Cinema after the Digital

Physical Cinema: memory, schema and interactive video by Michael Leggett/ HyperPrescence: Teleprescence via Quantum Cinema by Osman Koc/ Active Cinema by Mark Joseph Chavez/ CrossWorlds by Olga Kisseleva
Wednesday, 14 September, 2011 - 14:45 - 16:05
Chair Person: 
Rie Saito
Michael Leggett
Osman Koc
Mark Chavez
Olga Kisseleva

Physical Cinema: memory, schema and interactive video

by Michael Leggett

The research project completed recently addressed the paucity of design evident in popular video databases such as YouTube and GoogleMovies, where the viewer has a television-like experience made up of selected individual movie productions. These are assembled by guessing words used in metadata registration of uploaded material and interaction with the movie database, thereby following in the sequential tradition of analogue video and film.

Digital video however, enables access to individual frames of a motion picture recording, where in an interactive system, the participant is able to define both duration, and relational ordering of individual ‘scenes’ and shots. The process of interaction can be compared to hypertext linking in Web-based systems, the documents instead being video files. Hypervideo is an appropriate term, though the Mnemovie experimental system is not currently accessed using a web browser or indeed, the internet.

The research project was focussed on: the syntactical ramifications of relational ordering; the role of mnemonics in this process; and the practical aspects of the interface, the performance place in which participants interact with the full-screen motion picture image.

HyperPrescence: Teleprescence via Quantum Cinema

by Osman Koç

Today technology enables us to process and transmit data. As a result of the real time transmission of data, we now are able to affect things, and gather information from the places which we are not present. This bidirectional flow of data enables the teleprescence concept. Today teleprescence is interpreted as video conferencing or tele-robotics, which represents a very narrow window of the whole concept. The paper aims to introduce a different artistic approach to the teleprescence concept via an artwork “HyperPrescence” by discussing the two fragments of the project; remote location and stimuli.

The perception of reality is a key concept in teleprescence. Observation of the remote location can be done by a combination of visual, audial or mechanical sensing. However, the perception of the user can distinguish the remote location being real or virtual depending on the properties of the obtained data. Lack of quality of the data gathered from a physical space can transform the perception from reality to representation. Virtual spaces with real time response can also be perceived as real, as the duration of the experience elongates.

Motion capture cinema provides the sense of reality even if the context is fictional as a result of the user’s intention to suspend their disbelief. This also eases the immersion process, as the audience convinces themselves to the reality of the depicted image.   

Interactive cinema mainly focuses on augmenting the user with the ability to alter the narrative by using various types of tools. However, the interface creates a disruption on the user’s immersion with the film. Interfaces also create an obligation to interact, which consumes some attention of the user and diminishes the effect of the designed experience. In order to sustain and exploit the aforementioned perception of reality in cinema, unconscious interaction of the user should be considered.

Regarding unconscious interaction, the interface should gather the responses from the user without its initiative. The data provided by a biosensor based interface is not fully governed by the user. As their functionality implies, biosensors are usually wearable instruments, which increase the awareness of the user. However in order to sustain the unconsciousness of the interface, it has been chosen not to inform the user about the way of interaction with the medium until the end of the experience.

Biosensors have been used for non-medical purposes, like lie-detectors, assuming the body doesn’t lie. The cognition of bio data results in the emotional states of the user. An electroencephalogram (EEG) has been chosen as an interface of stimulation to the cinematic remote location, which results in changing the narrative of the film depending on the emotional states of the user obtained by the brainwaves. Combining with the frames of the film shot from first person point of view, the ability to change the narrative of the film by emotional responses transforms the user to the protagonist of the film, thus constituting teleprescence.

Active Cinema

by Mark Joseph Chavez

We attempt to utilize an interactive multimedia environment to aid in the design of a cinematic aesthetic by creating our movie in a simulation environment. By combining a technical interface with an aesthetic interface we have created a movie that is adjusted in real-time by the viewer. Leveraging archetypal motifs we push the visual narrative to express extremes of variety more suitable to the given user experience. Our system utilizes multimodal tracking interfaces: facial tracking and brain computer interface (BCI) and a graphics display system. Built upon studies conducted on the meaning of image with attempts at quantifying the emotional impact of imagery and motion we discuss our attempt to quantify aesthetics designed to facilitate the construction and understanding of a given cinematic experience. We contend that by creating a system that updates a cinematic statement we can optimize the viewing experience creating more compelling cinematic works. Extending this technology further we propose a method to accentuate media experiences by producing causal imagery, visuals that occur as a result of the viewer’s state of mind.


by Olga Kisseleva

« CrossWorlds » is a work about political manipulation. It comes from my experience of the both sides of the Berlin Wall.

The most popular part of American propaganda was delivered  through the Hollywood movie’s industry: “What the people believe is true“.  One of the most popular slogans of Soviet propaganda in the same period was “The dreams of the people came true“ – a way to explain to Soviet people that they already got the materialization of the “Hollywood dream”, and that “Each day we live happier!” Susan Buck-Morss  gives a detailed analysis of the similitude between Soviet and American propaganda since the twenties to the end of Cold War.

I’ve built a particular protocol to realize « CrossWorlds ». I’ve selected some of the most popular pictures from the American and Soviet propaganda. I’ve taken seven American and seven Soviet slogans. I’ve encoded each slogan as an electronic tag composed with two pictures – one Soviet and one American. Each tag has a black part and a white part, it can be decoded tanks to this contrast. The slogans are also composed with threats and promises. In each tag one of two slogans represents it’s black part, another one – the white part. 

« CrossWorlds » is an interactive program. The program is connected to the NY Stock Echange Server an it generates interactive electronic tags in real time. Each tag contains a slogan from the ideological propaganda of the cold war period. Then Dow Jones goes up, American slogans are encoded. Then Dow Jones goes down, the program takes a slogans from a Soviet database.