Media Lab Helsinki

Enactive Avatar

Enactive Avatar

A shared drama entangles you and Enactive Avatar into non-verbal experience of co-presence in life and death. On-going…

Video scenarios in medical education

Video scenarios in medical education

The project analyses video scenarios used in medical education, and develops new scenarios for medical schools. On-going…

Life is an Image

Life as an Image

An art & science project explores cultural phenomenas of alienation by means of image making and 3d sensing. On-going…


Play Me

An interactive roleplay with smartphones, where one minute is one year and every spectator plays the life of another one. On-going…

NeuroCineIcon2 NeuroCine

Research on intersubjectively shared, embodied underpinnings of the human mind engaged with drama.


Obsession2006Enactive Cinema

Interactive cinema format based on viewers’ unconscious psychophysiological responses (enaction).



Digital poetry application for iPad based on the Antikythera mechanism and Saila Susiluoto’s poems.

City Noises

The EU Culture artistic research project experiments with different creative practices to explore local and global urban identities.


Guests of Honour

The installation explores coincidence in figurative narrative that consists of orientalist G. A. Wallin’s (1811–1852) portraits made during his journeys in the Middle East.

Unperformed – Installation

An experimental installation and tools investigation inspired by Ooppera Skaala’s Great Conspiracy – The Opera.

Great Conspiracy – The Opera

A new breed of audiovisual performance best described by the term multimedia opera.

City Sets

A research, education and media art project exploring visual & multimodal urban identities, as well as spatial, multilinear and associative narratives in cities.

Culture Planet

A concept development project dealing with interface design, data narration and visualization using semantic ontologies in the context of cultural information.

At Hand
At Hand is an interactive piece designed for touch screens in public space. The project is about urban gestures, micro spaces of the street and the possibility of encountering otherness.

Hei Homo! Hello Homo!

The interactive video installation in public space investigates (online) prejudice towards minorities.

DIMEKE Narrative Product Development

DIMEKE – Content Development for Digital Media 2009–2011 is a Finnish national initiative, supported by the European Social Fund.

The second edition of Alan01 engages the user in a dialogue with a fictional Alan, as if his consciousness had been coded into a machine at the time of his death.

turing-thumbTuring Machine

The Turing Machine Cross Media Experimental Production investigates associational storytelling and interaction structures, demonstrating human-machine communication.

nm2-thumbNew Media for a New Millenium – NM2

Want a romantic version of Star Wars? Or your own cut of Big Brother? A new EU project aims to personalise our viewing and create a new media genre.


Accidental Lovers

Hybrid of mobile phone messaging chat and black comedy series for television and broadband media


Games and storytelling

Lecture presentations introducing industry case histories, providing contextual, historical and cultural background for deeper understanding in game design.


SALERO aims at making cross media-production for games, movies and broadcast faster, better and cheaper.


Interactive Narratives in Cross-media Systems explores interactive narrative concepts for digital media, including computer games, cinema, internet, digital TV and soundscapes.

Suitcase-thumbTulse Luper Journey

Artistic research production and study project in the Crucible Studio and Media Lab.


Runedance – myth for today

RuneDance / RuneDrum is conceived as a chance-based multimedia work based on Finnish mythology and the traditional Singing of Tales.

Election Stareuhahmo-thumb

Cross-media programme consisting of a TV-show, Internet and mobile media site that all utilize a common database.

Arkkikone_iso-thumbArkkikone (IntelCities)

As part of the IntelCities research and technological development project, the Crucible has developed the “Arkkikone” web application in collaboration with the City of Tampere.


Dance on Demand / Myths for the Day

Dance on Demand features a new content format and genre for interactive television and mobile devices.



IntelCities was a research and development project to pool knowledge of electronic government, planning systems and citizen participation from across Europe.

arabianasukas-thumbIn the Hood (IntelCities)

I became a lion wearing a crown! – IN THE HOOD researches city planning by the means of storytelling.

bot_alchemy_thumbBot Alchemy

Bot Alchemy is Douwe-Sjoerd Boschman’s experiment to see what semi-random generated speech can do for interactive database narratives.



Enactive Avatar pilot project


The Enactive Avatar project is initiated by Pia Tikka, as a follow-up of her Enactive Cinema project.

Film narrative can evoke strong emotional identification with the character in a dramatically contextualized situation. Imagine a mother, who has been compelled to make the decision on which one of her children she will send to an inevitable death (Sophie’s Choice, dir. Pakula 1982). Then imagine her stepping out of the fixed narrative frame and establishing an eye-contact with the viewer in a face-to-face setting. This is what I call the experience of being there together, a contextually primed shared experience in which mutual communication is meaningful beyond words.

My goal is to unravel the embodied underpinnings of such viewer experience by means of turning the one-way cinema-viewing mode into a two-way interaction while all contextual parameters are known. This shifts the regular viewer experience of mode “I know how you feel” to the sharing mode of “I know you know how I feel”, an assumedly significant difference.

As approved by the previous neurocinematic studies, including my own contribution during the last six years, using dramatic film footage as contextualizing stimuli can induce social validity even in experimental laboratory settings.

The research is inspired by my cinematographically human-like virtual character, here, enactive avatar of the live actress, responsive to viewer behavior in real-time. I assume that the encounter with virtual character that is enhanced by meaningful dramatic context, is experienced in very similar manner as the encounter with live human actor, unlike in the case without such context.

Non-verbal facial interaction is not only a crucial part of human-to-human communication that is worth research efforts in itself, but has even a range of technical applications from cinema to games and human-computer interfaces.

More about enactive cinema.

The artistic research project will be conducted in collaboration with the Danish VFX supervisor Peter Hjorth (known from e.g. Lars von Trier’s Melancholia), the Danish Film School, Department of Animation, dir. Gunnar Wille and the UCSD & Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, dir. Sheldon Brown (t.b.c.).