In close collaboration with Pro Helvetia Shanghai and Power Station of Art (PSA), Swissnex in China is delighted to present the remarkable underwater experience “Paradise Lost” by Birdly at the 13th Shanghai Biennale, from May 18 – June 1. Taking this occasion, Art x Science Dialogues has invited two frontier experts behind all these brilliant research and experiences, Bruno Herbelin, Scientist from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and Max Rheiner, CEO and Founder of SOMNIACS AG / Birdly, to guide us towards the multisensory future shaped by the evolving VR technology.
The technological promise of VR has been driving immersive experiences from as far back as the 1860s. However, its realization has been taking a roller coaster ride and underwent constant improvements in terms of both hardware and software, as the field seeks to break the limits of imagination and fulfil its infinite potentials. Get ready to teleport yourself and interact with our speakers to experience VR’s mighty capacity for illusion, beyond sight and sound.
16:00 – 16:05 Opening Remarks
Cissy Sun, Head of Art-Science at Swissnex in China
16:05 – 16:25 Embodied and Disembodied Virtual Reality
Bruno Herbelin, Scientist, Laboratory of cognitive neuroscience, Brain & Mind Institute, EPFL
16:25 – 16:45 Flight of Mind and the Creation of Full Body Immersion
Max Rheiner, CEO and Founder of SOMNIACS AG / Birdly; MA Lecturer Interaction Design, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK)
16:45 – 19:00 Discussion and Q&A
Bruno HerbelinScientist, Laboratory of cognitive neuroscience, Brain & Mind Institute, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Bruno Herbelin is senior researcher in virtual reality and cognitive neuroscience in the laboratory of Prof. O. Blanke at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). From 2012 to 2019, he was deputy director of the EPFL Center for Neuroprosthetics. From 2005 to 2009, he was an Assistant Professor at the Medialogy Department of Aalborg University, Denmark. He obtained his PhD from EPFL School of Computer and Communications in 2005 for his research work on virtual reality exposure therapy under the supervision of Prof. D. Thallmann (Virtual Reality Laboratory).
Max RheinerCEO and Founder of SOMNIACS AG / Birdly; MA Lecturer Interaction Design, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Max Rheiner is CEO and founder of the company SOMNIACS AG, a Spin-Off of the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), which transformed the research project 'Birdly' into a commercial product. Further, he has been teaching in both the bachelors and masters programs for the Department of Interaction Design, since 2006. He received his Diploma from Zurich University of the Arts in the field of New Media Arts, in 2003. The main areas of discipline that he specializes in are Immersive Experiences, Embodied Interaction and Physical Computing. Of these topics, he conceived and developed the Physical Computing Laboratory for the Department of Interaction Design and is currently running the Immersive Experience Lab since 2016.
His research and artistic interest center on interactive experiences which utilize methods from Virtual/Augmented Reality and Immersive Telepresence. Moreover, his artistic work has been recognized and exhibited in a number of international and well-renowned venues such as the Museum of the Moving Image/USA, Sundance Film Festival/USA, Biennale Venice/Italy, Ars Electronic Linz/Austria and Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media/Japan.
Embodied and Disembodied Virtual Reality
The scientific study of bodily self-consciousness has shown how the subjective experience of controlling and being inside a physical body emerges from the coherent multisensory integration of bodily and external signals. Altering this mechanism of embodiment, for instance by replacing the real body by a virtual one, can temporarily change how one perceives properties of their own body. VR thus allows exploring a whole range of new bodily experiences, from the disembodiment when seeing yourself in a third-person perspective, to the re-embodiment when experiencing to be in a different body.
Flight of Mind and the Creation of Full Body Immersion
Birdly is a full-body immersion flight and gliding simulator which enables a full sensory embodiment. Through story-telling and immersive technologies we create experiences which leave the reality behind.
The Art x Science Dialogues is a new webinar series initiated by swissnex China in 2020. The webinar series not only presents artistic projects which scientists and research engineers are deeply involved in, but also looks into new interdisciplinary initiatives and trends. Through the dialogues between artists and scientists, we try to stimulate the exchange of ideas between the two different worlds and explore opportunities for collabrations.