[ISEA2020] Panel: Raivo Kelomees, Varvara Guljajeva, Oliver Laas & Sean Montgomery — Aesthetic and User Experience in Biofeedback Art

Panel Statement

Keywords: Biofeedback art, interactive art, biosensors, biometrics, symbiotic interaction, machine vision

Artworks with biosensors could be called biofeedback artworks. Our intention is to discuss the changing landscape of practices and research in the area of art where biological information of spectators/interactors is used as input for the functionality of artworks. We would like to ask about new challenges in the design of artistic-technical devices and art historical implications. As technology for artists becomes more available and cheaper, do we see new emerging trends in building biofeedback artworks? How to contextualise the effect of these works in research on aesthetic experience?

  • Raivo Kelomees, Ph.D. (art history), artist, critic and new media researcher. Presently working as a senior researcher at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn. He studied psychology, art history, and design at Tartu University and the Academy of Arts in Tallinn. He has published articles in the main Estonian cultural and art magazines and newspapers since 1985. His works include the book “Surrealism” (Kunst Publishers, 1993) and an article collection “Screen as a Membrane” (Tartu Art College proceedings, 2007), “Social Games in Art Space” (EAA, 2013). His Doctoral thesis was “Postmateriality in Art. Indeterministic Art Practices and Non-Material Art” (Dissertationes Academiae Artium Estoniae 3, 2009). In recent years he has been participating in conferences dedicated to new media, digital humanities, theatre and visual art in São Paulo, Manizales, Plymouth, Krems, Riga, Shanghai, Göteborg, Hong Kong, Dubai, and other places. Website: kelomees.net
  • Dr Varvara Guljajeva is an artist and researcher. She holds a position of researcher at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and also at the ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering. Varvara has been invited as a visiting researcher to XRL, Hong Kong City University, IAMAS (Ogaki, Japan), LJMU (Liverpool, UK), Interface Cultures in the Linz University of Art and Design, Blekinge Institute of Technology (Karlshamn, Sweden). As an artist she works together with Mar Canet forming an artist duo Varvara & Mar. Often duo’s work is inspired by the information age. In their practice they confront social changes and impact of technological era. In addition to that, Varvara is fascinated by kinetics, participation, and digital fabrication, which are integral parts of her work. The duo has been exhibiting in international shows since 2009. Their works have been shown at MAD in New York, FACT in Liverpool, Santa Monica in Barcelona, Barbican in London, Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Ars Electronica museum in Linz, ZKM in Karlsruhe, and more. Reference: var-mar.info
  • Oliver Laas is an artist, cultural theorist and philosopher whose research interests include metaphysics, logic, philosophy of technology, and semiotics. He currently works as assistant professor and junior researcher at the Estonian Academy of Arts, visiting lecturer in philosophy at Tallinn University and the Estonian Business School, and visiting lecturer on the video game industry at the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences. His artworks have been exhibited in the Impact International Printmaking Conference and the Tallinn Print Triennial. His recent publications include “Coordination Games and Disagreement” (in Controversies in the Modern World, eds.A. Fabris & G. Scarafile, 2019), “Instrumental Play” (in Jahrbuch Technikphilosohie: Arbeit und Spiel, eds. A. Friedrich, P. Gehring, C. Hubig, A. Kaminski & A. Nordmann, 2018), and “Questioning the Virtual Friendship Debate: Fuzzy Analogical Arguments from Classification and Definition” (Argumentation 32(1)).
  • Sean Montgomery is a new media artist, technologist and educator in New York City. Using research methodologies combined with emerging technologies, Sean takes a transdisciplinary look at the human condition to examine the changing relationship between the physical and metaphysical world. From developing wearable bio-sensors and algorithms that derive meaning from sensor data, to creating interactive new-media art installations that have shown around the world, Sean’s work focuses on how technology can enhance our understanding of ourselves and create new ways for people to interact with one another and the objects around them. After finishing his Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Sean founded Connected Future Labs, an agile R&D consulting group that utilizes a depth of expertise in circuits, algorithms and design and created EmotiBit, a truly wearable open-source sensor for capturing high-quality emotional, physiological, and movement data.

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