25 February 2020

Future Bodies, Future Technologies

At TEI 2020, SensiLab explores tangible, embedded and embodied interaction.

The ACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI) addresses issues of human-computer interaction, novel tools and technologies, interactive art, and user experience. 

The 2020 theme – Future Bodies, Future Technologies invited speculation on a vision of how technologies could interact and interweave with our future bodies.

SensiLab presented research from several of our academics and researchers in response to this theme.

Mirror Ritual at TEI

Nina Rajcic exhibited her interactive art installation, Mirror Ritual, an affective interface designed to provoke emotional reflection in viewers. The work appropriates an everyday object, the mirror, augmenting it with artificial intelligence to foster both literal and metaphoric reflection. Through AI generated poetry the mirror `speaks’ to the viewer, each poem unique and tailored to their machine-perceived emotional state. In contrast to prescriptive technologies that are founded on reductionist theories of emotion, the mirror engages the audience in the iterative conceptualization of their emotions. The audience are encouraged to make sense of the mirror’s poetry by framing it with respect to their recent life experiences, effectively “putting into words” their felt emotion

Sleeping Eyes at TEI

Sojung Bahng presented Sleeping Eyes, a VR experience that reflects on the duality of embodiment and presence in virtual reality (VR) through a narrative about the South Korean narcoleptic artist, Sungeun Lee. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder where a person falls asleep unexpectedly. A narcoleptic struggles with a blurred and unsure sense of self, as well as confusion between reality and dreaming. In this VR experience, the audience is invited to explore Sungeun’s traumatized dream world and symptoms of narcolepsy. The project also investigates the fundamental duality of embodiment/disembodiment in the virtual space and its parallels in the dream world. A non-linear narrative and generative poetic aesthetics driven by biometric feedback were applied to represent a surreal and uncertain sense of self. Gesture-based navigable interaction was used to connect people with their physical bodies, the virtual environment, and Sungeun’s experiences.

Computer Storm at TEI

Alon Ilsar returned to Sydney for TEI 2020 to present a new collaboration with interactive visual artist Matthew Hughes. Matthew is doing his PhD at the Animal Logic Academy at UTS designing visualisation systems for the dance clubs of the future. Alon and Matt have worked together on previous collaborations Trigger Happy Visualised and The Hour which premiered at Sydney’s Recital Hall 2018 and Vivid Festival 2017 respectively. For this audio-visual gestural performance, four cameras and four speakers were placed around the room that allowed Alon to ‘play’ with the space using the AirSticks, a custom built gestural instrument. Sounds could be moved around the space, and different audience members distorted avatars could projected on a transparent screen between the performer and the audience. The tone of the piece is ominous and invasive, but also hopeful and playful, reacting to our complicated relationship with surveillance and data.

The Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction was held on 9-12 February 2020 in Sydney, Australia.

For more information about the conference and the full program, please visit the conference website.