Concordia Sensoria Research Team (CONSERT) Doctoral Students
Beyond Frames and Screens: A Multi Sensorial Approach to Responsive Video Membranes

Philomene Longpre
Special Individualized Program (SIP) Ph.D.
Concordia University

Screens have an increasingly ubiquitous presence in our society, and we are living within the optical illusions they create. We switch from the screens of our cell phones to our computers with ease. Our interaction with the screen has become strongly ingrained in our culture and it is literally transforming the way we perceive the world. Some argue that screens make us all into spectators. But what if screens were to evolve, becoming sensitive membranes that respond to the video itself, while simultaneously interacting with the viewer? How would people embrace this new form of multisensory communication as it moves ever closer to its subject? This doctoral research program involves a series of intricate experiments, which attempt to find the common bond or thread that hold light, color, and motion together. Who can predict what this imaginative new form of interactive communication will elicit in the real world? How might its amplified stimuli shape how we feel, what we think and who we become?

This research includes the study of the different forms of social interaction with screens in daily life and how new visual identification can explore our ever-changing world. In recent years, significant changes have occurred in screen technology and my goal is to make these advances better known, while at the same time . As such, new vocabulary needs to be created so the audience gains a better grasp of the language needed to describe and appreciate this communicative instrument. The focus is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the development of an innovative multi sensorial medium for projected video that will actually respond to the behavior of the video, and amplify its interaction with the viewers.

This research involves: I) The exploration of the senses and how the elements of construction can stretch one's perception; II) An extensive research on the evolution and history of screens and how individuals react to them in our environment; III) The examination of revolutionary materials and technologies used for design research purposes; IV) The conceptualization, design and fabrication of responsive membranes that will convey a new visual identification that explores our ever-changing world; V) The conceptualization, design of innovative interactive video art systems that will integrate these unique video membranes.

A key aspect of this research will be a unique integrative collaboration between the Departments of Anthropology, Intermedia/Cyberarts, Computer Sciences, and Mechanical Engineering to develop this powerful tool enabling new forms of communication.