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Affective computing. Crude perhaps, but breaking taboos.

Interactive art: from biology to psychology

See our second look about this conference.

The happy few who attended the Art session at Laval Virtual 2014 did not perhaps perceive that a new wave in interactive art was emerging and taking momentum. The works become spaces where "beings" not only "live", but also develop emotions and exchange at this level with the spectators as well as between themselves through networked structures.

The new trend was at start highlighted by Jérémie Bordas an his Omnemotion installation. Emotions propagation is central to his research. Mimicry, feeback and contagion build upon "affective computing" and several models for personality, mood and emotions. Of course, these models remain quite crude: contagion for instance is based on physical models of heat dissipation. But the way is shown, and tabooos are broken. We no longer linger for the transcendency of human beings: let's go on, build and enjoy

Forget logic and Gödel: enjoy the ballet with nympheas.

No less daring, but inspired by animism, the Hantu team directs a ballet of nympheas moving according to their individual and collective mood, but also interacting with the spectators. Elegant movements give expression to their diverse personalites. Dreams (godd and bad) and shamanic views open indefinite spaces of creation, including worlwdide networking of nympheas. Forget about Turing and Gödel, and take part in the ballet.

Even more psychology oriented Lucile Haute invites us to "defenestrate" cartesianism and explore the relationship between self and avatar, between avatars and visitors. Her search makes use of multiple art forms, from ink on paper to multiple screens and performance in mixed enironments.

"Provoke the emergence of singular archetypal images..."

Let's quote her to appreciate her ambitions: "... we intended to provoke the emergence of singular archetypal images for each performer exploring their corporeal unconscious. How avatar pictures, games they have played... had worked inside them... an alernative to mimicry... the mastering of body language...".

"We viewed the agent as a performing partner", tells John McCormick (speaking for a team of six in the Recognition project) "and as such decided to treat the relationship between the agent and dancer in a similar manner to what might occur between two dancers". Human and machine, peer to peer. Here, a (professional) performer is motion captured, the data feeding a skeleton structure to animate the avatar. Neural networks and a large variety of graphics feed the interaction and offer. And the installation can interact also with nature, notably through sound. "At dusk, huge flocks of birds flew into the area... the sound emitted from the installation had similar qualities with a deep undercurrent of dopplered noise... reflecting the calls of the birds".

Neural networks, varied graphics and sound to feed the interaction.

Let's dream. A major challenge for the rising generation is to be happy in a world where robots will far outgrow the human beings in number and in many areas of performance. The insights of Alain Lioret, who chaired the show, and the creativity of these artists-scientists (they all belong more or less to academic structures) allows us to hope that coexistence will be possible and, let's dare the word, beautiful.

Pierre Berger. 4/12/2014.


The global Conferences program.

All the above papers will be published by the ACM. Full titles, authorship and videos.

OMNEMOTION: The propagation of emotions. by Jérémie Bordas Institut de l’Internet et du Multimédia Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci 92916 Paris. No available video.

The Touch of the Avatar, Artistic research and performance with synthetic doubles. by
Lucile Haute CIEREC, Université Jean Monnet St Etienne, France EnsadLab, Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs,, Paris. Images and video.

Technologie animiste et robotique - Nymphaea Alba
- Pascale Weber Artiste du duo Hantu MDC 18 Institut A.C.T.E. - UMR 8218 - C.N.R.S. & Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
- Jean Delsaux Artiste du duo Hantu MDC 18 Institut Pascal - UMR 6602 - C.N.R.S. I.F.M.A & Université Clermont 1.
- Owen .K. Appadoo. Designer 3D MDC 18 Institut Pascal - UMR 6602 - C.N.R.S. I.F.M.A & Université Clermont 1.
A Video(not recent),

Recognition: Combining Human Interaction and a Digital Performing Agent, by John McCormick, Kim Vincs, Saeid Nahavandi, Steph Hutchison and Douglas Creighton (Deakin University, Burwood, Australia) and Adam Nash (RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia). A video.








Paris ACM Siggraph, the French chapter of ACM Siggraph, worldwide non-profit organization of computer graphics.




Galerie Charlot An important supporter of digital art.