Enactive Experience for Streaming Media Services.

Presenters: Mariana Ciancia and Giulio Interlandi
Registration Number: 029
Institution: Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Abstract: Since the beginning of humankind, storytelling was the way used by people to understand and shape reality. Storytelling has been acting as a mythopoetic engine and nowadays the power of stories is amplified by technological and digital developments. The "narrative paradigm" depicted by Fisher (1984) encounters the "ubiquitous computing" dimension (Weiser, 1999): the result is the interdisciplinary field of Interactive Digital Narrative (IDN). Starting from the first text-based experimentation of the late 1970s, IDN can be considered a vibrant field, from which different forms of interactive artifacts such as Hypertext Fiction, Interactive Installations, Video Game Narrative (Koenitz et al., 2017), and Enactive Cinema (Tikka et al., 2008) are derived. IDN has been a field of inquiry for more than three decades, but the question remains: is it supposed to be pure entertainment or something more? This paper aims at exploring the possibility of applying the enactive paradigm for designing a tailored experience in using streaming media services. In doing so, we will apply a Research Through Design approach: specifically processes and tools coming from the User Experience Design discipline, using data as raw material for designing meaningful and relevant experiences. Grounding on the research thesis on interactive streaming experiences (Varisco & Interlandi, 2020) conducted at the School of Design (Politecnico di Milano), this work wants to push further the exploration on how the enactive paradigm can be applied, using eye-tracking and emotion-analysis technologies as input for enabling enactivity. Starting from data gathered during the research thesis, it is possible to hypothesize their use beyond the interactive cinematic experience, and towards the design of a tailored media streaming experience. Emotion recognition (through facial expression analysis), and eye-tracking could enable platforms to gather real time data that can impact the user’s watching experience: emotional state, attention, gaze, and environment (presence of other users). The following are relevant questions that are addressed during the paper: what are the possibilities in terms of technologies and data that would enable an implementation of the enactive paradigm? How can this paradigm be applied to streaming platforms and smart TVs, considering the technological possibilities, as well as the user experience? Finally, considering the way in which COVID-19 pandemic impacted our media habits and media environments, what could be the real added values and possible criticalities in applying this technological and interactive paradigm within this existing system? The result will be the proposal of a conceptual and methodological framework for the design of a tailored streaming media service experience to be prototype and tested in a following research.

Bio: Mariana Ciancia
Mariana Ciancia, PhD, Researcher at Design Department, School of Design, Politecnico di Milano. She is a member of Imagis Lab research Lab and Deputy director of the Specializing Master in Brand Communication. Her research deals with new media and participatory culture, with the aim of understanding how multichannel phenomena (crossmedia and transmedia) are changing the processes of production, distribution and consumption of narrative environments. National and international publications include books, book chapters, journal articles, and conference proceedings on transmedia phenomenon, communication strategies, narrative formats (interactive narratives), and audiovisual artefacts.

Bio: Giulio Interlandi
Interaction designer in love with arts, focused on creative and design thinking. Interested in research and prototype for the interaction, passionate with the enactive approach, synesthetic experience, and body language. After a Bachelor’s Degree in Technological Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania and a Master’s Degree in Digital & Interaction Design from Politecnico di Milano, he co-founded the design collective the Bench. He is also a teacher assistant in the “Digital Art” and “Interactive Transmedia Narratives for New Media” courses at Politecnico di Milano. His research is currently focused on the unconscious and enactive interaction in the multimedia experience.