Visual Communication and Expertise (VisComX)
On May 3, 2013, Elena Tsankova defended her PhD thesis.
"First impressions of trustworthiness: The roles of the impression target, the impression holder, and the physical environment" was supervised by Prof. Arvid Kappas, the members of the committee were Prof. Ulrich Kühnen, Prof. Antony S. R. Manstead, and Dr. Tom Johnstone. Congratulations, Dr. Tsankova!
(from left to right: Kappas, Tsankova, Manstead, Kühnen)
Ognyan Seizov became the first VisComX PhD student to defend his thesis.
"Political Communication Online: Structures, Functions, Challenges" was supervised by Prof. Marion Müller, the members of the committee were Prof. Margrit Schreier and Prof. John Bateman (Bremen University). Congratulations, Dr. Seizov!
(from left to right: Bateman, Schreier, Seizov, Müller)
INVITATION: Ognyan Seizov’s PhD Defense
Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 10:00 o'clock,
Jacobs Center for Lifelong Learning (JCLL), Conference Room, Jacobs University.
PhD Thesis title: Political communication online: Structures, functions, and challenges.
Abstract: Media hybridization, convergence, and fragmentation are growing constantly in light of technological innovation, increased audience demand, and mass availability of media production tools to the formerly passive consumer. In this environment, new media and their home, the Internet, become increasingly multi- and hypermodal. The research tools for analyzing them, however, do not catch on to these new developments as quickly. My thesis is dedicated to closing this gap by conducting a thorough multimodal content analysis of different genres of political communication on the World Wide Web. For this purpose, it relies on several disciplines (communication science, systemic functional linguistics, and multimodality) and on some of their related methods and applications (political iconography, qualitative content analysis, multimodal narration, and eye-tracking) to create a novel annotation tool for the analysis of narratives in webpage form. The empirical part of the dissertation applies this tool to different cases of political web content: news, campaigns, and NGO and civic-movement media. The analyses focus on the visual and add to it the accompanying verbal elements, which work together in order to create cohesive messages – or not. The results point towards distinct styles of multimodal expression according to genre as well as structure and function. They also demonstrate the value of a multidisciplinary approach towards researching semiosis in an online setting.
Prof. Bettina Olk starts a new project with Duke University
If you are a patient suffering from spatial neglect then finding your raisin bran flakes might not be so easy. A brain injury (often to the right side of your brain) may have changed how you attend to objects and people around you and you may find it difficult to find things on your left. Patients with this disorder show profound deficits in exploring the world, largely due to difficulties in allocating visual attention. Neglect patients are profoundly impaired in their everyday life activities and very often not able to live independently anymore.
Typically, neglect assessment and experiments use very simple and controlled stimuli. The evident advantage of this research approach is that the stimuli shown to participants can be manipulated and allow a systematic investigation of neglect. However, the connection of the simple displays to everyday life stimuli and tasks is low. Optimal assessment would involve testing patients in everyday situations. However, this is difficult because researchers do not have control over everyday life and stimuli. A solution to this dilemma is testing in virtual reality (VR) environments.
The project “Effects of stimulus salience on attentional orienting in spatial neglect: A systematic investigation in virtual reality environments” will bridge the gap between the traditional approach and testing in everyday situations. This novel approach allows us to significantly develop neglect research and assessment further. The project will be carried out by Prof. Dr. Bettina Olk in collaboration with partners at Duke University, using the Duke immersive Virtual Environment (DiVE), a 6-sided CAVE-like virtual reality theater. The collaboration is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Guest Lecture: From Recombinant Poetics to Recombinant Informatics
Prof. Dr. Bill Seaman
Artist-in-Residence, Jacobs University/VisComX
Professor of Visual Studies, Duke University (USA)
Wednesday, 02 May 2012, 19:00
IRC Conference Room, Jacobs University
Prof. Dr. Bill Seaman is Jacobs University’s first visiting artist-in-residence, invited by the research center VisComX. In this guest lecture, he will give a retrospective overview of his groundbreaking works as an artist and media scholar. Seaman began as a video artist exploring poetic image/music/text relationships. Later Seaman created “navigable poems,” extensive non-linear poetic systems that each user could explore in a unique manner, weaving together poetic text, video images, stills and “recombinant” music that he composed. Seaman was interested in what he calls meta-meaning — works that would “point at” meaning production as it would arise and change through dynamic interaction.
In 1995 Seaman coined the term Recombinant Poetics. His PhD explored “Emergent Meaning in a Specific Generative Virtual Environment.” This was a shift of focus to the examination of many different kinds of poetic media elements in an emergent virtual world, created by the user of the system, again through dynamic interaction. More recently, Seaman has been focusing on generative artworks: projections in and on architecture, exploring “painterly” juxtaposition of media elements, texts and associative processes — “machinic” creativity. Seaman is also exploring media ecologies, works which “poetically” respond in an organism-like manner to the levels of computer use in particular environments.
Seaman’s most recent work explores notions surrounding Recombinant Informatics — creative approaches to insight production. His book Neosentience | The Benevolence Engine, written with scientist Otto Rössler, is a non-linear exploration of many concepts surrounding the history and future of artificial intelligence, learning systems, and the potential of creating autonomous robots. He has focused his conceptual art research while at Jacobs on the creation of an “Insight Engine,” as well as exploring aspects of the history of cybernetics and the Biological Computer Laboratory as a media researcher.
Junior Fellows at Duke
(Photo courtesy of Duke University)
Congratulations to VisComX Junior Fellows Florian Wiencek, Mastewal Adane Mellese, Sabine Neumann, Lena Merhej, and Ronak Etemadpour (not pictured), who are spending a semester at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA, as part of a Duke-Jacobs collaborative international graduate education program in visual studies and the humanities. This new graduate education program will integrate existing projects into a larger international network of scholars, and simultaneously develop new graduate teaching and research programs among Duke University and Jacobs University. Click here for more.
The Research Center VisComX provides both a platform for international scholarly communication and exchange and the organizational resources for conducting cutting-edge collaborative research as well as transdisciplinary postgraduate education. It is the Research Center’s intention to further transdisciplinary research and knowledge on visual communication and expertise, to contribute to the dissemination of this knowledge and to improve and enhance its application as well as to provide excellent training and education for the next generations of visual scholars.
VisComX will be a nucleus of transdisciplinary research on visual communication processes in Europe and beyond. It will bridge basic and applied visual research that hitherto has been confined to the respective domains of the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, as well as computer science/ engineering, encompasses basic research as well as solution-oriented applications.
|VisComX research is transdisciplinary, resting upon four core disciplinary pillars that structue the internal VisComX organization and guide our research foci: Communication Science/Media Studies as nexus discipline, connecting to art history, experimental psychology as well as computer science. A particular research area is connected with the expertise of each disciplinary pillar as part of the Visual Communication Cycle, encompassing processes relating to visual production, perception, interpretation as well as evaluation.||
Please find more information about VisComX in the "VisComX Research Center Handbook".