Conferência de Abertura – Tony e Eva Brooks

Para a conferência inaugural do retiro acolhemos Tony Brooks e Eva Brooks, um casal que trabalha de forma muito especial na área da média-arte digital e vem partilhar connosco a sua já vasta experiência.

How digital media arts knowledge, skills, and competences – and especially ‘applied creative thinking of digital media art’ – can open opportunities for realising new alternative solutions/vocations within industries wherein such creative endeavours can advance the field through disruption.

Sharing near four decades of research titled SoundScapes, which led to – industry start-up, commercial product, published patents, numerous externally funded (European and Danish) Multimillion Euro projects, national and international awards, and my job as academic where I now educate along a similar route of positive disruption to realise advancements. 

Professional vocations offering potential societal/industry impact via alternative channeling of digital media arts. I believe that this societal/industry need is growing and in some cases not being fully recognised. This need and recognition has been targeted (even in part) under the Medialogy education which Tony and Eva Brooks have led under Aalborg University with close liaison partnerships and collaborations with related creative industries wherein ‘applied creative thinking of digital media art’ has been evidently successful. This is testified by the numerous successful student start-up companies realised across diverse working areas by Medialogy graduates since its beginnings in 2002. Noteworthy examples include Intertisement, Virtual Lab, VR-Rehabilitation (these winning national awards).

Management “of research projects, in education and of development and creation of new highly innovative aesthetics discourses that strongly exploit the informative and sensory expressiveness of multimedia contents, technological interfaces and interaction, aiming at constructing interventional artefacts for the creative industry, in the artistic and cultural expression, education and entertaining.”

Together, in Xlab, Tony and Eva Brooks are realising digital media art workshops for external guests across

  • span of ages (so from children’s early creative design and expression – including robotic programming -, to elderly and improving their digital competences);
  • range of abilities (creative expression free empowerment via alternative interfaces);
  • and vocations (external teachers, therapists, institute leaders, etc)
  • as well as internal student-prototype testing with external subjects
  • and more: Xlab is an ongoing development that is receiving annual funding to explore digital media art from societal, industrial and educational contexts.


Dr. Anthony Brooks is Associate Professor at Aalborg University, Denmark where he has been director/founder of the ‘SensoramaLab” (Virtual Reality, HCI and Playful Learning Complex) and a founding team-member of the ‘Medialogy education’ (Bsc, Msc, PhD) and as section leader, lecturer, coordinator, supervisor, and study board member. He is also lecturer, supervisor and coordinator on the ‘Art and Technology education’ (BA) and study board member. He has been active working for the European Commission as project evaluator, rapporteur, and expert reviewer for approximately fifteen years ongoing. His research has been catalyst responsible for numerous externally funded International, European and National projects as well as a media art/serious-games industry start-up company, and a family of patents resulting from his evolved method and prototypes. Cross-disciplinary emergent models have also resulted.

Originating from Wales, born into a family with disabled members, at an early age he ‘invented’ alternative solutions for adaptive accessibility and creative ‘control’ of stimuli. In the 1980s he created bespoke instruments and volumetric invisible sensing systems for unencumbered gesture-control of digital media to stimulate meaningful causal interactions that could be tailored to individuals, their needs, preferences and desires alongside the outcome goals of artists, facilitators, therapists, educators etc. A goal was to create adaptable playful, enjoyable, and fun creative experiences for end-users that optimised motivation in participation to increase compliance and adherence to transdisciplinary intervention programmes e.g. in rehabilitation, healthcare wellbeing, quality of life, learning/education, play, entertainment, recreation, and more: Societal impact, accessible and inclusive creative expression was targeted.

As first artist in residence at the Centre for Advanced Visualisation and Interactivity (CAVI) at Aarhus University, Denmark at the end of 1990s, he originated the ZOOM emergent model (Zone of Optimized Motivation) for in-action intervention and on-action analysis and assessment /refinement across fields of healthcare and learning. He has approximately 200 publications. He is acknowledged as a third culture thinker and “world pioneer in digital media and its use with the disabled community” where creative artistic expression acts as catalyst for new opportunities in practise. His artistic work has been featured at major events around the world, including two Olympic/Paralympics (Atlanta 1996; Sydney 2000), numerous European Cultural capital showcases, and also at more underground events such as the Danish NeWave in New York city 1999. His interactive art installations have been exhibited at numerous renown Museums of Modern Art (MoMAs).

Tony has been plenary keynote speaker at approximately fifteen international events and he is Danish representative for UNESCO’s International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) Technical committee (WG14) on “Entertainment Computing” – specifically under work groups WG14.7 “Art and Entertainment”; WG14.8 “Serious Games”, and WG 14.9 “Game Accessibility”. He has been active internationally as a PhD viva examiner over many years. Under the European Alliance for Innovation (EAI) he has steered the International Conference ArtsIT [Arts & Technology, Interactivity and Game Creation] since 2009 (see ). University profile –

Dr. Eva Brooks is a professor of IT-based design, learning and innovation at the Department of Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Denmark.

Furthermore, she is the director of the laboratory Xlab: Design, Learning, Innovation and deputy research leader of Interaction and Learning Designs.

Eva Brooks has a strong expertise in technology mediated play, creativity, and learning in formal and semiformal learning practices. In this regard, her expertise relates to the design of digital technologies and learning environments as well as to creative and learning processes and outcomes that emerge when people interact with digital technologies. Her perspective considers playful, inclusive, and participatory aspects of design, creativity, and learning. Her research interest has always been attached to trans-disciplinary teamwork and thus, innately, competencies are wide with additional focus on establishing close collaborations with stakeholders, including addressing ethics, meanings and values. Furthermore, she has a strong interest and expertise in methodologies and methods for qualitative and design-oriented research. Eva Brooks is a requested expert and evaluator in the European Community and has been involved as leader in several national and European research projects.

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