Arts-based research II – reflections

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Yesterday I posted my initial thoughts on arts-based research, the topic of today’s panel discussion. Here are my brief mental notes from the morning’s event–they are a mixed bag since I wasn’t taking notes.
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Arts-based research

uwasThere’s a great initiative in Aalto University, called UWAS, or University-Wide Arts Studies. The aim of UWAS is to “offer access to arts-based thinking” to all students at Aalto. UWAS is organising a two-day seminar called U-Create, and I was invited to take part in a panel discussion on “arts-based research”. The panel takes place at 10:45–12:00 on Wednesday 2nd November, and you can watch the livestream or the recording here.

We were sent some initial questions for the panel (which , when I’m writing this, is tomorrow). So, spoiler alert, here’s what I’ll answer!

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Social eMotions – the performance

social emotions in Planet SuvilahtiOur Social eMotions project combines science and art, also in that the outcomes are both scientific and artistic. The science part is taking shape, we are writing up a paper on the kinematic analysis, as well as the perceptual experiments. At the same time, the artistic oven has been red hot, as the dance performance has been taking shape.

Our amazing dancers and musicians worked very hard during the first weeks of June to put together this ambitious and novel performance. There is choreographed movement and composed musical material, but the performance is improvised in the sense that the emotional dynamics and emotional contagion will change and mutate the materials. There is a very interesting set of interactions going on, as both dancers influence each other, as do both cellists, and of course the dancers are influenced by the music, and vice versa.

To keep things even more open, the audience will get to vote for the emotions that the performers work on. The audience gets this chance a few times during the performance, and as the full cycle will be performed twice, they can make different choices and thus experiment on emotional processes, using live dancers and musicians!

We already trialled this in an open rehearsal during the Helsinki Day, as a part of “Planet Suvilahti“. As the pic shows, there were a lot of people attending, and we got really nice feedback! Communicating the results of the online vote to performers was done in an old-fashioned way by showing the emotions on pieces of paper. By the actual performance, we’ll figure out a smoother way of doing it, hopefully integrating them to the interactive projections.

There is now also a trailer of the performance, it can be viewed below. The next public showcase of the work will be presented in Duesseldorf during the Tanzmesse on 2nd September, and the premiere will take place in Oulu on the final day of the OuDance Festival (Sunday 18th September). That performance will (weather permitting) be outdoors on the Rotuaari promenade. See you there?

Social eMotions trailer from Jarkko Lehmus on Vimeo.

 

 

ICMPC14: Dyadic improvisation and mirroring of finger movements

As I unfortunately (or, as the reason is a newborn baby in the family, fortunately) were not able to attend the ICMPC14, I decided to summarise our study (co-authored with Maija Niinisalo and Riitta Hari, a poster was supposed to appear at the Music & Movement 3 session on Thursday, 4:00 pm, Seacliff A-C, Th23) on dyadic improvisation in this blog post. The blog post format allows me to use videos etc. to illustrate the tasks and the data better than a static poster would, and also lets me write a bit more about it than would fit in a poster. If you have any questions, drop me an email. We are currently writing this up as a journal article, so you’ll get the whole story soon, I hope.

Dyadic improvisation and mirroring of finger movements

Summary

We studied kinematics and coordination in a mirror game using fluent, improvised movements (circle drawing & free movement). 32 participants took part in dyads. In turn, one of the participants was appointed the leader, or the dyad was instructed to share leadership. Hand movements were recorded with optical motion capture.

Compared to the leader–follower condition, sharing leadership resulted in more synchronous circles, smoother free movements, and stronger mutual adaptation.

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Social eMotions update

Sample animation

It’s been a busy beginning of the year in the Social eMotions research project. We’ve been working on a number of things, so I thought it would be nice to have an update on where we are, including introductions of new members in our project team!

On the scientific side, the main theme has been perceptual experiments. We’ve been running experiments showing people animated clips such as the GIF above, and asking them to rate the dancers movements and their relationship along various scales. We are currently analysing data, and have just started to write up our movement analysis paper, so there’ll be published results soon.

On the artistic side, we are working full steam toward the première in Oulu in September. Jarkko and Johanna have been working on the movement material, and we now have also a composer and two musicians working on the music for the show! Jussi Lampela will compose music for the piece, and it will be performed live by two cellists, Iida-Vilhelmiina Laine and Ulla Lampela. We are very excited to have these stars join our team!

As the final performance starts to take shape, its key aspects are being planned and put to their places one by one. We are working on ways to let the audience influence the performance as it happens, and on ways to include the scientific results in it. For the latter purpose, we are getting help from Dr Roberto Pugliese in visualisations and projections. We visited Roberto’s studio yesterday and Jarkko took this snapshot of us dancing and Roberto’s system capturing it on Kinect and producing a live visualisation on screen.

This will (continue to) be great!

2015 in review

Well here’s a recurring new year’s resolution: blog more actively.😀

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.