LASER Nomad Porto / Sense of Place and Migration: Embodiment, Cognition and Borders

28.11.2019 / 17:00 – 19:30 / School of Fine Arts / University of Porto

Av. de Rodrigues de Freitas 265 / Aula Magna / Porto, 13 4000-421 / Portugal

The sixth edition of Laser Nomad at the Fine Arts School of the University of Porto explores contemporary issues of migration. The focus is about the sense of place from a cognitive perspective. Neuroscientists have already proposed the existence of a grey zone around us named peripersonal space, which is an extended boundary of our body. From a technological perspective, mobile devices and gps helped war migrants, for example, to stay in touch with their families and share migration routes. What is the relation between embodiment and borders?

CHAIRED BY: Luca Forcucci


Rosemary Lee (ITU Copenhagen) Rosemary Lee will speak about themes from her PhD research on the influence of algorithms on notions of the image. Several consequences arise from the formalisation of the image as sets of instructions to be executed, including variability, a turn toward non-opticality, and increased automation by machines. In this way, machine learning not only affects the image on an ontological level, affecting what an image may be considered to be, but also its aesthetics and its symbolic relation to the real.   Rosemary Lee is an artist and PhD fellow at the IT-University of Copenhagen, where she is researching how notions of the image are impacted by algorithmic media. Her PhD project analyses and contextualises artistic and technical examples in terms of their earlier precursors and considers what this means for what an image is today. Lee’s research and artistic work have been shown in international contexts including SCREENSHOTS: Desire and Automated Image, machines will watch us die, a new we, and her book, Molten Media, which was published in the context of the transmediale Vilém Flusser Archive Residency for Artistic Research.    

Rui Penha (ESMAE) Existence and Extension / Lenses and Lentils   Rui Penha was trained to see the world through the lenses of musical composition and media art. He is a father of two, a professor of a few more, a thinker and a tinkerer. He is currently employed as an assistant professor at ESMAE and as a senior researcher at INESC TEC. More info at http://ruipenha.pt

Miguel Carvalhais (FBAUP)

Host

Miguel Carvalhais teaches design and computational media at FBAUP. When asked for a short bio he normally presents himself as a designer and a musician, two activities that he finds closely connected and central to his practice. In this talk Miguel will explore how his work hinges on space: on using it as canvas, on manipulating or transforming it, on creating entirely new spaces. http://carvalhais.org

Laser Nomad Palermo / Consciousness, Representation and Embodiment

07.11.2019 /14:00 – 17:30 / Edificio 12 – Aula Magna / Viale delle Scienze, Palermo

Edificio 12 – Aula Magna / Viale delle Scienze, Palermo

Laser Nomad Palermo

We explore Consciousness, Representation and Embodiment with the contribution of researchers from the University of Palermo. These keywords are observed through the lenses of human cognition. Why and how do I know that I am experiencing something ? Moreover artificial systems are pervasively entering multiple aspects of our life, what if instead of artificial we focus on extended ones ? Does embodiment applies to artificial forms ?

14:00 – 14:10 Intro Laser Nomad
14:10 – 14:30 Salvatore Tedesco
14:30 – 14:50 Carmelo Calì
14:50 – 15:10 Davide Rocchesso
15:10 – 15:30 Maria Mannone
15:30 – 15:50 Antonio Chella
15:50 – 17:30 Laser NOMAD Discussion / Q&A pubblic


Prof. Antonio Chella

Consciousness and Creativity

Abstract

The research field of conscious AI systems concerns the computational models of consciousness. The talk will outline the current state of research of conscious AI systems and it will discuss its relationships with creativity, with particular emphasis to musical creativity. The field of conscious AI systems is tightly related with topics as information integration, embodiment, adaptation, emotions, which are all of interest in order to model musical creativity. On the one hand, facing the problem of consciousness could be a decisive move towards the design of effectively creative systems, on the other hand the study of models of creativity could be helpful in order to better understand human consciousness.

Biography

Antonio Chella is a full professor of Robotics at the Department of Engineering of the University of Palermo, where he is the founder and director of the Robotics Laboratory. He coordinated several Social Robotics projects including Cicerobot, a museum robot guide at the Archaeological Museum of Agrigento; Robotics and Autism, in collaboration with the Child Neuropsychiatry of Palermo; Robotics and ALS, in collaboration with the ALS Center of the University General Hospital of Palermo; RoboDanza, in collaboration with the cultural association Tavola Tonda; Robot Orchestra Conductor in collaboration with the Alessandro Scarlatti Conservatory of Palermo. In 2017 he was awarded the “James Albus Medal” by the BICA Scientific Society (Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures). He is a member of the Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts of Palermo. His main research concerns the study of consciousness in robots and machines; he is the co-author of the main reference text in the field. He is the author of more than 200 international publications.



Prof. Davide Rocchesso

Designing Sound with Vocal Primitives

Abstract

What are the fundamental elements of sound? What is the
best framework for analyzing existing sonic realities and for
expressing new sound concepts? These are long standing questions in sound physics, perception, and creation. In everyday life, it is our body that helps establishing bridges between distal
(source-related) and proximal (sensory-related) representations of
sound. In particular, it is our vocal apparatus that offers body-based
representations of sound, so that vocal imitations can be used as
probes into the world of sound at large.

Biography

Davide Rocchesso received the Ph.D. degree from the University of
Padova in 1996. He is professor of computer science at the
University of Palermo. He was the coordinator of EU FET
projects SOb (the Sounding Object) and SkAT-VG (Sketching Audio
Technologies using Vocalizations and Gestures). He had been chairing the COST Action on Sonic Interaction Design. His main research interests are sound modelling and synthesis, interaction design, evaluation of interactions.



Maria Mannone

Can Beauty be Translated? A Journey between Mathematics, Music, and Nature

Abstract

Contemplating the majesty of a tree, listening to an orchestral piece, and studying a mathematical equation might not be too far activities. Mathematics can constitute a bridge to compare objects and transformations between them, as well as to map them from a domain to another one. In particular, musical structures, with their themes and transformations, can be investigated through the language of mathematics (and categories in particular). The same formalism can be applied to nature, comparing shapes and their variations. I present methods of investigation and examples, including trees, ammonites, and flowers. They can be analyzed and translated into music, keeping some essential features and considering specific cognition criteria. From organized musical structures to the sound itself, the presentation includes some hints of how the quantum mechanics formalism can be applied to the analysis of human voice. Might a melodious soprano voice be not too far from the Schrödinger equation’s solutions?

Biography

Maria Mannone (Ph.D.) is a theoretical physicist and a composer. She graduated in Italy, France (IRCAM-Paris VI Sorbonne), and in the US (University of Minnesota). Her research involves mathematics, music, and images. Author of books, she gave talks and invited lectures in America, Europe, and Asia, where she is collaborating with the Tohoku University for the development of a new musical instrument, the CubeHarmonic. Currently, she is a subject expert (‘cultore della materia’) at the Department of Mathematics and Informatics in Palermo.



Prof. Salvatore Tedesco

Aesthetics and Embodiment

Abstract

Construction of form, emotions and aesthetic appreciation can usefully be rethought in the context of an interaction between philosophical knowledge, theoretical computer science and new technologies for production and control of images and sounds. The short report proposed seeks to clarify the terms of reference and to suggest some interpretations.

Biography

Salvatore Tedesco teaches Aesthetics at the University of Palermo, and coordinates the Dams course of studies. His main research projects deals with Morphology, evolutionary aesthetics, history of aesthetics, contemporary theories of literature. He has published 11 monographs on various aspects of modern and contemporary aesthetics, more than 80 papers, and is currently editing (with Federico Vercellone) a “Glossary of Morphology”.



Carmelo Calì

Perceptual Grammar of Sounds

Abstract

Music cognition complies with the perceptual grammar which consists of the properties of sounds as units and the grouping factors as preferential rules. The units have emerged through the interaction with the environment as crucial features in conveying information. The rules are the heuristics that enable the cognition of the environment in the forms of the auditory modality by solving problems of ordering and structure derivation. The specialization of the perceptual grammar of sounds plays a foundational role for music cognition. It provides composers and listeners with shared capacities to build and extract meaning from musical shapes and their relevant qualities in space and time. Musical examples will be presented to argue that the specialization of the perceptual grammar is consistent with historical and geographical variability of musical systems and styles, which draw from the expressive potentialities it affords with a high degree of freedom.

Biography

Carmelo Calì is associate professor at the University of Palermo.
His main research interests are theories and models of visual,
auditory and tactile perception, cognitive foundations of aesthetics,
human-robot interaction and industrial design.

Chair: Luca Forcucci

Potential Realities and Perspectives: Dreams, (Mental) States and (Electronic) Sheep

register

The Italian director Federico Fellini’s movies were based on his own dreams, and as part of a Jungian psychotherapy with the psychoanalyst Ernst Bernhard.

In the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The American author Philip K. Dick questions realities and perspectives from the machines in a dystopian science fiction novel.

It seems that the (virtual, augmented and mixed) contemporaneous realities are about to join the fiction. The main question for the current talk observes the different typologies of realities, being in dreams, pathological, from machines or computers. This will be explored through the work and research of an artist and a neuroscientist.

Michael Gaebler / Cognitive Neuroscientist

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in the Neurology Department’s Mind-Body-Emotion group and the MindBrainBody Institute.

Biography

Michael Gaebler studied cognitive and neurosciences in Osnabrück, Montreal, Paris, and London, before he completed his PhD at the Charité/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In his research at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, he investigates how mental processes (i.e., thinking and feeling) are neurophysiologically realized. To this end, he also combines virtual reality with measurements of brain activity.

Abstract

The mind is situated, that is, mental phenomena depend on an organism’s interaction with the environment. I will discuss why virtual reality (VR) can help the cognitive and brain sciences and present own projects, in which we use VR in neuroscientific and clinical investigations. I will also mention previous work with depersonalization-derealization disorder patients, for whom the real world feels unreal or dream-like.

Mert Akbal / Artist and Researcher in Neuroscience

Saarbrücken Art School and Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in the Neurology Department’s Mind-Body-Emotion group and the MindBrainBody Institute.

Biography

Mert Akbal explores as a cognitive artist phenomena from cognitive science field. He teaches and researches  in two institutions: Academy of Fine Arts Saar in Saarbruecken and Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Berlin. His works are presented on diverse platforms such as by ZKM in Karlsruhe, Prix D’Arts Robert Schuman, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Kunsverein Ulm, Amber Art and Technology Festival in Istanbul, IEEE in Boston, ISEA 2016 in Hong Kong and ISEA 2018 in Durban.

Abstract

I follow my curiosity to observe, understand and question cognition and consciousness through visual art. I aim to reproduce  dream image and experience in artistic media in order to explore them as models of conscious experience. I will present some of my current works at the intersection of art and science.