> Doctoral Symposium

9th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X

Doctoral Symposium


Mise-en-jeu Framework for Analysing the Design Grammar of Videogames

João Pedro Ribeiro


Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal

Our research focuses on Game Studies, Game Design, Player Experience, Videogame Spaces and Cinematic Techniques. In videogames, the mediated space’s language has not yet been well established. Addressing this, we developed the mise-en-jeu proto-framework, a system that attempts to address the lack of a unified game design syntax. The continued development of the Mise-en-jeu Framework we propose aims to help resolve this by constructing instruments for game design’s study. We will conduct mixed research, embrace various genres, and consider player experience. Such studies are vital for the mise-en-jeu framework’s success and need urgent development, as designers strive to find unified frameworks for comprehending and projecting level design mechanics, but find a limited amount of research available.

Beyond Code Poetry: an Exploration of Programming Languages Performed from the Artistic Practice

Marta Pérez-Campos


University of the Basque Country, Research in Contemporary Art, Bilbao, Spain

The main goal of this thesis is to seek an approach to programming languages from an artistic point of view. To do so, it is necessary to address the different readings that we can make of a piece of code and its influence on today's society, as proposed by the so-called Software Studies.

All this without losing sight of contemporary art. Since its emergence, this discipline has gained relevance due to the presence of technology and therefore of software in our daily lives. With this thesis, we propose an exploratory study that tries to demonstrate the hypothesis and central theme of this research: to consider programming languages not exclusively as instruments or tools that allow us to program a machine, but to exploit other properties that we find in them, such as their artistic and expressive value. In order to put the theoretical part into practice, a series of projects and workshops will be created in which an approach to programming languages away from their utilitarian function and close to experimentation and criticism will be proposed, aimed at people with or without programming knowledge.

The Intersubjective Cyborg as Producer of Surreal and Autonomous Graphic Design

Lydia Czolacz


University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom

This research considers the influence of collage and surrealist techniques upon the practice of contemporary women graphic designers participating in visual culture today. The study poses two theoretical models: the intersubjective cyborg that extends and develops the analysis and legacy of female Surrealist artists in their recent resurgence, and the Mobius Strip analogy that encapsulates and assists in uniting collage, automatism and Surrealism through digital and analogue processes. Although the primary focus for this research is practice and the process of collage, it poses a framework to be used as an interdisciplinary tool that promotes the intersubjective cyborg as a producer of surreal and autonomous graphic design.

Swarm Labour: The Aesthetics of Sentient Machine Collectives at Work

Samuel Beilby


University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Advancements in swarm intelligence, biomimetic robotics and related swarm technologies offers an interesting intersection of biological phenomena and machine assemblage. Electrical engineers, entomologists, artists, cultural and media theorists have long observed the labour methods and organisational structure of social insects as a communication system that can be applied to contemporary digital systems and networking. Amongst such swarm technologies of today, this thesis shall focus the development of biomimetic robot swarms in warehouses and sorting centres owned by information technology companies. Situated in a corporate context, swarming machines are in a constant slippery state of reconfiguration as they perform labour tasks that, although effective, appear incomprehensible, chaotic, and alien to the human eye. This thesis will examine the cultural significance of the insect motif in the development of swarm technologies and suggest that figures such as the ant have had their insect-technics appropriated for techno-capitalist use. Through a practise of media-archaeology, a review of insect organisation, socio-cultural symbolism, and their alien figure allows for a discussion on current and future potentials for the integration of swarm intelligence and sentient machines and what this means for the human/animal/machine relations of tomorrow.

Mind the Gap Between Platform and Brain

Kimberley Bianca


Department of Critical Media Practices at University of Colorado, Boulder, United States

This practice-based research project generates applied knowledge of the prospects and problems of participation and exchange of technological artefacts. I introduce my research assemblage, circuitBoard, a blended online and community platform for critical making. With the premise that critical making and art platforms can evaluate social inequity, challenge institutional hierarchies, and question how capitalism and colonialism have destroyed ecosystems, the theoretical lens of ecomaterialism analyses media and technology-based artistic praxis. The research outcomes include community-based platform design and performative modes in developing activities that encourage more inclusive participation during crises.

Civic Games: Video Games as Instruments for Human Autonomy in the Digital Era

Juliana Valentim


Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal

Societies have faced common issues regarding modern technology’s impact on civic life, such as rising populism regimes and information disorder, which have shaken the global democratic order. The media technology, especially the social networks, have facilitated extensive monitoring of the population and control of communication infrastructures. This research embraces media literacy and civic competence knowledge to strengthen human autonomy in the digital era. This study aims to gather qualitative data from a participatory design process with citizens, journalists, and designers and offers an opportunity to explore civic potentialities by integrating their demands into video games driven to positive social change impact. In the end, this project will provide a conceptual framework that articulates design principles and guidelines and an exploratory game kit to support future-based research in civic media, digital literacy, and game design. Its current work is focused on a literature review and co-design sessions to validate the first version of the framework and develop a video game prototype.

Doctoral Symposium Chairs

Portrait of Angela Ferraiolo

Angela Ferraiolo is a visual artist working with adaptive systems and generative processes. Professionally she has worked for RKO (New York), H20 Studios (Vancouver), Westwood Studios (Las Vegas), and Electronic Arts (Redwood City).

Her media work has been screened and installed internationally including Nabi Art Center (Seoul), SIGGRAPH (Los Angeles), xCoAx (Madrid, Milan), Art Machines 2 (Hong Kong), ISEA (Vancouver, Hong Kong), EVA (London), New York Film Festival (New York), Courtisane Film Festival (Ghent), Australian Experimental Film Festival (Melbourne), and the International Conference of Generative Art (Rome, Venice). New projects include experiments in systems, text, and urban media.

She is based in New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College where she is the founder of the visual arts program in New Genres.

Portrait of Marco Ciciliani

Marco Ciciliani is a composer, audiovisual artist, performer and researcher based in Austria. The focus of his work lies in the composition of performative electronic music, mostly in audiovisual and interdisciplinary contexts.

His work has been performed in more than forty-five countries across Eurasia, Oceania and the Americas. It has been released on five full-length CDs and two multimedia books.

Ciciliani is Professor for Computer Music Composition and Sound Design at the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM) of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. Since 2016 he is head of the Artistic Research project GAPPP: Gamified Audiovisual Performance and Performance Practice, funded by the Austrian Science Fund.