Sciences / Techonologies / Arts: Crossing the borders, knowing each other
In times in which technogy has become an indispensible part of our society and in which art is vice versa influenced by creative technologies and the digital world, the Théâtre de Liège and its partners from the Meuse-Rhine Euregion collaborated on a large-scale project that connected the performing arts to new technologies and digital art. The IMPACT project was realised with the cooperation of the cultural, research, business and education sectors. Contemporary artistic creation is part of these sectors in which innovative strategies and creation finds a breeding ground for their development. The cross-disciplinary nature of contemporary art and theatre in general prompts us to consider them as examples to follow when considering the development of a comprehensive strategy for both social and technological innovation. In this context, the IMPACT project took place with as a main objective establishing a Euregional, cross-sector collaboration pool for R&D, production and distribution of new technologies and performing arts.
IMPACT Lab projects
Within the Interreg Impact project the following successful Impact LAB project collaborations took place involving UNU-MERIT and Maastricht University:
- INFINITY GAMES studies the notion of harmony in imagery and music. The intended result is to see if it is possible to teach a computer to be creative like humans, even possibly live on stage. In close collaboration Marie van Vollenhoven and Jerry Spanakis (DKE – Maastricht University) created a website where people can play a game “the Infinity Games”. The game gives to, anyone who enters it, the possibility to create a digital painting. People give a harmony score to the digital paintings and the computer calculates what people like to look at based on all the data thus provided. This teaches the computer step by step how to make art itself.
- FOCUS studies human auditory filtering in conjunction with emotional responses from a scientific and artistic perspective. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a cognitively controlled hearing device that can focus on sources of sound, and thus amplify those sounds that are relevant for users. The collaboration between Professor Elia Formisano of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience at Maastricht University and composer Jesse Passenier is focused on taking the next step in the R&D phase of such an intelligent hearing device. Jesse Passenier composed, focusing on specific emotional reactions, with composition techniques that grasp the focus of the listener. This is checked in research, generating data about human auditory filtering for the further development of intelligent hearing aids. At the same time, one analyzes the emotional response means of skin sensors which gives the composer scientific feedback about which emotions the music evokes which are the really “emotional moments” in the composition.
- The Impact LAB project WIND AVATAR is one of several approaches to develop techniques that have as an overall goal to help the brain of vision impaired people capture objects, movements and emotions. Ultimately, the goal is to develop an application for sensory impaired people that is useful in daily life.
WIND AVATAR is a collaboration between Maastricht University ‐ Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience and artist / engineer Haseeb Ahmed.
WIND AVATAR translates movements and emotions of a subject into expressions of a character composed of wind turbulence patterns. These wind patterns will be the vehicle of communication with blind and other physically impaired people, by offering them a tactile and auditory sensory experience of movements. Blind people will be able to perceive dance and emotion expressions of the whole body. As a standard these are visual phenomena and therefore normally cannot be experienced by the blind person.
- MAKE THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE studies the molecular visualization of cancer cells and the impact that this technique has on cancer patients and medical professionals. The envisioned outcome is a new technology for 3D imaging of pathologies. A way of visualizing the large amount of data generated through molecular imaging in an almost tangible manner.
The collaboration between between Maastricht University – M4I Division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry Ron Heeren and Joris Hoefakker of Submedia Producties has resulted in two transdisciplinary productions in which scientific results in cancer diagnosis are humanized through film production. The first short film “Rose” visualizes the human impact of cancer diagnosis, focusing on the perspective and the emotional life of the patient. The second production, “Without Borders”, gives an insight in the possibilities of molecular imaging. These films should create more awareness of the possibilities of molecular imaging towards medical practitioners and patients.