Art x Science Dialogues – Synthetic Reality: Perception, Emotion, and Identity

Join us for the 13th edition of Art x Science Dialogues as we delve into the fascinating realm of Synthetic Reality: Perception, Emotion, and Identity. In collaboration with Chronus Art Center, and as part of the global LASER talks, this event will feature a lineup of international speakers, exploring the intersection of art, science and technology.

How do synthetic realities impact our emotional experiences? Can virtual environments evoke genuine emotions? Are avatars or digital representations a legitimate extension of one’s identity? How do they impact our self-concept? How does the existence of multiple synthetic realities relate to the broader question of reality and existence?

To answer these questions, we will have three distinguished professors joining us virtually: Prof. Anton Rey, Head of Institute for the Performing Arts and Film, Zurich University of the Arts, Prof. Dieter Mersch Institute for Theory, Zurich University of the Arts, and Prof. Thomas Grunwald, Head of Zurich Epilepsy Institute. They will present their recent publication “Actor and Avatar” along with insights into the research project that inspired this remarkable work. The “Actor and Avatar” project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) tackles questions on an interdisciplinary basis combining philosophy, research into acting, and neurology, drawing on the specific expertise and methods associated with the respective disciplines.

Additionally, we are honored to welcome three onsite speakers, Ms. Mujin, professional leader of the Digital Media Art major at Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts (SIVA), who will explore the theme of “identity” in her exciting new creative project for 2023. Her study examines how the identity of a movie character can be extended, translated, and evolved in virtual reality media. We’ll also have Ms. Bogna Konior, Assistant Professor of Media Theory and co-director of the Center for AI & Culture at NYU Shanghai. She will talk about her multimedia research project concerning machine erotics and human-AI intimacy, focusing on the application Replika, which includes both chatbot and avatar functions. In addition, we’ll have Mr. Ziyang Wu, an artist based in New York and Hangzhou, currently teaching at the School of Intermedia Art at China Academy of Art, Ziyang will present his projects “Future_Forecast and Event Modeling”.

Join us for a special exploration of the ever-evolving landscape of Synthetic Reality, where art, science, and technology converge to shape the future of human experience.


  • 6:00pm – Registration for onsite guests
  • 6:30pm – Welcome Remarks
  • 6:35pm – Presentation: "Actor and Avatar" Project: Prof. Anton Rey, Prof. Dieter Mersch, Prof. Thomas Grunwald
  • 6:55pm – Presentation: Mujin
  • 7:05pm – Presentation: Bogna Konior
  • 7:15pm – Presentation: Ziyang Wu
  • 7:25pm – Discussion and Q&A
  • 8:00pm – Networking Reception

Event start time



  • Swissnex in China
  • CAC
  • LASER Talks
  • Fotografiska Shanghai