Friday, 31 July 2009

Valuation of the accomplished work concerning the Delphus 3.0 technical platform

Towards the implementation and demonstration of the Delphus 3.0 platform two groups have worked on different directions, but with continuous interaction and the results were being merged day by day:

-Athens School of Fine Arts group constructed basic conceptual elements (with video and 3D technologies) and proposed arbitrary semantic hierarchies and their mapping to a simple relational database model. It was not feasible to go deeper in semantic descriptions and technologies during the seminar. However, the proposed scripting interface with the database is open to support any semantic technology in the future.
-Paris-8 group, an expert in virtual spaces and 3D technologies, proposed state-of-the-art solutions and finally undertook the hard task of developing an open platform of semantically linked objects, based on the conceptual requirements expressed through discussions between the two groups. The implementation was such that the code is clean and the platform is easily extensible towards any direction.

The implementation of such a platform was based on the following multilayer architecture:

More specifically, the role of each layer is the following:

- Layer 1: palette of primitive elements - This layer is a library of basic elements (3D shapes, materials, textures, behaviours, etc) that can be chosen to define conceptual objects.
- Layer 2: (hierarchical) object tagging and database storage – In this layer conceptual objects are linked to form semantic hierarchies, in the sense of very simple “ontologies”. This information is mapped to a relational database.
- Layer 3: rule-based synthesis and complex structures storage – In this layer, conceptual objects from the same or different hierarchies can be interlinked to form more complex structures, which can be stored in the database as new object definitions.
- Layer 4: conceptual navigation, interaction and searching – This layer provides the final setup of this virtual universe, as well as the navigation and interaction system through the interlinked conceptual objects.

During the seminar the following functionalities were implemented:

Layer 1- almost complete with a few behaviours and materials included – more behaviours and materials can be added easily
Layer 2 – a simple hierarchical tagging model has been chosen – this layer can be extended to support more sophisticated models, based on further research which could not be accomplished during the seminar
Layer 3 – This layer is almost completed, except for the storage of complex structures which could not be completed due to lack of time.
Layer 4 – This layer is complete.

As already mentioned, the system architecture is such that it can be easily extended to include more sophisticated functionalities.

The most important achievement of this meeting is that we have managed to subdue our different ideas and viewpoints and to converge to a product that will form the basis for further collaboration.

This ambitious work has already raised many important research issues and ideas which we will investigate.

Furthermore, the Delphus 3.0 platform will be the basis for the next seminar.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Delphus Project’s DIARY

09.07.2009 Arrive in Delphi

10. 07.2009
Introduction, Project Presentation, Groups’ Organization,
21:00 Presentation: W.Y.F.I. project
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

11. 07.2009
10:00-18:00 workshops: Design volumes/ Platform Architecture Design/ Object Navigation and Interaction System/ Audiovisual Activities
21:00 Presentation: Manthos Santorineos
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

12. 07.2009
10:00-18:00 workshops: Concept Analysis/ Platform Architecture Design/ Object Navigation and Interaction System/ Audiovisual Activities
21:00 Presentation: Voula Zoi
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

13. 07.2009
10:00-18:00 workshops: Concept Analysis / 3D seminar / Platform Architecture Design/ Object Navigation and Interaction System/ Audiovisual Activities
21 :00 Presentation: Amparo Carnonell
Film projection
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

14. 07.2009
10:00-18:00 workshops: Concept Analysis/ Scripting Interface of the Platform with a database/ Object Navigation and Interaction System/ Audiovisual Activities
21 :00 Presentation: Cédric Plessiet programming seminar
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

15. 07.2009 Museum visit
15:00- 18:00 workshops: Video & 3D Artwork development, Scripting Interface of the Platform with a database/ Audiovisual Activities
21 :00 Presentation: Christophe Atabekian audiovisual seminar
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

16. 07.2009
10:00-18:00 workshops: Video & 3D Artwork development, Scripting Interface of the Platform with a database/ Object Navigation and Interaction System/ Audiovisual Activities
21 :00 Presentation: Anne-Laure George-Molland 3D seminar
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

17. 07.2009
10:00-18:00 workshops: Video & 3D Artwork development, Scripting Interface of the Platform with a database/ Object Navigation and Interaction System/ Audiovisual Activities
21 :00 Presentation: Marie-Hélène Tramus/ students’ work from ATI-Paris8.
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

18. 07.2009
10:00-18:00 Trip to Gallaksidi
21:00 Presentation: Dimitra Gounari
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

19. 07.2009
10:00-18:00 workshops: Video & 3D Artwork development/ Object Navigation and Interaction System/ Audiovisual Activities/ Web Page Development
21 :00 Presentation: Janis Jefferies, Goldsmiths College-University of London,
Maria Chatzichristodoulou, University of Hull
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

20. 07.2009
10:00-18:00 workshops: Video & 3D Artwork development/ Object Navigation and Interaction System/ Audiovisual Activities/ Web Page Development
21 :00 Presentation: Final Project
Image and Text documentation for blog, Web and Publication content.

Departure from Delphi


The Delphus_3 space is a 3D virtual space of interconnected conceptual objects. The main idea of this platform is to create virtual space for experimentation with concepts and ideas.

It is based on the following multilayer architecture:

Layer 1: Palette of primitive elements (e.g.3D objects, media objects, behaviours)
Layer 2: Conceptual object tagging and database storage
Layer 3: Object interconnection, interaction and navigation system
Layer 4: Permanent storage of complex structures of interconnected objects
Layer 5: Conceptual searching

During the seminar only Layers 1, partly Layer 2, and Layer 3 have been implemented. Layer 2, 4 and 5 require further research and couldn’t be completed during the seminar. Though, the system architecture is such that it can be easily extended.

For the moment, different modules have been developed and they are being merged to give the complete architecture.

These modules have the following functionality:

•Insertion form for conceptually tagging objects
•Application of behaviours to an object
•Storage of conceptual and behavioural information of objects to the database
•Creation of dynamic objects, based on data from the database
•Navigation through the created objects based on their visibility

Voula Zoi

Project documentation and brochure

Images and text editing for publication, project diary, Blog, web site.

The ASFA working group has also undertaken the project diary through the project’s BLOG ( and all written documentation as well as photographs, based on the daily contributions of all participants. Keeping track of the every-day activities has helped a lot on the coordination of all the working groups, on the distribution of tasks and on the identification of problems. Also, the team will undertake the publishing of the project to the Web through the Athens School of Fine Arts Web server.

Project documentation and brochure is an essential procedure for development of group’s cooperation and for archive purposes.

Interaction with working groups

We have managed successfully to communicate with the other working groups and exchange views and expertise.

Our interaction with the Paris-8 working group, an expert group on the programming, modeling-design and implementation of virtual 3D spaces in real time has been very interesting and useful for both sides. ATI creates the Delphus platform. We have gained a very important technical knowledge on the design and implementation of such systems; we have seen certain problems and solutions. We hope that we have transferred to them our viewpoint of things, as well as our concerns and reflections.

Our collaboration with the working group of the Tourcoing School of Fine Arts, France has been both on conceptual and aesthetic issues, and on technical processes (e.g. audio/video editing). Our students participated in the audiovisual workshops that recorded a part of the project’s activities. Also, this workgroup, in collaboration with the ASFA group is preparing a virtual level about Delphi which will enrich the In-Between database.

The working group of the University of Valencia, an expert on media and audiovisual technologies, presented a set of advanced projects some of which will also be linked with the project. Also, they provided a virtual representation of Cabanal enhancing the database of the In-Between project (

The definition of a virtual space for collaboration and research – The Delphus 3.0 platform

In the last four years, the research group of the Athens School of Fine Arts Multimedia-Hypermedia Laboratory has been working jointly with the other universities on the creation of a digital environment for artistic collaboration, creation and research.

Previous attempts (like, the Without Words (, the Delphous 1.0 (, the MySquare (, and now the InBetween ( and the Delphous 3.0 were initiated by our need to overcome reality imitation (like e.g. in Second Life) and create new relationships and expressive means in the digital space.

In previous attempts, despite the fact that we rejected social and ethical conventions, such as the language we still kept some of the fundamental physical principles of the real world (like ground, gravity, Euclidean geometry), and in some cases expressive tools borrowed by traditional Arts (e.g. painting, cinema) and computer games.

This year, triggered by our need to discover a new, autonomous language of expressing concepts in the digital space – an indeed ambitious goal – we are trying to completely degrade both the space and our thoughts, and come out with basic elements (concepts, audiovisual materials, algorithms) and basic structures (like in the molecules) that can be integrated in order to give an self-evolving environment.

We have been investigating the term ontology both from its philosophical perspective, and the engineering one, as a formal structure for describing concepts. We are also examining self-organized topological systems (e.g. and particle systems that have been proposed for various space navigation applications.

Within this context, the contribution of the Greek working group is the proposal of a hierarchical structure of analyzing and formally describing concepts, as well as the deconstruction of a set of conceptual references to audiovisual elements (e.g. 3D shapes, videos, images, texts) which were constructed by the students and interlinked into a 3D space to form more complex conceptual objects. This is a very painstaking research issue that requires thorough study – at least - at a doctorate level. It was impossible to cover this topic within the ten days of the seminar, but we have achieved to search, discuss, exchange views, and propose a little piece that has already raised many research issues for the future.

The methodology that we adopted to approach this issue was based on

-theoretical discussions

-imprint of conceptual elements in a hierarchical structure (forming arbitrary vocabularies)

-performances in space and techniques for feeling the space, objects and interaction

-constructions of conceptual elements and structures with plasteline

-construction of 3D shapes, and audiovisual elements constituting the conceptual objects and their relations

-experimentation in the virtual space

Voula Zoi

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Presentation of the programming group

This group is composed of french students from ATI department (Arts et technologies de l'Image) of University Paris 8 : Karleen, Rachel, Salim, Florian, Adrien, Sophia Lena, Charles. The goal of this group is to make a technologic plateform, which will serve as a support for conceptual and philosophical aspects. The work is made in Virtools, and it is an opportunity for our students to progress in VSL and programming.

The tasks are distributed as this :

  • Navigation 3D (zoom, jump gate navigation, object-centric turn around...) inspired by the video game Sin of Solar Empire. This part is nearly finished.

  • Interaction between objects (attractive, repulsive interactions, connections). This part is ok but we need to make the integration.

  • Dynamic loading of the software and objects (streaming). Work in progress.

  • Connection to object Database. We're currently waiting the database model from the greek group.

  • Modular programming (the big part), with the idea to give maximum flexibility to the code, and guarantee adaptability for the evolution of the project.

  • Integration (put all this together) waiting for Database.

Monday, 13 July 2009

About Ontology

The term of Ontology refers to 'the plea of being' from a philosophical and religious perspective. It studies the nature and essence of beings: what really exists and everything that has substance. Religion, Biology and Genetics, Philosophy, Metaphysics and Phenomenology are the branches of philosophy which are related to Ontology. Especially, metaphysics is the sector of philosophy focalizing on “epekeina”. The meaning of Greek word “epekeina” refers to what people could not be aware of, by mere experience.

According to Aristotle Metaphysics takes the meaning of ‘After the natural’ or the ‘First Philoshophy’. It concentrates on principles like the universal rules and reality, the elements of nature, the foundations of the world, the limits of reality, etc. Some basic questions are: what is the reality’s as well as the world’s ultimate or primary nature? This issue focuses primarily on 'ontology. It talks about things, the importance of the last form and substance of the world, the conditions of existence (space, time) and the primary relations amongst beings (causality, need, etc.).

Total phenomenology restores Philosophy’s primal meaning as a universal science according to its Platonic and Cartesian meaning. In other words phenomenology is that kind of philosophy which includes the authentic knowledge. Divided in First Philosophy (universal ontology or phenomenology), and Second Philosophy which concerns the universal science of facts. The First Philosophy consists of the totality of those methods that Second Philosophy relies on, while methodologically it is authorized by itself.


For Plato Art is the ability to do something that requires extraordinary skill and expertise, capacity requiring some knowledge of achieving a goal. Two main types of arts: a: «possessive» (such as obtaining money) b: «poetic» (producing something that did not exist previously).

Especially productive or «Poetic» arts are known by:

1) The creation of something new

2) The use of any materials \ tools

3) The union of those instruments and their transformation

4) A skill or a set of skills

5) Some kind of knowledge

6) Specific purpose (the artist follows a plan)


1. Type / Form

2. Physical / material objects

3. Imitation / representation of art

The form of an object is « that object’s nature», the ideal situation, which indicates its perfect operation. Unlike material bodies being perishable and varied, form is eternal and unified: It consists of the essential, fundamental characteristics of a species, which exist in super-natural world (which Plato considers the only and real one).

Beauty (the good, that we are pleased to watch)

As properties or criteria of beautiful: 1) Regarding to complex things, a harmonious combination of the parts with the whole like the ideal proportions, the balance or opposition that gives in its entirety a dynamic calm or plenitude and completeness. To sum up analogy and symmetry could be the basic elements of any harmonious combination. 2) Those who concern the simple things – p.e. the unmixed colours, it should they have unit, simplicity, regularity.

According to Plato the perfection of the world resembles the unparalleled beauty of these rules polyhedrosis.

According to Plato’s philosophy the world is based on five basic elements. These elements are: fire, air, water, ground and universe. Every single one of these elements matches with a normal convex polyhedral recordable on a globe. Every seat is a normal polyhedrosis polygons. Every edge has equal length and every angle is solid and flat respectively amongst equal. There are no more than five polygons like those such as the tetrahedron, the octahedron, the icosahedron the cube and dodecahedron.

• The tetrahedron symbolizes fire.

• The octahedron symbolizes the air.

• The water symbolizes icosahedrons.

• The cube symbolizes the Earth.

• The dodecahedron symbolizes the Universe.

For instance the tetrahedron, the octahedron and icosahedron are consisted of the same equilateral triangles. The exaedro is consisted of equal squares and finally the dodecahedron is normally consisted of the same pentagon.

The five platonic solids are known up to this year, just because Plato’s formation of the material universe depends on them. Many years after, during the Renaissance, John Kepler (1571-1630) in 1596 published his work «Cosmology Mystery» which proposes a model of the universe based on solids of Plato. This time, just six planets were also known. Kepler notes that the spheres are consisted of the Platonic solids. Saturn is for the cube, Jupiter is for the tetrahedron, Mars is for the dodecahedron, Venus is for the icosahedrons and Mercury is for the octahedron. The Earth, which is presented as the image of God, serves as a divider between both of these groups of solids.

Maria-Tereza Tzelepaki

Student of Athens School of Fine Arts

References (20 June 2009) / gr / images / marina / parrot / sterea.doc (25 June 2009) (25 June 2009) (11 June 2009)

Course-Notes: «Introduction to philosophy and aesthetics I», Academic year 2007-8, Instructor: Foteini Zikas.

M. C. Beardsley, History of aesthetic theories, Nefeli 1989 Go: Dimosthenis Kourtovik, Pavlos Christodoulides.


an amazing wild landscape,
high mountains and a deep canyon.
Westwards, there is a deep valley and a small piece of sea.
Many pines of which the smell fills the air.
Cool breeze and many cicadas.
In the space of the research station, students and teachers discuss and take photographs.
Some people work at the computers, other with paper and pencil.
All of us are look forward to entering the digital space
that the new project will produce.

Anna Meli
Student Athens School of Fine Art

The Delphus 3.0 space

The aim is to create a virtual universe of conceptual objects that may be composed to produce more complex concepts and ideas.

Two different groups have been working in different directions that are being merged day by day:
- Athens School of Fine Arts group is investigating theoretical and philosophical aspects concerning how a concept or idea can be degraded to a formal description that can be expressed through a digital world
- Paris-8 group, an expert in virtual spaces, is developing the platform based on the conceptual requirements

The architecture of the platform is multi-layer and is illustrated in the above figure.

The working groups

Group 1: Programmation,
Tutor: Cédric Pleissiet, Voula Zoi

Group 2: Volume costume 3D
Tutor: Manthos Santorineos, Cédric Pleissiet, Anne-Laure George-Molland

Group 3: Audiovisual Concepts
Tutor: Christophe Atabekian, Manthos Santorineos

Group 4: Programmation concepts
Tutor: Voula Zoi, Manthos Santorineos, Cédric Pleissiet

Group 5: Texts Images for Blog Contents and Publication
Tutor: Dimitra Gounari, Anne-Laure George-Molland

Group 6: Audiovisual and interactive Documentary,
Tutor: Amparo Carbonell Tatay

Group 7: Hypertext/web
Tutor: Voula Zoi

Group 8: Sound
Tutor: Christophe Atabekian

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Delphus Project has been started

People from different parts of the world have been arrived in Delphi, the ‘centre of the mythological cosmos’.

The weather is perfect.

People have already started to discover each other and break language barriers.

Delphus project is a melting pot of different nationalities that will link the artistic and research experimentation.

All participants’ contribution is essential for the project and their communication acquires a specific signification for the whole Delphi project.

We have settled down in Athens School of Fine Arts Research Centre. After, exploring the area of Delphi, we organized the work in teams and several seminars and workshops.

On Saturday evening Manthos Sandorinaios organised an interactive performance. It was about the different meaning of the images.Through physical participation, people became part of a performance with music, drawing, writing, dancing and acting. The whole event was open to accidental and game-like extemporisation.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The journey begins today. Watch IN-BETWEEN!
Become a fellow wandering in the inimaginary !?

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

thinking 3D navigation

One of the main problem in a 3D space world is to find a way for the user to navigate without losing himself. We can't use a first person or a third person like view, because this kind of interface is adapted to a classical human relation with the world I mean a world with a "up" and a "down". But in the case of the In Beetween project our world is only composed by "idea" interconnected.

Perhaps we can use the interconnection between the idea as "jump gate" and by this way allow the user to "jump" from one idea to another in a "follow the link" manner. This way of navigation is used in some space opera video game, like "sin of solar empire" or the map view of X3.

By using this kind of navigation, we can avoid the risk of losing the user in a place where there is nothing to view and use the attraction/repulsion principe shown in the precedent post, to create a "ambulatory" way of navigation accross the idea


Monday, 6 July 2009

Instances from the presentation / The dog Menios has attended all seminars / The youngest of the participants, the son of Rita Stavraki, one of the collaborators / The house of Stavroula

Kalamata / in-between project >> miden festival
>Kalamata is a city by the sea, with an international dance festival and a dynamic, sensitive, and promising video art and technology festival – the Miden Festival.
>Miden festival this year is opening with the work of a pioneer and a verygood friend, Robert Cahen (my old friend Robert, we have had a great time to all these festivals!!!).>This year, Miden Festival also dedicates a great part of its activities to social webtechnologies, combined with the city.
>I am invited to run a workshop with the collaboration of Voula Zoi, based on the In-Between project (
>During the workshop we meet the group "Personal Cinema", which is also doing aworkshop for its project "My feed" ; and we share the space and the equipment.The project "My feed" ( is the new web projectof the group, initiated by Ilias Marmaras, programmed by Yiannis Scoulidas andcurated by Daphne Dragona. Participants add their ideas and create digitalimages for the project, through personal accounts that can be re-accessed anytime for a new "play".
>All this activity is host by the centre of environmental development ofKalamata.
> A group of young people willing to "open their houses on the web"participates to the In-Between project.>Stavroula is not convinced to canalize her energy on the web. However, shewill invite us to her house to help us upload our "houses", as we can't do allthe work in the centre. She will prepare "pastitsio" to offer lunch to our team. >All ended well, the houses were uploaded, we discussed about the next level ofthe project, and our team is going on to this trip.
>This was the last preparation meeting for Delphi.>At the same time, Miden festival is starting its main activities in Kalamata, (10 – 12 July )
>while the "Utopia" project is continued in Crete.
>We will try to connect in real time through Skype.
>Miden festival will include among others;
>SEA LEVEL and FESTIVAL MIDEN: Dreaming of my city (ongoing project)An ongoing project organized by Sea Level (the non-profit organization thatorganizes Festival Miden) and supported by the European Program "Youth inAction", entitled "Dreaming of my city: an open social web action for art andculture in urban environment". The project will extend "Urban (R)evolutions",which begun as a collective video and images screening, to a widercommunication platform for urban environment on the web. The program will be completed in November 2009.
>FESTIVAL MIDEN: Urban (R)evolutions On Saturday 11/7/2009 a special project of Festival Miden 2009 regardingurban landscape, under the title Urban (R)evolutions, will serve as anintroductory screening for "Dreaming of my city", the new ongoing project ofSea Level and Festival Miden, which will be completed in November 2009. More than 100 visual artists, photographers and architects from all over theworld present video and still images about urban landscape in Urban(R)evolutions screenings. More info:
>In this context, Festival Miden has invited Dimos Dimitriou, a New Mediaartist from Greece, to create in situ a video about the city of Kalamata,which will be presented in a special screening at the closure of FestivalMiden, on Sunday 12/7/2009Meet Dimos Dimitriou at
>Also artist Tzimis Efthimiou will lead an open workshop on video art, aimingto the production of a collective video about Kalamata during the festival andHariklia Hari (visual astist and architect) will give an open lecturepresenting participatory architectural projects and cases ofarchitectural-urban actionism (Saturday 11/7/2009). ( more information in )
> The next station is the night of the 9th of July in Delphi.
Manthos Santorineos