Archive for March, 2016

SYSTEMIC STORYTELLING & BRAIN: Narrative Perspectivism & Enactive Cinema

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Open seminar day 23 March 2015 at 10:00-17:00:

SYSTEMIC STORYTELLING & BRAIN: Narrative Perspectivism & Enactive Cinema
in the context of the Product Service System Design course ”Sci-fi & Fantasy: Systemic Storytelling for Design” by prof. Mika ’Lumi’ Tuomola & dr. Ilaria Mariani


chaired by prof. Mika ’Lumi’ Tuomola
10:00 – 12:30 Screening & discussion:
”Her” (2013, dir. Spike Jonze). Warner Bros. Pictures, US.
A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating
system that’s designed to meet his every need. Visiting professors Mauri Kaipainen &
Pia Tikka pinpoint significances for Nietzschean perspectivism and enactive cinema, as
we jointly discuss the consequences for narrative, character-based systems design.

14:00-15:00 Lecture & discussion:
Mauri Kaipainen: The ontospace model of shared film experience in individual perspectives
A cognitive science theoretical framework inspired by Nietzschean perspectivism is
presented that provides explanatory instruments for the analysis of shared and individual
movie experience, with reflections on narrative design. The concept of shared ontospace
is introduced, together with a model of perspective-taking. This is further discussed in
the light of a Husserl-based model of temporal experience, termed narrative nowness,
together with its application in a neuroscience experiment. References to Her are made
on the way.

15:15-16:15 Lecture & discussion:
Pia Tikka: Intersubjectively shared narrative sense-making – a neurocinematic approach
Narratives simulate everyday life in its full situational and contextual complexity. In
general it is assumed that one’s comprehension of narratives relies on idiosyncratic life experience, the rich multiplicity of lived-by world events, as argued by the theories of
embodied mind. However, recently so-called neurocinematic studies have shown that
viewers’ brains tick together when watching same narrative film. Based on findings in
naturalistic neuroimaging experiments studies (Hasson et al. 2004, Bartels & Zeki 2004,
Jääskeläinen et al. 2008) it can be argued that we humans do share life-experiences to
a greater extent than we perhaps are willing to admit. This is referred to as intersubjective correlation. Indeed, films can provide practical starting points for studying how similarly or differently subjects respond to certain complex socio-emotional situations, and further, how human brain responds to complex stories such as films with long duration.
I will present observations from our recent neurocinematic studies on what might be
called as “narrative brain networks.” In one study we showed differences between
viewers’ brain activity who watched a narrative drama film in comparison to those
watching a non-narrative experimental film. In another, we could identify what we call
narrative brain networks by comparing data collected from subjects viewing a film and
reading film’s screenplay. As the last case I will discuss the differences between the
viewers’ brain responses when viewing a chronologically unfolding narrative against
those watching unfolding of a puzzle film narrative. The presentation will provide
neuroscientific insights to how human mind makes sense of cinematic narratives.

Uri Hasson, Ohad Landesman, Barbara Knappmeyer, Ignacio Vallines, Nava Rubin,
David J. Heeger, “Neurocinematics: The Neuroscience of Film,” in Projections, no. 2,
2008, pp.1–26
Andreas Bartels, Semir Zeki, “The chronoarchitecture of the human brain—natural
viewing conditions reveal a time-based anatomy of the brain,” in NeuroImage, vol. 22,
no. 1, May 2004, pp. 419-433.
Iiro P Jääskeläinen, Katri Koskentalo, Marja H Balk, Taina Autti, Jaakko Kauramäki,
Cajus Pomren, and Mikko Sams, “Inter-subject synchronization of prefrontal cortex
hemodynamic activity during natural viewing,” in Open Neuroimaging Journal 2, 2008,
pp. 14–19.
Pia Tikka (2008). Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense. Helsinki: University of Art and Design Publications.
Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch (1991). The Embodied Mind:
Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Kauttonen, Janne; Kaipainen, Mauri; Tikka, Pia (2014). Model of Narrative Nowness for
Neurocinematic Experiments. -5th Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative,
Quebec City, Canada, July 31-August 2, 2014. Volume 41, 77-87.
Kaipainen, M.; Hautamäki, A. (2015). A Perspectivist Approach to Conceptual Spaces. –
Zenker, F. and Gärdenfors, P. (eds.) (2015). Applications of Conceptual Spaces: The
Case for Geometric Knowledge Representation (Synthese Library Volume 359).
Dordrecht: Springer. Dordrecht: Springer.
Mauri Kaipainen, PhD, professor, Södertörn University, Sweden,
has a background in musicology and cognitive science. He is a
researcher of perspectivism in cognition and experience, as
applied to a range of domains, inclusive interactive narrative.
Pia Tikka, PhD, filmmaker-researcher, is director of Crucible
Studio at the Department of Media, Aalto University School of Arts,
Design and Architecture, Finland. She has directed feature films
Daughters of Yemanjá (Brazil-Finland 1996) and Sand Bride
(Finland 1998), a participatory film-game The Third Woman, and
worked in international productions. Her biosensor-based Enactive
Cinema Obsession (2005) gained Möbius Prix Nordic interactive
storytelling award. She is an author of book Enactive Cinema:
Simulatorium Eisensteinense (2008), and publishes widely in the
fields of art and science. Previously a key member in the Aalto
University’s research projects Enactive Media (2009-2011) and
aivoAALTO (2009-2014), currently, her NeuroCine team applies
neuroimaging methods to study embodied basis of creative
imagination, storytelling, and enactive media.
Mika ‘Lumi’ Tuomola is associate professor in Design at
Politecnico di Milano. He researches and teaches
generative/interactive storytelling and participatory drama in new
media. As an internationally awarded writer, dramaturge and
director, his artistic productions include the web drama “Daisy’s
Amazing Discoveries” (Coronet Interactive 1996), avatar and game
world designs for “WorldsAway” (ICL-Fujitsu 2000), moving image
installations “Myths for One” (Media Lab Helsinki 2002) and
“Alan01” (Jaakko Pesonen & Crucible Studio 2008), the dark
musical comedy series “Accidental Lovers” for television and
mobile devices (Yle 2006-7) and tactile poetry app “Antikythera”
(Saila Susiluoto & Taiste 2015). He’s visiting artist and researcher
at University of Cambridge, UK, and in the editorial board of Digital
Creativity journal, published by Routledge, Oxford, UK.