Erasmus XR IO3 – Case Studies

The intellectual output three, case studies of the Erasmus XR project, has been published using the Zotero research assistant. The Erasmus XR case studies are an Open Educational Resource (teaching material – collection of case studies in the form of videos and making-of videos with an introduction), showcasing also produced VR videos created by VNLab, made in both 3 and 6 degrees of freedom (DoF), VR resources created as part of art and curatorial projects. 

Following the fall training for academic staff in Athens/Psachno, the NKUA SMRG team collaborated with the Onassis Stegi Cultural Center team (https://www.onassis.org/onassis-stegi) organizing a two-day symposium focusing on art, science and technology expressed in the field of virtual reality. The main objective of the event was to disseminate the results of the intellectual work. IO3 was published through the presentation of creative, artistic and research projects developed by significant European creators, educators and scientists, which are examples of educational materials within IO3. In parallel, there was an exhibition of VR demo applications and artworks, as well as an exhibition of demos created during the cadre training. 

Educational materials and case studies for VR-based courses include: 

– A series of presentations related to the processes of creating virtual environments, namely: analysis, design, development and evaluation, 

– A series of publicly available Blender files (including 3D objects and environments, nodes and modifiers), 

– Unity project series (use of assets and their properties), 

– VR experience demo series, 

– A series of video tutorials. 

The results have been made available to the public in digital form, with guaranteed free access via the Internet. Open access will help to increase the visibility of European projects, which is in line with the approach to the use of ICT and RES according to the European Commission’s directives “Open Access refers to the practice of making research results and products available online. As all research and innovation builds on previous achievements, it is an effective system for wide dissemination and access to research data and publications can accelerate scientific and economic progress”.  

From the point of view of other HE institutions, the most attractive outcomes are the module documentation in the form of curriculum and syllabus, as it constitutes ready material necessary for the procedure of curriculum revision. On the other hand, from the point of view of the non-formal and vocational education sector, the teaching materials (IO3) are very interesting. It should be stressed that the case studies can be an interesting reading material for people interested in digitalization, virtualization and modernization of culture, which widens the circle of users and makes it possible for the project to achieve a global reach. 

Please follow this link to gain access to the Erasmus XR case studies: https://erasmusxr.eu/casestudies 

New Visual Narratives in Lodz is now over!

3 days filled with debates on technology, film, art and changes in contemporary culture landscape, a VR exhibition and film screenings. Thank you for being with us!

New visual narratives—the slogan that guided the first edition of the conference, and around which we are focusing our contemporary thinking again today, refers to completely different associations and meanings than just a few years ago. The idea of how stories can be told using immersive media and the language of film and visual arts has been subjected to many tests and has had to be revised. Every artistic expression that goes beyond the existing means of expression and questions the limits of the medium is born in a constant process of trial and revision—a process that starts again and again. The laboratory we established in 2019 was a testing ground for dozens of artists and producers from around the world. It has also been the site of many discussions, discoveries, surprises and failures, without which no creative process would be complete. However, we were not working in a laboratory environment isolated from our surroundings. Reality is changing in front of our eyes and both the creative process itself and the themes taken up in the works by artists resonate with it.

We want to capture these moments and discuss them with an international group of artists and theorists interested in the interface between film and digital media.

fot. Maciej Bernaś
fot. Maciej Bernaś
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fot. Maciej Bernaś
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fot. Maciej Bernaś
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fot. Maciej Bernaś
fot. Maciej Bernaś
fot. Maciej Bernaś

“New Visual Narratives” conference on July 1-3, 2022

Three days filled with intense talks, meetings and debates in an international group of filmmakers, artists, producers, researchers, technology and film enthusiasts. The “New Visual Narratives” conference is an event that will sum up and open a new chapter in the Visual Narratives Laboratory at the Lodz Film School.

REGISTER

New Visual Narratives
July 1-3, 2022
Lodz Film School + online
free admission

Program and registration: konferencja.vnlab.org

New Visual Narratives are changing the landscape of today’s media. While the 20th century was the age of film, the present day is being defined in front of our eyes. Join us to talk about what’s most interesting in the field of audiovisual arts, we will share the results of our research and show the newest productions.  The program consists of the topics that we’re working on in the vnLab – VR, XR, AR, stereoscopy, interactive narration, film essay and digital publications.

Among the guests:
Ariel Avissar – eseista filmowy, wykładowca na Uniwersytecie w Tel Awiwie, redaktor naczelny [in]Transition, the Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies
Gary Hall, filozof mediów, zajmujący się działaniem na styku kultury cyfrowej, polityki, sztuki i technologii, Profesor na Coventry University w Wielkiej Brytanii.
Hartmut Koenitz – Professor/lector for Interactive Narrative Design at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, researching Interactive Digital Narrative in Video Games and other emerging digital formats.
Lena Thiele – Creative Director, who designs and produces digital media formats in the fields of film, games and transmedia, the author of award-winning production “NetWars”
Joanna Żylińska – writer, lecturer, artist and curator, working in the areas of digital technologies and new media, ethics, photography and art, Professor of Media Philosophy + Critical Digital Practice in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London.

SEE THE FULL EVENT PROGRAM

organizers: Lodz Film School, vnLab

 

Conference „New Visual Narratives”

The first edition of the conference “New Visual Narratives” is the starting point for the activities of the Visual Narratives Lab at the Film School in Lodz, whose task is to explore and develop the new forms of visual narration that have been flourishing in the contemporary media landscape. The time for such a effort seems appropriate: the landscape in question has not only experienced a strong diversification over the last decade, but it is expected that in the coming years, as a result of the introduction of 5th generation wireless technology, we will face a real revolution. While the 20th century was without a doubt the age of film, today it seems that the future of visual narration will be multidirectional; it is shaped at the intersection of traditional film, theatre, television and photography with the contemporary, digital tools of visual communication. This development is also driven by the new needs and expectations of the recipients of these dynamically changing media, which also have to be thoroughly researched.

The presentations of and discussions with recognized artists, experts and researchers from the areas of interest of the vnLab’s individual workshops will allow us to recognize the current state of research on visual narration changing under the influence of technology and to present the most important artistic achievements in this field, and thus—to set the directions for further explorations, research and debates.

The material result of the conference will be a multi-media publication containing essays and papers written in response to the debates held during the conference, texts by invited authors, audiovisual research works, as well as records of these debates.

The programme of the conference will be divided into three modules:

Module 1: the future of film?

Module 2: Visual essay and interactive narratives

Module 3: Audience and business models

Roundtable

Roundtable discussion with all guests, concluding the symposium, moderated by Krzysztof Pijarski

Join us!

Module 1: the future of film?

We will begin with a reflection on the issues surrounding changes in the film and audiovisual language and the ways of constructing narratives in the context of the developing immersive media. We place special emphasis on cinematic VR and stereoscopy, but remain open to areas such as augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and video games. This part of the conference will be an attempt to examine the narrative, artistic and cognitive potential of immersive media, as well as address questions regarding technology, production and research. It will also be an opportunity to reflect on where cinema is going and how it is changing under the influence of the new technologies. In the context of spherical film, we will ask, among other things, how to give the viewer a sense of agency without giving up the artistic and narrative ambitions of the director, how to negotiate the relationship between immersion and interactivity without breaking the viewer’s sense of presence, how to direct the viewer’s attention while recognizing the deconstruction of the notion of frame in the experience of filmic virtual reality? In the context of stereoscopy, it is worth looking (again) at the possibility of stereoscopy growing beyond a post-production effect and towards artistically ambitious applications of real stereoscopy, and to consider whether and how the addition of the third dimension to the experience of film can be a carrier of emotional content, whether it can enrich the artistic message, etc.

One thing seems obvious: we face the need to redefine the means of film in terms of how we film and edit, how we direct the viewer’s attention and work with actors, how we narrate and build dramatic structure, and finally, how we produce.

Module 1 participants:

Domna Banakou – Being somebody else: the future of narrative storytelling

Ludger Pfanz – Space-Time Narratives

Sylvia Rothe – Timeline vs Spaceline

Pola Borkiewicz – New XR Narrative Paradigm

Join us!

 

Module 2: Visual essay and interactive narratives

In this section we would like to discuss new forms of narration created through the use of interactive and digital technologies, such as interactive documentaries, film essays, trans- and cross-media projects or participatory narratives. The basic question is how to understand narration in the face of genres that undermine the classic approach to narration understood in terms of a set of events unfolding in a specific time span. Is there such a thing as an essayistic narrative, understood as an constellation of thoughts and affects rather than a sequence of events? How can we construct narratives that are not contained in a work but are created in the course of experiencing them, as is the case with interactive film? Moreover, we will be interested in the influence of interactive and digital technologies on character development, as well as on the viewer’s perception of the work.

Module 2 participants:

Kuba Mikurda – An essay in space

George Legrady – From hardwired to automation: visual narrative through computation

Sara Kolster – To click or not to click?

Roderick Coover – Cinema of immersion, interaction and database

Kevin B. Lee – Exploring Farocki. Three approaches to videography

Join us!

  

Module 3: Audience and business models

It can be said that the closing module is the cement of the conference, combining all the already mentioned themes on a slightly different level. Here we will focus on the changing models of film financing and the need to find a way to monetize digital and interactive content. We will try to think about the reasons why some filmmakers and financing institutions or investors are interested in non-linear, interactive or participatory narratives and to answer the question: who are the contemporary audience: where, on what devices, and how do they watch films and other audiovisual content? How do they experience them, how is their attention formed, what are their habits and where do they come from? All this, of course, is connected with a further question: how to reach this new audience effectively? We will also be interested in how new narrative media change the processes of creating works, how the status of the creator changes in this context (especially in the face of the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning), how the behavior of cultural participants changes in the era of social and economic virtualization, what role the Internet plays in the decision-making processes of cultural participants, and to what extent access-based culture displaces culture based on ownership.

Module 3 participants:

Marta Materska – Samek – Cinematic VR Business Model – A disruptive or a sustaining change?

Patrick von Sychowski – Cinema is an experience

Grzegorz Mazurek – Business models in media in the times of digital transformation.

Piotr Francuz – Virtual worlds from the evolutionary, neurocognitive, methodological and axiological perspective

Katja Schupp – Back to the future – interactive and immersive formats as an opportunity for non-fiction storytelling

Join us!

Katja Schupp – Back to the future – interactive and immersive formats as an opportunity for non-fiction storytelling

Just ten years ago, interactive storytelling formats were the acclaimed panacea to access the highly contested market of younger recipients in the field of journalism and non-fiction. But despite award-winning productions sweeping success with users failed – to an extent that editors like Alexander Knetig of “arte creative” e.g. said in 2016: “I think (…) that concerning the future of the genre interactivity and non-linearity will no longer be the big buzzwords. … We have to be careful not to just go back to the classic video.“ Now immersive formats such as 360 degrees and VR productions are hyped within the non-fiction community. As ten years ago in the context of interactivity, design criteria for these productions currently are developed along the line of what producers perceive as the best possible immersion. But again, first user data reveal a gap between immersive production enthusiasm and reluctant, even skeptical recipients. In our session, we would like to discuss findings explaining the failure of success concerning interactive formats and try to transfer them to current questions in the context of the reception of immersive formats. Since we understand our research as a contribution closely linked to practical production, we suggest a project to collect data on the reception of immersive formats in the context of a design-thinking process. The aim is to find design criteria oriented to the needs of the recipients.

Katja Schupp
Katja Schupp is a professor at the Seminar of Journalism, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz. Her main areas of teaching and research are audiovisual journalism, transformation and development of audiovisual formats, storytelling, mobile journalism, journalism and the public. 

Piotr Francuz. Virtual worlds from the evolutionary, neurocognitive, methodological and axiological perspective

Man, and in particular his mind, is the product of evolution, its most perfect child, and at the same time it does not keep pace with the results of the technological revolution which he himself initiated. Nowadays, the human mind is exposed to experiences with which it has never had contact before. Our brain, which is best prepared to live in nature, has to face adaptation issues on an unimaginable scale. On the one hand, the human mind is a powerful generator of imaginary (virtual) worlds, and on the other hand, it is almost completely helpless against them when they are created by other people. Understanding this phenomenon is extremely difficult. Research in this field is only in the bud. We are barely beginning to understand multisensivity at the level of sensory experience, and already we have to face the questions that modern technology poses today about the possibility of interfering in human identity. In addition to presenting important points concerning the biological and mental condition of contemporary man in confrontation with multimodal technologies, I would also like to draw attention to the possibilities and traps associated with research in this area and, at least, touch the problem of the responsibility of creators, using new media, for the state of mind of their recipients.

Piotr Francuz
Prof. dr hab. Piotr Franz, psychologist, head of the Department of Experimental Psychology and Perception & Cognition Lab; director of the Institute of Psychology of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin; member of the Psychology Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences; scholarship holder of American and European universities; author, editor and co-editor of 22 books and over 140 articles published in international and national media; head, supervisor and main executive of numerous research grants; interested in the issues of understanding audiovisual and visual expressions, in particular paintings, as well as perception and visual and kinesthetic imagination from the cognitive and neurocognitive perspective.  

Grzegorz Mazurek. Business models in media in the times of digital transformation.

Innowacje dysruptywne, takie jak media społecznościowe, rzeczywistość rozszerzona i wirtualna, technologie mobilne czy cloud computing szybko zmieniają krajobraz sfery społeczno-gospodarczej. Ogromne zmiany pojawiają się w różnych branżach, ale także w zachowaniu ludzi, w tym w sposobie tworzenia, konsumpcji, oceny i monetyzacji treści kulturowych. Klienci są raczej współtwórcami wartości niż biernymi odbiorcami oferty oferowanej przez stronę podaży rynkowej. Nowe media zmieniają sposób, w jaki treści są tworzone i konsumowane. Wielu nowych graczy – często bardzo silnych, biorąc pod uwagę ich siłę rynkową – nie tylko dołącza do świata mediów, ale także zmienia sposób, w jaki ten świat działa i wykorzystywane w nim modele biznesowe. Kto decyduje, czy coś jest wartościowe pod względem artystycznym? Czy istnieje zestaw zmiennych decydujących o sukcesie artystycznego performance’u? Czy nadal istnieje zaufanie opinii publicznej do pośredników oceniających wartość produktu kulturalnego? Wreszcie, czy sztuka i tworzenie treści kulturowych różni się w epoce cyfrowej transformacji, a jeśli tak, to kto może z tego skorzystać? A kto powinien widzieć tylko zagrożenia współczesnej epoki cyfrowej?

Grzegorz Mazurek
Professor Grzegorz Mazurek is a researcher at the Kozminski University, a lecturer and consultant specializing in digital transformation of marketing and organization. A graduate of, among others: IESE Business School and University of Tilburg.