each other and co-producing the environments the big question for me really is how do we integrate digital artworks into the environment and also how do we incorporate them into everyday life in order to do this I look at how we can use public space to share and collectively interact with technology and my research I started by looking at how to use the metaphor of the wolf threat as you can see in this image to enable me to connect physical sites and digital content but this metaphor which I based on the work of Professor Tim Engels can only take us so far it is at least a starting point I became curious about how to detach digital artworks from the physical constraints of art Oh spaces by this I mean how can we detach the two artworks from a room which has electricity and therefore power sockets how can we take the work somewhere else my goal is to enable people to move around to walk in a particular site and more importantly I want people to be co-producers of the artworks rather than consumers this has led me to produce a series of video walks for public space and working with such sites for instance a park a public building has several challenges but it enables us to test how different displays and how different the different number of devices that we might have have an effect on the way that participants act and perceive the work and also about the interactions between participants and the things that are present in the environment so for instance while using a digital screen like most of us have we tend to kind of retreat into what eat Okinawa in Anderson coal cocoons so we have all seen this we all very often are the ones that retreat into these cocoons and yeah we focus on the screen and we are physically present here but in fact we are somewhere else we are somewhere in between on the other hand we could also use projections to to enhance to enhance the environment to project out of the environment and I'll going to give you a demonstration with a projection and I'm going to ask to get the lights down if possible so let me let me introduce you to the little projector you can basically use the projector to because it's portable you can go anywhere you can take it with you as you walk along and you can use any surface around you which is within rich reach of the projector to to use it as a projection screen so we can see that we can use our flesh our our skin as a projection screen we could use our clothes and then you can also go and project onto any surface you can project on the floor as you walk or you can project on a on a tree or on a bench or anything that really is around you and you don't have to be physically static you can move with it and then you can use the wheel so you can have focus your image depending on how far away from the surface you are and you can turn it as well so you can use your buddy to to modify the projection depending on the surface very often people try to match this the textures that are in the in the environment with the images that are projected so on the other hand when digital content is projected onto the environment the action happens somewhere else happens outside this device this opens the possibilities of merging the physical and the digital and it also opens the possibilities for sharing the experiences and co-producing digital artworks when we have the projection out available or when there is media embedded into into the environment it is much easier to become part of it and to become part of this shared experience part of my research involves developing tools and methods to analyze the interactions between the different things that are part of a particular environment or a site in control environments human-computer interaction researchers often use a combination of biometric measuring approaches but in public space this is really tricky gathering this type of data is difficult for instance gathering heart rates or eye movements or brainwave brain activity it's really complicated if not almost impossible especially if we take a car into account the number of participants that we might have invited to a particular event like a video walk or if we take into the account that the specific conditions of the sites would make this very challenging for instance a park at night in order to overcome this challenge and drawing on discourses that are established about how things are interconnected I have developed a method that enables me to analyze visual documentation the results that from video walks this desert of visual documentation serves as evidence of the interactions between the different agents in the site so it it serves as evidence of the interactions between humans technology and the site the method consists of a three lens approach okay one Tim ingles spider approach to Brunel eight letters A and T actor network Theory approach then three Manuel delando's assemblage approach which he bases on the lesson guitarists work and yes this might all seem very abstract and theoretical so let's not dwell on it and look at some concrete examples here is an example of a spider approach this means that we look into the documentation and we follow one particular threat and we look at how the threat develops over time and we are looking from within the threat so within this footage at how the actions are interconnected an example here where we are following a camera that it's going along with participants on this video walk so we are recording along with those people that are experiencing the work here is an example of a and T our turn it work theory approach and this means that we look at one particular instance of our raw footage we look at one frame from all those footage that we have there we look at the connections between the things between the actors in the image and we look at it from a detached point of view so we are not inside the thread we are really literally outside we are outsiders to this frame if we look at this example we can see that there is a hand there is a bench there is a projection there's a light beam there is an image I played some droplets there is there are several elements that are actively creating this image and they're all contributing and acting in a way here is another example and in this one I've selected some instances from raw video footage where although there's different instances in the event they are very similar in the way that the actors so the different things in the frame are are performing the roles so we have some projections some phases people and the things in the site are acting in a similar way have similar roles and then three as in blush approach and what this means is we follow multiple threads simultaneously but at the same time what we are doing is we are finding a point in which these similar different threads are converging and we analyze those instances so for instance what we want to look at is how different agents strengthen or modify the relations over time in this image and we have two people that are participating at the same time and they are converging on this one element which is the images that you see below and they are looking at this event we are looking at this event from two separate perspectives we are following the perspective at the point of view of the person on the right and the perspective of the person on the on the Left we can see the images that are there producing their just below and and they are colliding there the threats are converging and we can look at how these two threats converge and come together and analyze how they are related from an assemblage point of view we can also look at how things are simultaneously part of several awesome blushes so for instance in this case we'll see a bag and this bag is normally a courier so it has the belongings of the person that is carrying it so it has this role of being a courier but at the same time like we can say here it becomes a projection surface so it it can play different roles it can have different roles depending on what aspects of itself are activated moving on and building on this three length method approach I want to talk to you about Lisa Honda which is an ongoing project collaboration where in collaboration with dr. Dave Marie rust from the design informatics at the University of Edinburgh and we are investigating the relations between robotics and robot creatures humans and the environments that they share in co-create as you can see here you can see the zoo kinder in action links Dukan there is a photo kinetic installation which invites people to use a torch to interact with a society of light seeking robots my collaborator Dave and I are currently looking at visual footage that we gathered to investigate how different points of view converge in this installation so we gathered footage from different points of view different agents in the installation we we gather footage from it a touch point of view from the person's point of view from the little robots point of view to see how these elements are connected and where they converge our aim is to better understand these relations between the agents to understand how they see reacts and relate to each other and create this world as an early career research based at the School of Engineering and digital arts I feel supported to continue investigating how humans and technology interact and co-create their environment thank you very much

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