Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Crucible Studio hosting SCSMI2017 in Helsinki and Midnight Sun Film Festival

Thursday, September 1st, 2016


Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS) in association with the University of Helsinki (Prof. Henry Bacon) is happy to invite you to the SCSMI2017 conference in Helsinki (June 11–14).

Call for Papers SCSMI2017 now open. Deadline December 4, 2016,

SCSMI is an interdisciplinary organization made up of scholars interested in cognitive, philosophical, aesthetic, historical, psychological, neuroscientific, and evolutionary approaches to the analysis of film and other moving-image media.

We are looking forward to receiving papers that foster an interdisciplinary dialogue between moving image theorists, historians, critics, and philosophers, and scientifically-oriented researchers working on moving-image media.

Proposals to be submitted via easychair only.
SCSMI2017 abstract submission and information

Helsinki Finland

SCSMI2017 in Helsinki:

Helsinki is easy to reach by air from anywhere in the world. There is a number of Capital City attractions; a range of accommodation options (prices ranging from B&B; hostels to hotels; for instance, check this self-service hotel). You should also visit the national audiovisual institute for your research purposes. There are also great possibilities for travelling even further : visa-free one-to-two-day trips to St. Petersburg, Russia (train 4 hours, see or easy trip to the city of Tallinn, Estonia (fast ferry 1,30 minutes).

Special features: A great opportunity to attend the uniquely famous (sic!) Midnight Sun Film Festival founded 30 years ago by the Finnish filmmakers Mika and Aki Kaurismäki and their fellow filmmakers. The festival takes place 15–18 June 2017. This is a special section of the SCSMI2017, in which everyone whose schedule allows should participate.


Knowing how many of the SCSMI members are interested will allow us to reserve accommodations for everyone. This is important as the festival is very popular. Thus, if you have not done this yet, please reply to this quick doodle poll so that we can get an idea of how many of you are interested in participating in the Midnight Sun Film Festival.

The Midnight Sun Film Festival provides the unique possibility of viewing films round the clock (!) in a small exotic town, crowded with enthusiastic festival guests, cinephiles, and celebrated international filmmakers. The inspiring Nordic landscape, hiking in the nature and local culture together with the midnight sun add to the attraction of the event. Explore the webpages and you will understand why the festival is so fascinating
To travel to the film festival we will take a night train or a 45 min flight from Helsinki to the city of Rovaniemi. From Rovaniemi there is a 1,5 hour bus transportation to the festival town Sodankylä.

With 30 years of wonderful festival history, the accommodation and services are well organized. The SCSMI participants are advised to book their travel and accommodation at the MFF as early as possible for best offers.

We look forward seeing you at the Helsinki SCSMI2017 conference and afterwards at the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Lapland!

More details follow soon.


Conference webpage (to be available soon)


Pia Tikka

Conference host at ARTS

SCSMI Conference June 11-14, 2017

Aalto University

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Helsinki, Finland


Call for Papers SCSMI2017 HELSINKI

Thursday, September 1st, 2016


Call for Papers
SCSMI Conference
June 11-14, 2017
Aalto University
School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Helsinki, Finland


The Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI) invites proposals for presentations at its annual conference to be held June 11th – 14th, 2017 at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland.

SCSMI is an interdisciplinary organization made up of scholars interested in cognitive, philosophical, aesthetic, historical, psychological, neuroscientific, and evolutionary approaches to the analysis of film and other moving-image media. Proposals should facilitate the society’s mission: to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue between moving image theorists, historians, critics, and philosophers, and scientifically-oriented researchers working on moving-image media.

Guidelines for Submissions
A proposal may be for a long-paper presentation, a short-paper presentation, or a poster/demonstration. Select one of the formats you believe will be suitable for your paper.

Long-Paper Presentation
A 50-minute session divided between a 25-minute presentation and a 25-minute Q&A. This format is reserved for well-developed projects that present conceptually complicated ideas or extensive research data.

Short-Paper Presentation
A 25-minute session divided between a presentation of 15 minutes or less with the residual time used for discussion. This format is suitable for works in progress or research that may be presented more succinctly.

Poster Presentation or Demonstration
Any form of research display or demonstration. Posters may present empirical research, scholarship with a single question or thesis, short movies, essay films, or interactive installations. Presenters will display and discuss their research during a 90-minute plenary session.

Proposals must be submitted and will be accepted via easychair only. Do not email it to us. The submission Web page for SCSMI2017 is

The deadline for proposals is midnight December 4, 2016. Late proposals or those that do not fulfill the technical requirements stated below will not be considered.
The content of your presentation should not have been presented elsewhere in an identical form.

Proposals will be selected based on merit, according to the following criteria.
Please address each one in your proposal:
• The appropriateness of the topic to the interests of SCSMI
• The conceptual clarity and intellectual rigor of the project
• The project’s contribution to current understanding
• The carefulness and thoroughness of the proposal

Note that SCSMI2017 conference committee may assign you a presentation format different than the one you have selected in your submission form.

Presenters at SCSMI conferences must be current members of the Society. Nonmembers are free to submit a proposal but, if accepted, they have until March 1st, 2017 to join SCSMI, otherwise acceptance will be withdrawn.

For more information about SCSMI, to join, or to learn more about membership costs and privileges, visit

Proposals must be submitted via easychair only.The submission Web page for SCSMI2017 is

Any questions regarding the submission, send an email to

To the Memory of Mika Lumi Tuomola 1971-2016

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Mika 1971-2016

These sad news from Milan about the death of our dear long-term colleague, Mika ‘Lumi’ Tuomola, reached me on the 7th of June 2016. Since then a wide community of friends and colleagues have worked hard to understand that it is true – we have lost him. No, we cannot embrace him anymore. But we can embrace his spirit, his intellectual and creative heritage. Here, we may prefer the tale to the truth. I’m convinced that Mika wants us to wipe our tears, look ahead, and continue carrying on his great passion for the mirror-twins: The Life and The Tale.

In 2001 Mika founded the Crucible Studio, the journey that lasted for 14 years. Mika’s cv is extensive, including pioneering work in the field of interactive narratives and activities in national and international art and media organisations. Crucible Studio’s production page shows the wide range of brave artistic projects that were guided under his creative directorship. Above all, artists and researchers associated with the Crucible Studio during these 14 years will remember Mika’s unique and wonderful energetic ability to connect people from all around the world together.

Mika continued connecting people even after autumn 2015, when he was invited to a tenured Professorship position at Politecnico di Milano. Milano, the world-famous centre of art and design, the city of fulfilment of all his dreams, it seemed. Faithful to his nature, Mika kept his home open for visiting friends and colleagues, and many of us had the pleasure to enjoy his hospitality. We will miss the long passionate discussions, which brought alive the characters from Commedia dell’Arte or the stages of Teatro alla Scala. Or, the great performances of old ladies, such as “I’m Still Here” by Elaine Stritch. Oh, how we laughed! And how he sang along – and laughed! Yes, maybe Mika is no more here, but his laughter will stay in our hearts.

On the behalf of Crucible Studio and its associated artists and researchers around the world, I express the deepest sorrow for his far too early death. Take a moment and live the song of Elaine Stritch – for the memory of our beloved Mika Lumi.

Pia Tikka
Creative director
Crucible Studio

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.

Jaakko Pesonen / Human Class 5.2.–28.2.2016 Valokuvakeskus Peri

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Welcome to the exhibition opening in the presence of the artist Thursday 4 February from 7 to 9 pm.

In his exhibition Human Class Jaakko Pesonen tackles classification as a need to place ourselves and others in groups. Pesonen, who himself has spent his childhood and youth in Asia and Africa, sees classification as a phenomenon that is frequently inconspicuous and often experienced as a natural part of one’s environment and culture. Even though classification often derives from the humane need of belonging to a group, it can also cause excluding people who are considered different, scary or threatening. Pesonen investigates classification as a means to seclude people and to express power structures, but also as an excuse for not facing oneself. Pesonen aims to stir people into perceiving that others – also those not belonging to our own class – can enrich our world. The exhibition Human Class consists of three video installations subtitled in English. The works deal with e.g. homosexual stereotypes, the difficulty of aging and prejudices on identity.



The first interactive video installation is “Hello Homo!” (2012) in which three characters (acted by Laura Birn, Vera Kiiskinen and Sara Paavolainen) present online comments on homosexuality as tragicomic everyday beliefs and offer you a personal encounter with prejudice.

“The Second Me” (2016) deals with how we see ourselves versus how we think others percieve us . Narratives can be read from various points of view simultaneously. The philosophical foundation of the work lies in the minimal difference between two realities. “The Second Me” is made in collaboration with a group assembled by Pia Bartsch, the community artist of the Kone Foundation Saari Residency. Hannele Akkanen, Minna Hautio, Zivile Karvonen, Jani Konttila and Pekka Savolainen have scripted and perform in the installation.

The third installation, “Pet/Prisoner/Pensioner” (2015) unfolds themes around aging. It gives a possibility for the viewer to face the complex stage of life. The script of the installation is based on internet chatroom discussions on the rights of the elderly, animals and prisoners. Simone de Beauvoire’s “The Coming of Age” (1970) and Sara Heinämaa’s “Transformations of Old Age” (2014) are used as basis for interpreting the complex questions. Kristiina Elstelä, Ani Krossi, and Pekka Pesonen perform in the installation.

The works have been supported by the Promotion Centre of Audiovisual Culture, AVEK, the Arts Promotion Centre and Kone Foundation. “Hello Homo!” is produced by Crucible Studio research group in Aalto University media department and it has been concepted in collaboration with Mika “Lumi” Tuomola, the artistic leader of the studio. “Hello Homo!” is sponsored by the EU’s Cultural Program (City Noises), the Ministry of Education and Culture and City Sets project.

BERLINALE 2016 features a film edited by our doctoral student Jelena Rosic

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Humidity image

We are proud to announce that at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival 11.2.2016 – 21.2.2016, a feature film Humidity, directed by Nikola Ljuca and edited by Jelena Rosic, premieres in the Forum Competition. Humidity has been supported by Nederlands Film Fonds, Hubert Bals Fonds, Film Center Serbia, Eurimages and it is a co-production between Dart Film (SR), Lemming Film (NL), 2|35 (GR), and Cinnamon Production (SR).

The Forum Competition is focusing on avant garde, experimental works, essays, long-term observations, political reportage and yet-to-be-discovered cinematic landscapes: the International Forum of New Cinema, Forum in short, is the most daring section of the Berlinale.

Jelena Rosic is a doctoral student at Crucible Studio since fall 2015, and currently works on her doctoral thesis “Enactive Storytelling: A study of editing as embodied sense-making in interactive media”. She holds MA in Artistic Research from the Netherlands Film Academy and MA in Film Editing from The Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade.

See Humidity Trailer  or Teaser 

Antikythera and Ariadne: Great reviews in Helsingin Sanomat Oct 25

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Saila Susiluoto on interaktiivisen runokirjansa kanssa edelläkävijä


Saila Susiluodon digitaalinen runoteos sisältää muun muassa animaatioita ja vuorovaikutusta

KULTTUURI 25.10.2015 2:00 Päivitetty: 25.10.2015 22:28

H.E. the President Dilma Rousseff visiting Otaniemi Campus

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015
H.E. the President Dilma Rousseff meeting the Brazilian students of the Science without Borders Program at Otaniemi Campus, Aalto University October 20, 2015

H.E. the President Dilma Rousseff is shaking hands with the Crucible Studio’s visiting research fellow Hosana Celeste in the meeting with Brazilian students of the Science without Borders Program organized at Otaniemi Campus, Aalto University October 20, 2015.

H.E. the President Dilma Rousseff is shaking hands with the Crucible Studio’s visiting research fellow Hosana Celeste in the meeting with Brazilian students of the Science without Borders Program organized at Otaniemi Campus, Aalto University October 20, 2015.

Hosana is visiting Crucible Studio during Aug 2015-Aug 2016 with CAPES-Funding (Ministery of Education, Brazil). Her topics of interest are neuroscientific approaches on perception and emotion, embodied cognition, interactive storytelling and enactive cinema.

Interactive storytelling from the perspective of the embodied cognition paradigm

The research is dedicate to design an interactive audiviosual system that considers the embodied cognition paradigm and is poetically inspired by the notion of mental image.

PLAY ME 27th + 28th September 2015 @ LeSPACE 9:00 – 13:00

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

play me prototyping 2015

27th + 28th September 2015

@ LeSPACE 9:00 – 13:00

We are still on the planning and prototyping phase of this new theater play. On these two days, we will test some of our ideas and we will welcome new ones from you!

For it, special guests (Interaction Designers) from our Germany Team are flying over to Helsinki.

Don’t miss this chance to learn and teach us! 🙂


An event of the electricity festival 2015:

PLAY ME is an interactive theatre role-play in an enclosed abstract urban environment using smart phone technology.

In this theatre game one participant from the same group gets a life of another participant to play.

At the end of the game each participant receives a report of his own life, played till its end by someone else.

JOIN NOW! Workshop on Interactive 3D models from Photos – 26-27 Sept

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

A Workshop on Interactive 3D models from Photos will take place this weekend, the 26th – 27th September at LeSpace.

Supported by Aalto Service Factory, Helsinki Design Week and Electricity Festival.

4 International Researchers are joining us there, including Prof. Falcao whose work is being financed by GOOGLE. For more information and conditions:


Pedro Aibéo