Home

Speakers

Mathilde Lavenne (FR)

Short biography

Mathilde Lavenne (FR), born in 1982, began focusing her artistic approach on emerging technologies and digital tools by writing short films and creating interactive installations in 2011. She received the SCAM’s Pierre Schaeffer Prize in 2014 and the Contemporary Talents Prize from the François Schneider Foundation in 2015. She graduated from Le Fresnoy –Studio national des arts contemporains, with honors. Her short film Focus on Infinity, shot in Norway, was selected in many festivals such as Tampere Film Festival in Finland, Shnit International Short film festival in Switzerland or International Short Film Week in Regensburg. Her work was shown in France at the Palais de Tokyo, in Italy at the Villa Medici, at MADATAC in Spain. In 2018, she is selected to continue her researches for a year at Casa de Velázquez, Academy of France in Madrid.

Presentation

Prix Forum - Golden Nica

Boris Labbé (FR)

Short biography

Boris Labbé (FR). After obtaining a DNAP (National Diploma in Visual Arts) at the School of Art and Ceramics in Tarbes, Boris Labbé continued his studies at EMCA – École des Métiers du Cinéma d’Animation in Angoulême, where he produced numerous projects, including Kyrielle, awarded with the Special Jury’s prize for Graduation Films at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 2012. Simultaneously, he developed his work as an artist and film director. He spent one year as an artist member at the Casa de Velázquez in Madrid, Academy of France in Spain. Later on he started his collaboration with Sacrebleu Productions and directed the short films Rhizome (2015), which was awarded the Grand Prize at Japan Media Arts Festival in Tokyo, and the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica in Linz. La Chute (2018) was selected for special screenings at the 57th Semaine de la Critique, Cannes Film Festival.

Presentation

Prix Forum - Award of Distinction

Alex Verhaest (BE)

Short biography

Verhaest is a filmmaker investigating the possibilities of interactivity and responsivity within cinematic arts. The basis of each film is a highly narrative script, existing or newly written, around which she creates a cinematic installation consisting of objects, videos and interactive videos. In September of 2013, her debut solo Temps Mort/Idle Times opened at Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam. Her work has been selected by several arts and new media festivals and competitions; i.e. the FILE electronic language festival in Sao Paolo, the New Technology Art Award in Gent, TAZ Oostende and Arts Festival Watou, and her work is featured in the Akzo Nobel Collection. She won the New Face Award at the Japan Media arts Festival and the Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica 2015.

Presentation

Prix Forum - Moderation/Jury

field - Vera-Maria Glahn (DE)

Short biography

Vera-Maria Glahn (1983) is co-founder and Managing Director of digital art studio FIELD, which she leads together with Creative Director Marcus Wendt. As a producer, creative and strategist, Vera has been at the core of bringing the studio’s cutting edge ideas into reality for nearly a decade; in brand commissions, visual research and artworks. Commissions have included brands like Nike, Diesel, Deutsche Bank, ABB and Samsung, and institutions like the British Library, whilst their artworks and research has been shown at galleries and festivals worldwide. After nine years of building the studio in London, Vera now heads up FIELD’s new venture in Berlin.

Presentation

Visualising the Invisible – Aesthetics of the Near Future
FIELD work as artists, designers and consultants across branding, moving image, and immersive experiences. As ever-more complex data systems, algorithms and smart machines are driving our lives, FIELD focus on creating new metaphors that help people, brands and institutions talk about the most intangible things in our world. In her talk, Vera will share how FIELD’s ten-year history in generative design nourished their focus on “Visualising the Invisible”, and why they think the Aesthetics of the Future are yet to be developed.

Depart - Leonhard Lass (AT)

Short biography

Leonhard Lass and Gregor Ladenhauf are DEPART. Their core endeavour is the conception of poetic, individual experiences. They construct audiovisual worlds as dynamic systems, which enable the  unexpected by means of cross-modal emergence –  transitory sandboxes of synchronicities bordering on the surreal. Deeply rooted in the digital, they explore the ritualistic character of algorithms and venture deliberately into the uncanny - creating unique moments that are coined by formally rigorous and profound aesthetics.

Presentation

Virtual Surrealities and the Liminal
One of our dominant artistic themes is Liminality – the exploration of temporary in-between spaces found at transitions, where volatile meanings emerge from a semiotic twilight. Positioned at our cultures most prominent (dissolving) boundary – between the physical and the virtual – the Interface inherits a multitude of references ranging from the purely functional to mythological and transcendental. Immersive VR represents a medium that is at the same time display and interface. This renders interaction unavoidable while supercharging the virtual with a phenomenological quality similar to nature itself. These reality melting abilities and their metaphoric potential were the starting point for our artistic exploration, that lead to "The Lacuna Shifts" – a spatio-poetic VR experience which transports the visitor to a constantly changing narrative space. In this talk I want to discuss the narrative potential of transitory, hermetic systems based on samples of our work and process. I attempt to explore the algorithm as the core device for digital manifestations that bears resemblance both with magic and ritual, if we consider it from a potential perspective of language and myth.

Rainer Kohlberger (AT)

Short biography

Rainer Kohlberger is an Austrian born freelance visual artist / film maker living in Berlin. His work is primarily based on algorithmic compositions with reductionistic aesthetics influenced by flatness, drones and interference. Within his works there always lies a layer of noise, that fascinates him as a sense of the infinite, which is both the ultimate abstraction and inveterately fuzzy. In his films, installations and live performances maximum forms of intensities come into play.

Presentation

Shimmering perceptrons
There have always been ghosts in our machines. Experimental artists are the ones accepting and inviting them to take part in their process. Today one can use sophisticated algorithms from a vast stack of software to build one’s own laboratory to create new images and sounds. Kohlberger talks about his own choice of methods when generating his works in real time for live performances or transforming found footage through machine learning algorithms for his films. With the help of the ghost’s spooky actions that are incorporated into a process of computational thinking, fuzzy works emerge. Soaked in noise, they challenge the inner processes of the machine and our perceptual apparatus at once.

Broken Rules - Felix Bohatsch (AT)

Short biography

Felix Bohatsch is CEO of Broken Rules. Indie at his heart, he co‐founded Broken Rules right after finishing his studies at Vienna University of Technology and Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Utrecht. His area of expertise includes game and level design and gameplay programming which he has done on all games of the studio. Additional he has been responsible for ensuring project quality and handling all organizational activity of Broken Rules. The last game he co-created was Apple Design Award winner Old Man's Journey.

Presentation

Inspired by our families, built with our hearts. The emotional design of Old Man's Journey.
In our favorite reading place we cuddle up, grab a cup of tea (or glass of wine) and are ready to feel. It usually is reserved for books, but using mobile touch devices, video games can be enjoyed in our reading nook as well. Learn how we designed an experience for that setting by focusing on what our players feel. To achieve that we defined the wanted emotional response of our players using an Emotional Progression Curve. This curve was our single most useful design tool. It guided all our decisions and allowed us to communicate our vision to the whole team. Without it, we couldn't have turned Apple Award winning Old Man´s Journey into the touching and personal experience it is.

Gerhard Funk (AT)

Short biography

Gerhard Funk, born in 1958, studied Mathematics and Art Education and received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Computer Science. As a highschool teacher he taught art education, mathematics and informatics. In parallel he worked as assistant and researcher at RISC Linz. In 1993 he transfered to the University of Art Linz, where he established an education programme for digital media. Since 2004 he is a full professor at the Institute of Media and the head of the bachelor’s degree program “Timebased and Interactive Media” that he has conceptualized.

Presentation

Cooperative Aesthetics
The main idea behind the concept of Cooperative Aesthetics is to build an immersive, interactive space in which the users can produce a collaborative audio-visual aesthetic experience. Using the whole floor as an interface, people can influence and animate the audio-visual outcome by their positions and movements. An essential aspect is the interaction between all users, their communication and collaboration. So the concept of Cooperative Aesthetics has a strong social component to bring people together. Cooperative Aesthetics is the result of a close cooperation between Ars Electronica and the study programme “Time-based and Interactive Media” at the Art University of Linz, where students and I have the opportunity to use the Deep Space of the Ars Electronica Center with its laser tracking system, which allows to track the exact position of up to 25 people in the space. In my talk I will present a systematic overview of interaction concepts using the users’ positions and motion.

Birgitta Hosea (UK)

Short biography

Dr. Birgitta Hosea is an artist and practice-based researcher who explores post-animation, performativity and hauntology through video installation, animated performance art and experimental drawing. She is Reader in Moving Image at the Animation Research Centre, University for the Creative Arts and Visiting Professor at the University of Chengdu. With a solo exhibition currently showing at the Hanmi Gallery in Seoul, other recent exhibitions include the Venice Biennale, the Karachi Biennale and Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art.

Presentation

On Paracinema and the Dematerialisation of Animation
This presentation draws upon the concept of paracinema - with reference to the work of film theorist Jonathan Walley who uses the term in the sense of the dematerialisation of film into idea. It will first consider the expanded work of VALIE EXPORT and Anthony McCall as examples of paracinema where film becomes live event and, thus, questions the institution of cinema, its strategies of voyeurism and perception. Extending this idea to animation, the animated performance and installation work of contemporary artists Birgitta Hosea and Tingting Lu will be proposed as a form of paraanimation. Working at the interface of live experience and recorded media, these works dematerialize animation and investigate the inscription of movement over time as concept rather than purely technique.

Chunning (Maggie) Guo (CN)

Short biography

Chunning (Maggie) Guo teaches New Media Art and Animation at Renmin University of China. She was a creative director for Vancouver Film School, a visiting artist to Central Saint Martins, London, and a resident artist at Centre Intermondes in France in 2014. She earned her PhD in independent animation in 2015. She was invited to present her papers in Animafest Scanner in Zagreb, Poland, the UK, 2016 SAS in Singapore, 2016 Aesthetics Conference in Seoul, Under the Radar 2017 in Vienna, Women and Silent Screen Conference in Shanghai, and the 2017 SAS in Italy. Her animated artwork, Ketchup (cooperated with Baishen Yan) has been exhibited and collected internationally by galleries and festivals including the White Rabbit Art Gallery in Australia and the L’abbaye de Fontevraud in France. She was the recipient of NETPAC Award in 2015 Busan International Short Film Festival of South Korea. She was selected by the Sino-Dutch scholarship as a visiting scholar for a year in Radboud University led by Prof. Asifa. Her cross-disciplinary research, The Archaeology of Memory: The Comparative Studies on Animated Documentary hopes to connect Animation, Psychology, History, Communication and Culture Cognition.

Presentation

From Ocean to Outer Space: Re-evolution as the Interface in Generative Animation
Since the 1980s, computers have been central to the development of new artistic works and even new digital lives. Pioneering generative animation artists have transformed the experiments of narrative structures into digital evolution. The first generation of these animated works ventured to explore mysterious creatures in the ocean. From tracing models of marine organisms (Aquarelles, Tom De Witt) to 3D construction of digital creatures (Growth Model, Yoichiro Kawaguchi), generative animation opened up new possibilities for discussing the topic of evolution. Generative animation provides an opportunity to weigh the debate of creationism and evolution, which also expands a large space for imagination of the diversity of the ecosystem in outer space.

Volker Helzle (DE)

Short biography

Volker Helzle is in charge of Research & Development at the Animationsinstitut of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. After graduating from Stuttgart Media University in 2000, he moved to California and worked at Eyematic Interfaces. In 2003 he joined the Filmakademie to supervise Research & Innovation. He is the senior lecturer for the Technical Director course and FMX program consultant. In 2013 Volker received an honorary professorship at the Filmakademie. Being a C-64 kid of the 80ties, Volker's life was strongly influenced by video games and early computer graphics. To this day he is a passionate gamer but also finds interest in analog activities like mountain hiking, gardening or yoga.

Presentation

Challenges and Opportunities of Virtual Filmmaking
As more and more movies make use of computer generated imagery, or combine them with live action, the required post production has become increasingly complex. Key creative digital content is created long after the initial recordings, leaving actors and on-set crew clueless how the digital elements are combined at later stages of the production. Some productions also involve performance capture for digital actors or creatures adding to the complexity. With the development of Virtual Production workflows, solutions have been introduced that enable the decision-makers to explore the virtually augmented reality. Though using such technologies and proposed workflows requires a fundamental re-consideration of the roles and production processes in (digital) film making. Virtual Production is one key focus of the Research Lab embedded in the Filmakademie Baden-Württembergcampus in Ludwigsburg, Germany. The presentation will cover past and recent advancements in this area including research carried out in the EU funded project Dreamspace that resulted in VPET (Virtual Production Editing Tools). VPET allows simple access to Augmented Reality features on iOS devices with support for established (film) production pipelines. The VPET client is available for free in the Apple App Store. Furthermore we will discuss how Filmakademie trains its students to work with these technologies and have them prepare their creative vision to the above mentioned challenges.

James Paterson (CA)

Short biography

James is a Montreal-based artist and creative technologist whose work hangs out at the intersection of drawing, animation and code. Each of these mediums offers limitless room for exploration, but when braided together they can open up wormholes of creative possibility. Weened on books like Neuromancer and Snow Crash, James has been daydreaming about the emergence of spatial computing since childhood. Over the past few years he’s finally gotten a chance to explore creative tools popping up in this new space, and experiment with building his own tools from scratch like Norman: an open source VR animation sketchbook which runs in the browser. Since 1999 Paterson has exhibited his work at galleries and museums all over the world including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, and the Design Museum in London. He has also done commissions for the likes of Bjork, Google, Unity, Mick Jagger and many more.

Presentation

Through the Membrane
This talk is about skipping back and forth through the membrane between physical and virtual worlds. We'll explore the relationship between traditional art mediums like drawing, animation and sculpture, and emerging ones like VR, AR and 3D printing/scanning. New technologies are spraying out of the firehose at breakneck speed. While it can feel bewildering at times I believe these new forms are ripe for creative exploration. How can we use them to express ourselves in ways previously unimaginable?

Sophie Mobbs (UK)

Short biography

Sophie Mobbs is an associate professor in the Department of Game Development at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. She specializes in teaching 3D animation and art for virtual reality narratives and games. Her research interests focus on animation with regards to body language and the medical applications of virtual reality and animation. Prior to working in Higher Education, she spent 10 years working as an animator in the games industry, working for companies that included Sony, Silicon Dreams and Rebellion and contributing to 8 published games across various platforms.

Presentation

Seriously fun: Opportunities and considerations for artists contributing to medical and serious gaming virtual reality experiences.
We stand on the brink of a new technological dawn, with Virtual Reality poised to enter the mainstream. High-end virtual reality headsets target the serious gamer, while affordable phone-based headsets target the average public consumer. But what of the opportunities to transform the lives of those groups who are otherwise overlooked and frequently marginalised; what of their voice, their needs, their desires? VR has become lighter, cheaper and above all, more user friendly, not just for end users, but for creators. This technology, once accessible to a privileged few, can now be tasted by all, regardless of their technical expertise, or mobility issues. In this paper I shall discuss preliminary work of bringing virtual reality art packages to creative and artistic individuals who would otherwise be marginalised by severe mobility issues and heavy reliance on carers to access the creation of their own art. Can VR be used to bring the joy of creative art to everyone, liberated from the constraints of the physical world, through this new and evolving interface? Calling all artists, seriously fun!

MELT - Kuba Matyka (PL)

Short biography

Futourist. Immersive experience director and co-founder of MELT - a tiny interdisciplinary studio creating unique experiences for brands in every scale and form. Their works are getting international attention thanks to the characteristic audio-visual approach of combining intensive, full of life visuals with a human touch. Pop-Culture binger. Constantly optimizing the world around him.

Presentation

A portal to the digital
When building immersive experiences, we try to avoid the end-user interface completely. We design interactions with the digital world as intuitively and naturally as possible. Trying to make interface imperceptible or a part of the story. The presentation will be about how our approach to interface changed over the years of creating interactive, multimedia installations and immersive experiences. Featuring the short case studies of our older works, like the “Membrane - a tactile screen” (2013) installation to more recent ones like “The Missed Spaceflight”. To finish off, we’ll talk about the future of interface from the perspective of the R&D work in interactive VR/AR we’re currently undertaking at futu.io.

ZEITGUISED / foam. - Henrik Mauler (DE)

Short biography

Henrik Mauler, with Jamie Raap, founded the ZEITGUISED collective, which is an award winning studio conjuring exquisite realities, at the intersection where art and design and digital and physical space meet. ZEITGUISED have been influencing synthetic image making since 2001, with an approach connecting formal and conceptual design, oscillating between cerebral and poetic. ZEITGUISED is an independent experimental design brand, that has branched out its commercial visual service to foam Studio, which keeps pushing the envelope as a visual trend lab.

Presentation

Crummy interfaces
Henrik Mauler talks about key ingredients of the eternal and internal struggle to find sustainable balance between abstraction and figurative realism, physical and digital, independent art and commercial design, innovation in a world oversaturated by images and most of all, how crummy software interfaces dictate and hamper our ability to producing anything interesting in digital art.

Hannes Rall (DE)

Short biography

Hannes is a tenured Associate Professor at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He is also an independent animation director. Hannes Rall has shown his work in over 500 film festivals worldwide and won more than 60 international awards. His research and artistic work is focused on exploring adaptation of classic literature for animation and most recently on animated documentary and expanded animation. He presents regularly in major conferences like FMX, SIGGRAPH and the Society of Animation Studies. His book “Animation: From Concept to Production” was published by CRC Press in December 2017.

Presentation

Three Worlds for Shakespeare: Balancing Storytelling and Discovery for a Fully Immersive Interface
In close collaboration with the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, our research project creates an animated story mashup of three major Shakespeare plays for VR: Macbeth, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream are interwoven through a connective storyline that combines humor, drama, parody and serious Shakespeare adaptation. This concept is reflected through the creation of three entirely different virtual worlds. They can be experienced by the viewer through a linear narrative or explored independently. We seek to investigate how we can successfully hold the viewer’s attention for a linear narrative in VR while still offering the freedom of discovery of richly immersive environments. The presentation will not only allow deep insights into the visual development process , but also lay out the strategies to resolve the emerging narrative strategies. The research is supported by the MOE Tier 2 Grant “From Print to Digital: Re-Defining Narrativity for Interactive Digital Media.”