Affective Interactivity

Affectivity is undoubtedly one of the emerging key terms in media design and media theory. We chose the notion of affectivity as a working hypothesis for various approaches addressing the corporeal, emotional and social aspects of interaction design. For us, affectivity is then essentially related to the complexity of the user experience. Interestingly, most of the completed projects take as their starting point the link between bodily engagement and interactivity, using a variety of input sources: sensors, sound and video. But as these projects suggest, corporeal interaction always takes place in a culturally and socially meaningful space.

Marianne Decoster investigates the birth of elemental sensations in a dialogue with Gaston Bachelard, while Katriina Lahtinen has chosen to work in a socially situated space of an elementary school with a group of children experimenting with movement and interactivity. For Lotta Partanen, affectivity is connected to an unconventional crossover between narrativity and everyday design.

Both Lotta's sofa and the odd entities in Satu Lavinen's installation plan, based on various profiling techniques, suggest a need for thorough rethinking of the place of agency in a work of art. Satu's entities, as well as the entire space in Vesa Puhakka's plan are capable of having memories of their own.

Yet another kind of crossover can be seen in Miikka Poutiainen's installation which associates high with low, the frenetic exercises in front of the camera with the breaking of an egg, the symbol of eternity.

While these installations to an extent rely on the user's corporeality in their various methods for creating interactivity, Sami Haikonen is interested in thematizing corporeality on a representational level with his interrogation of a cyborg birth, an installation completed in Tokyo during his exchange visit.

During the weekly gatherings, various topics related to the conceptual and practical sides of media art production were discussed. These resulted in a series of individual assignements, that covered background research on various techniques or approaches to affective interaction, a concept and a detailed work plan for an interactive installation, a study of an existing media art work and an analysis of its method of production, a creation of an artist statement and the completion of a demo or a prototype, some of which were publically shown as part of the Media Lab "Demo Day" program.

The techniques used in these installations are based on the work at the Experimental Interactions Studio by Jukka Ylitalo. Experimental Interactions Studio provides an environment for applying sensor technologies for interactive projects. Basic techniques used are max-msp programming environment, Icube sensor digitizer with various sensors and softVNS videoimage motion tracking

Heidi Tikka and Jukka Ylitalo, who were responsible for the study project, are both practicing media artists and researches. During the study year 2001-2002 Heidi Tikka has acted as the professor in multimedia and communication. Jukka Ylitalo has taught experimental interaction at the Media Lab since 1998.

Heidi Tikka

On line publications by Heidi Tikka .:

On line publications by Jukka Ylitalo .:

© Medialab 2002