Foto: "Lucid Dream", Elena Kunau and Mariya Yordanova06.09.2021
Interaction via Emotion
ARTIFICIAL REALITY – VIRTUAL INTELLIGENCE is the name of an exhibition that can be seen from 8 to 12 September as part of Ars Electronica Garden Berlin. This hybrid event presents projects by students of communication design at the HTW University of Applied Sciences (HTW Berlin) in the Reinbeckhallen directly on the Spree – and worldwide in the virtual space. The curators, Professor Andreas Ingerl and Moritz Schell, tell us more about the project and the questions it raises.
The global pandemic has shifted our reality further into the virtual space. Social distancing, the closure of cultural spaces and educational institutions and working in home offices have increased the need for virtual spaces and meeting places. But what do these worlds look like? Who is allowed to participate in them? And what rules should apply here? These are questions that students of communication design at the HTW Berlin have been grappling with. Some of their work was done as part of their Bachelor’s theses, some as project work during the semester. What all the exhibits shown in this ARTIFICIAL REALITY – VIRTUAL INTELLIGENCE hybrid exhibition have in common is that they were created during the lockdown. And they explore cognitive boundaries – by means of brain computer interfaces, voice assistants or a minimally modified VR environment. The “Future Technologies Lab” also features other works that deal with future technologies and new media.
The exhibition is the core of the Ars Electronica Garden Berlin, which was developed this year by HTW Berlin. As in the previous year, Ars Electronica, a festival for art, technology and society, is being held worldwide as a hybrid event. Other highlights of the Berlin Garden include a virtual rave, to which the Ars Electronica Garden invites visitors on 10 September from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., and the premiere of “Cinemiracle” short films on 12 September, which deal episodically with the themes of the future and society.
Brain City Berlin spoke with the curators, Professor Andreas Ingerl and Moritz Schell (M.A.) from the “Design and Culture” department at HTW Berlin, about the exhibition and the significance of the pandemic for the creative process.
Mr Schell, what’s special about the exhibition ARTIFICIAL REALITY – VIRTUAL INTELLIGENCE that you’ve curated together with Professor Andreas Ingerl for Ars Electronica 2021?
Moritz Schell: The special thing about the exhibition is that the student exhibits on display were all created during the pandemic. They deal with digitalisation on various levels, which has determined our lives much more since the pandemic than before. And it has also made it much more hybrid.
Do you have an example of an exhibit with a hybrid character?
Moritz Schell: In our “Students’ Future Technologies Lab” in the exhibition in the Reinbeckhallen, a robot reacts emotionally to input from humans. However, the input doesn’t work on site, but via a web platform. This means that people can interact with this robot anywhere in the world. On site, we then see the robot’s reaction live. Our rave, which will take place as a highlight of the Ars Electronica Garden Berlin on Friday, is also a hybrid event. Clubbing enthusiasts worldwide can rave along as avatars.
In the student projects, “emotional states become the interface within the virtual world”. Can you explain that please?
Andreas Ingerl: Let’s take the installation “Lucid Dream” by Elena Kunau and Mariya Yordanova. Here, visitors interact with a virtual dream sequence by means of a brain computer interface. The exciting but also strange thing about the project is: you don’t have a controller in your hand. Instead, you wear a headset equipped with sensors. Control works via your mental state. Depending on whether I’m relaxed or tense, I trigger the next dream sequence or not.
Are there electrodes integrated into the headset?
Andreas Ingerl: Precisely. The headset measures brain activity via three contact points. “Emotional” states are then derived on the basis of the data obtained. The headset we use in the exhibition – and partly also in research and teaching at HTW Berlin – is a reduced version of a medical headset. It is already used in the home consumer sector, for example when meditating. Emotional states can be derived using it: relaxation, excitement, concentration etc.
Maria Bürger’s “paradigm shift” object, on the other hand, uses a voice assistant, doesn’t it?
Moritz Schell: Exactly, here the interaction is different. In this installation, visitors speak to an artificial intelligence via a voice interface. A non-linear script runs in the background. And, depending on how I talk to this AI in virtual reality, it tells me a different story. The voice assistant gradually begins to manipulate visitors. The question here is: to what extent will machines influence us in the future – or are they already doing so today?
Andreas Ingerl: As communication designers, we aren’t the ones who feed a large computer with data and then analyse the results. Rather, we’re aware of what an artificial intelligence can deliver. And we play with the effects it has on us – both positive and negative. Ultimately, what is manipulation? Does it lie in my own media competence or in what my opposite number delivers to me? In the case of the “paradigm shift”, the AI basically only reacts to what I provide it with. That means that everything it does is basically intended by me.
What can visitors take away from this exhibition?
Andreas Ingerl: All the installations we show deal with future technologies. However, they address issues of social coexistence and individual influence in the future rather than the purely technical level. They also provide an opportunity to seek direct dialogue with the students – and to continue this dialogue in the exhibition itself. Our aim is to bring the discussion of our questions to the outside world.
You mentioned at the beginning that all the exhibits were created during the pandemic. To what extent does the exhibition reflect that?
Andreas Ingerl: First of all, I’d like to take a little tour: first of all, the Ars Electronica Garden is a very traditional exhibition. You can interact with the exhibits. They are all student works that were created in a time that was defined by restrictions for all of us. Together with our students, we tried to draw positive conclusions from it and move things forward. On the other hand, we were naturally forced by the pandemic to go digital. We had to make the exhibition hybrid-accessible – which is still quite undefined. We, just like the other exhibitors at the Ars Electronica Gardens, experimented and looked for solutions. Because the pandemic was for all of us both a black swan event that came as a big surprise, and a wild card. That is to say, the pandemic actually offered us, both positively and negatively, a huge opportunity to open up new themes and develop them further. It suddenly opened doors to virtuality. Now we have to see what makes sense and what doesn’t. These are exciting fields that need to be examined.
Are follow-up projects already planned?
Moritz Schell: Following ARTIFICIAL REALITY – VIRTUAL INTELLIGENCE, an exhibition is planned in the Futurium. Some of the works shown here will be on display there. That’s why the largest part of this exhibition is also titled Laboratory, because we don’t see it as a completed project. As a predominantly design-based degree programme, we see our work as an iterative process.
Andreas Ingerl: We want to enable students to think not only in terms of art. Or purely commission-oriented, as in communication design. We play in the in-between area. We want to expose students to intellectual and experiential situations that contain both an artistic and applied component. That resonates in all of the exhibits. Basically, we work according to the traditional scientific criteria of quality, but we’re also always looking for the application or provocation.
Do you also work together with other research institutions at the department?
Andreas Ingerl: In Berlin, you’re networked per se after all. Of course there are links, for example to the Free University of Berlin. We want to build that up bit by bit. Our feelers are going out externally. In the long term, this will also be the case with the Art Electronica Garden Berlin. I’ve already brought this topic into our new AI cluster. Discussions are underway about how we can make a contribution to Ars Electronica in 2022 together with the School of Engineering at HTW Berlin. This will then quickly go beyond the boundaries of the university. Ars Electronica has always had a tradition of mixing various disciplines. It’s about scientific findings, but also about artistic explorations of them.
And about creative exchange on an international level?
Andreas Ingerl: Precisely. As part of our preparations, we recently had a virtual meeting with all Gardens participants and presented our concepts to one another. That’s one of the many exciting aspects of the Ars Electronica Gardens: that exchange takes place and new ideas emerge via the platform. (vdo)
Facts & Events Transfer – Stories Shutterstock © Monster ZtudioFacts & Events Transfer – StoriesWith the help of Artificial Intelligence, the research project “news-polygraph”, anchored in the Brain City Berlin, aims to identify manipulated media…→
“news-polygraph”: Funding by the BMBF
Insights Transfer – Stories © Felix NoakInsights Transfer – StoriesBrain City interview with Dr. phil. Thorsten Philipp, Advisor Transdisciplinary Teaching in the Office of the Vice Presidents of TU Berlin.→
“Everybody knows something”
Insights Transfer – Stories @ Ernestine von der Osten-SackenInsights Transfer – StoriesListening to sounds like the bat: On "Sound Walk" with Hannes Hoelzl, sound artist and lecturer for Generative Arts/Computational Arts at the UdK…→
Seeing with the Ears
Transfer – Stories Image: Shutterstock © optimarcTransfer – StoriesFrom November 21 to 25, Transfer Week 2022 Berlin Brandenburg will once again feature many exciting events aimed at intensifying the lively exchange…→
Transfer Week 2022
Transfer – Stories Image: Shutterstock © Yurchanka SiarheiTransfer – StoriesThe Berlin AI Competence Centre BIFOLD will receive 22 million Euro annually in the future from the Federal government and the State of Berlin.→
Millions in Funding for AI Research in Berlin
Transfer – Stories Falling Walls Foundation © Judith SchalanskyTransfer – StoriesFrom November 1st through the 10th, the scientific world comes together again in Brain City Berlin. Scientific institutions or organisations can still…→
“Dare to know”: Berlin Science Week 2022
Transfer – Stories EUREF AG©Gasometertour.deTransfer – StoriesOn the site of the EUREF-Campus in Berlin-Schoeneberg the transfer of knowledge works particularly impressively.→
Hands-on Energy Transition
Transfer – Stories © SCC Events/Norbert WilhelmiTransfer – StoriesInterview with Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Gabriele Mielke, Vice President of the VICTORIA | International University of Applied Sciences and also…→
"Major Events Affect Life in the City on Different Levels”
Transfer – Stories Photo: Ernestine von der Osten-Sacken (vdo)Transfer – StoriesThe Charlottenburg Innovation Centre CHIC hosts around 50 start-ups. Situated at Brain City Berlin’s “Zukunftsort” Campus Charlottenburg, the CHIC…→
CHIC - Business Incubator at a "Zukunftsort’"
Transfer – Stories Photo: Mall Anders/Matthew CrabbeTransfer – Stories“Mall Anders” is an open learning laboratory which was launched by the FU Berlin, HU Berlin, TU Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in a…→
Science in a Shopping Centre
Transfer – Stories BHT/Martin GaschTransfer – StoriesInterview: Brain City Ambassador Dr-Ing. Ivo Boblan, Professor of the Humanoid Robotics Study Programme at the Berliner Hochschule für Technik, and…→
“Robots Can Save us a Great Deal of Work”
Transfer – Stories (Left to right) Prof. Christian Matzdorf, Police commissioner Turgay Akkaya, Stefan Graf Finck von Finckenstein, Photo: HWR Berlin / Sylke SchumannTransfer – StoriesPolice commissioner Turgay Akkaya has developed an anti-stalking app as part of his Bachelor’s project at the HWR Berlin. At the beginning of January…→
A Preventive App Against Stalking
Transfer – Stories (From left to right) Steffen Terberl/FU Berlin; Prof. Dr. Hannes Rothe/ICN Business School, photo: Ernestine von der Osten-SackenTransfer – StoriesIn the BioTech sector, the Berlin region is not making full use of its innovation potential. This is the conclusion of the “Deep Tech Futures Report…→
“BioTech does not get up and running on its own”
Transfer – Stories Photo: Christina Lüdtke (private source)Transfer – StoriesFour universities, one network: The network “Science & Startups” groups the start-up services of the universities united in the Berlin University…→
Wide-ranging Support for University Start-ups
Transfer – Stories Photo: privateTransfer – StoriesA guest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Anna Klippstein, professor of finance and Eliyahu Mätzschker, student at Touro College Berlin.→
The Pandemic and its Impact on the Capital Market
Transfer – Stories Credit: André BakkerTransfer – StoriesA guest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr Anabel Ternès von Hattburg, Professor for International Business Administration at the SRH…→
Getting on Board with Digitality
Transfer – Stories Swen Hutter (Foto: David Ausserhofer), Gesine Höltmann (Foto: Martina Sander)Transfer – StoriesA guest contribution by Gesine Höltmann, research assistant and Swen Hutter, Deputy Director at the Centre for Civil Society Research.→
Polarisation and Cohesion in the Corona Crisis: a Look at Civil Society
Transfer – Stories Credit: Peter Himsel/Campus Berlin-Buch GmbHTransfer – StoriesThe Campus Berlin-Buch in the north of Brain City Berlin has grown to become one of Europe’s largest business and research centres for life sciences.→
A Vibrant Healthcare Network
Transfer – Stories Credit: Markus KrutzikTransfer – StoriesDr. Markus Krutzik, Head of the Joint Lab Integrated Quantum Sensors (IQS), on the "Wissenschaft trifft Wirtschaft" (Science Meets Business") event…→
"I am Fascinated by the Possibilities of Quantum Sensors"
Transfer – Stories Foto: ESCP Business School BerlinTransfer – StoriesWhat to do when distance is suddenly the order of the day? A guest contribution by Dr. René Mauer, Professor of Entrepreneurship und Innovation at…→
Using Whiteboards to Combat Digital Fatigue
Transfer – Stories Credit: Alexander Rentsch/HTW BerlinTransfer – StoriesBrain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Florian Koch of HTW Berlin brings together science, business and civil society in his research.→
“Increasing Urbanisation also Creates Opportunities”
Transfer – Stories Credit: Rudolf GrillborzerTransfer – StoriesGuest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr.-Ing. Onur Günlü, Technische Universität Berlin.→
Exploring the "ultimate limits"
Transfer – Stories Credt: Startup Incubator BerlinTransfer – StoriesThe Startup Incubator Berlin at the Berlin School of Economics and Law is particularly successful in supporting founder teams – as proved by the fact…→
“We Bring Ideas to Market”
Transfer – Stories Credit: Mimi Thian on UnsolashTransfer – StoriesGuest Contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Petyo Budakov, University of Europe for Applied Sciences.→
“Proudly presenting Brain City Berlin in 2020”
Transfer – Stories Susanne Plaumann (private)Transfer – StoriesInterview with Brain City Ambassador Susanne Plaumann M.A., Central women's representative at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin.→
“Careers are now easier to plan for women scientists”
Transfer – Stories Adi Goldstein auf UnsplashTransfer – StoriesStadtManufaktur Berlin conceptually unites research projects of the TU Berlin under a single roof. The long-term goal of this “open laboratory…→
Science in Dialogue with the City
Transfer – Stories Falk WeißTransfer – StoriesThe knowledge portal “humboldts17” presents current research on the subject of sustainability and welcomes open dialogue with the general public. The…→
17 Goals for the Future
Transfer – Stories Foto: Olga Makarova privatTransfer – StoriesBrain City Ambassador Olga Makarova reflects on being a microbiologist during the pandemic, and the urgent need for microbiology literacy in society.→
Guest Contribution: COVID-19 and microbiology literacy
Transfer – Stories HIIGTransfer – StoriesBrain City-Interview with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Research Director at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG).→
“A sustainable goal of our work is to make clear what the technology can actually do”
Transfer – Stories HTW BerlinTransfer – StoriesAn interview with Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Kai Reinhardt. On October 28, he will be speaking at the second SpreeTalk at HTW University of…→
“The pandemic has been a catalyst for digitalization”
Transfer – Stories dentalXr.aiTransfer – StoriesdentalXrai is the first dental start-up to be spun off the Charité. It was launched via the accelerator of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). We…→
Artificial intelligence in the fight against tooth decay
Transfer – Stories Anna Raysyan (private)Transfer – StoriesBrain City Ambassador Anna Raysyan has been living in Berlin for 3,5 years now. She is a PhD student at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und…→
Guest Contribution: “Berlin likes the bold!”
Transfer – Stories ©Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und TechnologieTransfer – StoriesMany top-class researchers and scientists are being attracted to Brain City Berlin every year. The Dual Career Network Berlin helps partners of…→
Dual Career Network Berlin: getting a good start in Berlin
Transfer – Stories ©Matthias PicketTransfer – StoriesDr. Anne Schreiter, Managing Director of the German Scholars Organization (GSO), reveals in the Brain City interview what alternative career…→
"Science is not just about research"
Transfer – Stories © Pocky Lee on UnsplashTransfer – StoriesMatches in front of empty stadiums, virtual marathons, and many postponed events. Brain City Ambassador Professor Gabriele Mielke is tracking the…→
"Now is the time for innovators"
Transfer – Stories © AW Creative on UnsplashTransfer – StoriesJuggling a degree course or teaching with the extra burden of the care of children or other family members is not an easy task. Both students and…→
From “Zoo School” to “Maternity Protection”: family-friendly universities
Transfer – Stories © HTW Berlin / Nikolas FahlbuschTransfer – StoriesTeaching is currently only taking place online. Guest author Dr Dorothee Haffner, professor for Museology at HTW Berlin - University of Applied…→
Guest contribution: "Online teaching is more engaging than I thought"
Transfer – Stories Franziska SattlerTransfer – StoriesIn the interview: Brain City ambassador Franziska Sattler on her series of events "Kaffeeklatsch mit Wissenschaft" (Talking Science over Coffee) at…→
"Science needs the trust of society"
Transfer – Stories Fotocredit: Ortner & Ortner / SiemensTransfer – StoriesSiemensstadt 2.0 is a place of the future. The Berlin Senate has approved 9.9 million euros for the first research project "Electrical Drive…→
Siemensstadt 2.0: Research and industry closely linked
Transfer – Stories ©Credit Silke Oßwald/FMPTransfer – StoriesBrain City interview: Professor Dr. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Professor of…→
In the balancing act between detail and overall concept
Transfer – Stories © hj barraza/UnsplashTransfer – StoriesOur guest author Dr Barbara Schäuble is Professor for Diversity-Conscious Approaches in the Theory and Practice of Social Work at ASH Berlin and a…→
Guest contribution: A sudden change of course - classes moved online
Transfer – Stories ©DexLeChemTransfer – StoriesLaunching a start-up while at university? Sonja Jost's success shows the way. Together with three fellow students, she founded DexLeChem after…→
"Bringing new knowledge to the market is very important to us"
Transfer – Stories ©Ivar Veermäe / Centre for EntrepreneurshipTransfer – StoriesBrain City Berlin is the German capital of start-ups. Many young companies have successfully been founded through Berlin and Brandenburg based…→
"Society in particular benefits from high-tech start-ups" - university survey enters its third round
Transfer – Stories ©BIH|Thomas RafalzykTransfer – StoriesAt the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) the main focus is on "translational research" - the transfer of findings from the research lab into clinical…→
“There are now many great female scientists, achieving great things”
Transfer – Stories ©fotografixx - istockphoto.comTransfer – StoriesIn the digital age learning behaviour changes profoundly. It is student-centered and technology rich. As a member of the Erasmus+ funded project…→
Exploring the future of learning
Transfer – Stories © Brain City BerlinTransfer – StoriesResearch results quickly and easily accessible online: The Open Access movement is campaigning for a paradigm shift in the field of publications and…→
Open Access: free knowledge for everyone
Transfer – Stories ©ESCP EUROPETransfer – Stories29.10.2019 | Professor Andreas Kaplan is a Brain City Berlin ambassador and Rector of ESCP Europe Business School Berlin. The economist's research is…→
"We have to be able to take everyone on the journey."
Transfer – Stories Gudrun Piechotta-HenzeTransfer – StoriesIn time for the 2020/21 winter semester, ASH, the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, is launching the first bachelor's degree to…→
"We have to completely rethink nursing!" | 27.09.2019
Transfer – Stories ©Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Matthias HeydeTransfer – StoriesThe courses offered by the HUWISU Summer University are varied and exciting, the target group is international: students from abroad who come to…→
When Berlin becomes one large seminar room ... | 15.08.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:]Transfer – StoriesThe literary scholar Dr. Betiel Wasihun was traveling for science. After stops in Heidelberg, Yale, and Oxford, it brought her to Berlin two years…→
“Berlin is a perfect location. Especially if you don’t want to pursue just a single avenue of scientific work.” | 12.08.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Berlin University Alliance/Matthias HeydeTransfer – StoriesTogether we are stronger. And also more successful. As the "Berlin University Alliance," the Technische Universität Berlin, the Freie Universität…→
Congratulations: The “Berlin University Alliance“ receives funding of the Excellence Strategy |19.07.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] David Ausserhofer/IGBTransfer – StoriesBerlin is one of the most water-rich cities in Germany. But climate change does not stop at the Havel, Spree or Wannsee either. Dr. Michael Hupfer is…→
"We're trying to take a look into the future." | 04.07.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Helena Lopes / UnsplashTransfer – StoriesSend a digital lollipop or delicate fragrance notes via email or let the wind virtually blow against your face - research makes it possible. Learn…→
Experiencing the digital world with all senses | 18.06.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] HZB/M. SetzpfandtTransfer – StoriesIn these times of fake news and pseudo-scientific publications, many people find it difficult to distinguish legitimate from dubious content. Only 54%…→
"Science needs to make us curious" | 11.06.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Tim LandgrafTransfer – StoriesBrain City Berlin is considered one of the leading locations in Germany working on artificial intelligence. About 30% of all German AI companies are…→
Fish, bees, and self-driving cars | 07.06.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:]Transfer – StoriesScience and cultural heritage, freely accessible to everyone at any time on the Internet: The Open Access movement is promoting a paradigm shift in…→
Knowledge for All - Open Access in Berlin | 28.03.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:] Thomas Rosenthal - Museum für Naturkunde BerlinTransfer – Stories660 million euros in 10 years: The Natural History Museum Berlin - Museum für Naturkunde Berlin receives financial support for the further development…→
Future of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin | 14.01.2019
Transfer – Stories [Translate to English:]Transfer – StoriesSpace exploration is experiencing a revolution thanks to commercialization by such companies as Elon Musk's SpaceX. But did you know that more facets…→
From Berlin to the moon: the space industry is booming in Berlin | 03.09.2018