Dr. Brigitta Zics
Room B312 Portland Square,
University of Plymouth,
Brigitta Zics is an award winning artist, theorist and Visiting Fellow at the Transtechnology Research at the University of Plymouth. She is currently based in Culture Lab , Newcastle University and Director of Digital Media. Her main interest is the artistic and philosophical investigation of human experience in technologically enhanced environments and interfaces. Her recent research subjects include experimental data visualisation, bio-signal interaction & affective environments, application of swarm theory, and aesthetic ecologies that facilitate immersive experiences. Her artistic work and research have been broadly exhibited and published in journals such as Leonardo (MIT), Journal of Visual Art Practice (Intellect), in books such as New Realities: Being Syncretic book (Springer) and festivals such as Siggraph. Other affiliations include panel member of the Leonardo Reviews and Research Advisor in the Doctoral School at the Hungarian University of Fine Art. For recent projects and research please visit: www.cognitiveloop.org and http://ortlos.co.uk/
NEW ARTICLE: August 2011 – Journal of Visual Art Practice
Zics, B. 2011, Engineering experiences in biofeedback interfaces: Interaction as a cognitive feedback loop, Journal of Visual Art Practice 10:1, UK: Intellect journals, pp. 71-82, doi: 10.1386/jvap.10.1.71_1 Read Abstract
Leonardo Journal 2011, Volume 44, Issue 1 - Zics, B. Toward an Affective Aesthetics: Cognitive-driven Interaction in the Affective Environment of the Mind Cupola, 2011, Leonardo Journal, The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, 44/ 1. USA: The MIT Press, pp. 30-37. http://www.leonardo.info/isast/journal/currentiss.html
Public Talk: Sun 17 April 2011 This happened… A series of events focusing on the stories behind interaction design, Location: Edinburgh, More info: http://www.thishappened.org/ and http://www.thishappened.org/edinburgh/6/
Exhibition:traceNorth, Large-scale Data Visualisation Public Artwork: 15 DEC 2010 – 31 JAN 2011 (4pm to 10pm), Culture Lab Newcastle University: King’s Gate Projection
traceNorth is a unique digital artwork using organic, constantly changing shapes to represent the traffic flow in Newcastle city centre. Using traffic congestion data collected by Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council, Brigitta Zics and Tom Schofield interpret traffic cycles in the city as a living organism of movement and human presence. The result is a beautiful, fluid and bold artwork in a high-profile setting. The project has been commissioned by Northern Stage as part of their 40th birthday celebrations in collaboration with Culture Lab and in partnership with Newcastle University. More info and NS web site
We are working closely with Dr. Phil Culverhouse (Project supervisor) and Chris Ford ( PhD researcher) on open source eye-tracking implementation. This research project is a collaboration between the School of Art, Media and Design at the University of Wales, Newport and the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, and Transtechnology Research at the University of Plymouth.
[TESLA@UCL] Dr Brigitta Zics: How to think about Art and Design in the Age of Consciousness Research: Thursday, 29 April, 18:00 – 19:00, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, Garwood Lecture Theatre, South Wing More info here
Thesis: Zics’ Thesis Abstract is one of the winners of Leonardo Electronic Almanac LABS 2009. The abstract along with personal writing will be published on LEA. http://www.leoalmanac.org/index.php/lea/entry/article_transparency/
Thesis: ZICS, B., 2008. Transparency, Cognition and Interactivity: Toward a New Aesthetic for Media Art. PhD Thesis. Newport, Wales: University of Wales. Download:PhD Thesis: Abstract , Request the Full Thesis here
Thesis: Transparency, Cognition and Interactivity: Toward a New Aesthetic for Media Art (2008)
ZICS, B., 2008. Transparency, Cognition and Interactivity: Toward a New Aesthetic for Media Art. PhD Thesis. Newport, Wales: University of Wales. Download:PhD Thesis Limited Preview: Content/Preface/Introduction (Zics, 2008) Request More
Article: The Mind Cupola : toward a consciousness altering device, An inmaterial model for interactive technology based art production
ASCOTT, R. at al. (eds.). 2009. The Mind Cupola: toward a consciousness altering device. NEW REALITIES : BEING SYNCRETIC, Consciousness Reframed: The Planetary Collegium’s IXth International Research Conference.Vienna: SpringerWienNewYork Request
Conference Paper: A Cognitive-based Approach to Experience Design: Toward an Affective Interaction
Bonner J., Golightly D., Russel-Rose T. and Smyth M. (eds). 2009. A Cognitive-based Approach to Experience Design: Toward an Affective Interaction.CREATE 2009: Proceedings of the Conference on Creative Inventions, Innovations and Everyday Designs in HCI, 1-2 July 2009, British Computer Society and the Ergonomics Society, Covent Garden, London; Loughborough, Leics: Ergonomics Society, p. 45-51. Read:CREATE 2009 Abstract Zics Read:Create 2009 Full Paper Zics
Conference Paper: The Engineering of Experiences through the Mind Cupola: Interaction as a Cognitive Feedback Loop, The ISEA 2009 International Symposium on Electronic Art, University of Ulster. Read:ISEA 2009 Abstract Zics
Abstract: Zics, B. and Vines, J. 2009. The Mind Cupola and Enactive Ecology: Designing technologically mediated experiences for the Aging Mind 10th Annual Planetary Collegium International Research Conference, Consciousness Reframed: art and consciousness in the post-biological era, Experiencing Design: Behaving media, MHMK (Macromedia) University of Applied Sciences Munich Read: Abstract_Zics_Vines
Her practice-based thesis undertakes research into the contemporary aesthetic of interactive media art, in order to propose a useful practical model of interactivity founded on a critical approach to both existing theory and practice. It proceeds from the identification of a primary lack in contemporary aesthetics that arises from the predominantly materialistic comprehension of technologically-mediated artworks. The thesis establishes a new model for interactive art that offers an immaterial engagement with technology at a locus where cognition and the aesthetic intertwine. This model is constructed following a revision of both the theory and practice of interactive media art, which identifies a materialistic bias of technology-mediated art production caused by a confused concept of technology as both tool and medium.
The Mind Cupola Affective Environment (Zics, 2008)
This investigation confines itself to the last forty years of interactive art and the new model of spectatorship that has accompanied it. The main objective of what follows from this investigation is an account of agency in the artist and spectator interrelationship. In the context of technologically based artworks various approaches to spectatorship have frequently remained within the constraints of the traditional model of art that inherently drew on a separation between body and mind. It is argued in this thesis that neither the technology nor the participation itself, but the cognitive interconnection between ‘artist-artwork-spectator’ produces the primary aesthetic dimension of interactive media art. In this respect, not the physical object creation but the aestheticisation of this triangle produces the here identified immaterial/cognitive experience of the spectators. This can be achieved when the technology is applied as a transparent medium, one of the core concepts introduced in this thesis, which can facilitate an aesthetic quality or meaning creation through technology. The ‘transparent medium’ enables the cognitive-based experience production, which is identified as the immersive flow of the spectator’s aesthetic experience. As such, the re-evaluation of the artist- spectator interrelationship proposes a new immaterial model of art which is called the Transparent Act.
The Conceptual Draft of the Mind Cupola (Zics, 2007)
The introduction of the Transparent Act leads to the main intervention of this thesis which lies in an effort to recover a lost dimension in interactive media art. A recovery of this dimension enables access to a knowledge practice which is not necessarily located in ordinary cognitive experiences but in unfamiliar conscious states that can be compared to accounts of so-called spiritual experiences. The model of the Transparent Act is concurrently applied as a practise-based intervention and proof-of-concept in a major installation, the Mind Cupola. This artistic and technological contextualisation of the original intervention of this thesis is exemplified as an affective environment which aims for an immediate cognitive affection of the spectator by generating mechanical and audio-visual effects in the spectator’s ‘mind’. The artistic system uses special face analysis techniques to close the feedback loop and affect the spectator through the analysis of her/his reactions. The installation is built upon a ‘passive’ modality of interaction in which the spectator contributes to the artwork with subtle, cognitive-based interactions which are fed back through a complex open response system. The implementation of cognitive feedback loops, also described as the fractal structure in the spectator’s cognition, constitutes the essential transparent medium through which the previously lost immaterial dimension of a spiritual-like aesthetic experience in interactive media art is achieved. The thesis concludes with suggestions of further applications including the evaluation of technologically mediated artworks.
The Mind Cupola's Interior (Zics, 2008)
The Affective Environment of the Mind Cupola (under development)
Exhibition and presentations: 12 November-17 December; University of Plymouth PSQ Block B, C3 Gallery Mezzanine Floor
The Premier of the Prototype of the Mind Cupola Prof Weibel, Simon Pope and Prof. Smith with the author and Chris Ford computer scientist
This interactive art work explores the potentiality of a cognitive-driven interaction (or passive interaction) process which is based upon a complex system of instant affection technologies (mechanical and audio-visual) and affective computing (face analysis based on temperature and gesture). It addresses the body-mind interconnection and aims to produce a so-called ‘cognitive-feedback loop’ in the spectator’s cognition through the aesthetic experience. The system measures the emotional and behavioural reactions and aids to guide the person towards an optimal experience, which is an immersive state in a condition of ‘equilibrium’. It is anticipated that the desire to enter this condition and the mastering of the interaction produces new levels of immersion and cognition.
The Mind Cupola's Affective Visualisation (Zics, 2008)
Spectators are invited step under the cupola at the highlighted place. After detecting the person, the cupola and the camera mover will move to the appropriate position. The spectator is advised to be relaxed and only use movements of the face and gestures to react to the system actions. The spectator’s main guide is the visualisation, which displays the condition of the spectator (which state s/he is in, as chaotic, meditative or the proposed equilibrium). Through the interaction the person might reveal hidden messages on this condition behind the visualisation. To find this information and to enter a spiritual-like state the spectator has to recognise the laws of the cognitive-based system which can be formulated as processes of self-observation.
More information about the Mind Cupola: here
Read the AXISWEB interview (2007) about the Mind Cupola’s Creative Development here or download axisweb interview.This research project is a collaboration between the School of Art, Media and Design at the University of Wales, Newport and the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, and Transtechnology Research at the University of Plymouth.
Project Enterprise: Prof. David Smith (UWN), Project Supervisor and System Design: Dr. Phil Culverhouse (UoP), Cupola Interface Design: Andor Gaudia (baseClass, Budapest), Graphics and System/Network programming: Chris Ford (UoP), Generative Sound Design: James Little.
Brigitta is also hosting MediaArtTube, the dynamic project archive on the platform of Youtube, which displays significant and emerging projects in the field of creative technology and technology-based art.The collection serves as an research tool for artist and theorist, and also as educational material for constructivist teaching method.