Dr Polina Zioga

Job Title and Responsibilities

Lecturer in Media/Film Production.

Director the Interactive Filmmaking Lab
Deputy Research Ethics Coordinator for the School of Computing and Digital Technologies.

About Me

I am a hybrid artist, researcher and lecturer, and currently the Director the Interactive Filmmaking Lab at the School Computing and Digital Technologies of the Staffordshire University. Throughout my career, I have worked in the creative industries, as freelance creative professional and in academia, teaching in both undergraduate and postgraduate level on the areas of Film, Digital Arts and Design, while I joined the School of Computing and Digital Technologies of the Staffordshire University in September 2017 as Lecturer in Media/Film Production. Additionally, I am an affiliate member of national and international organisations for the creative industries and the new media arts.

My interdisciplinary background and studies in Visual Arts and Health Sciences has influenced my creative practice and peer-reviewed research, which for more than ten years has centred in the field of arts and the brain, combining creativity, technology and science. I hold a Ph.D. from the Glasgow School of Art/University of Glasgow, selected as one of the top-ranked thesis abstracts for 2017 by Leonardo (MIT Press). My expertise lies in Interactive Media and Film with the use of innovative technologies, such as Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) and Eye-Gaze Tracking systems (EGTS). For my work and excellence, I have received grants and awards from prestigious sources, like the NEON Organization, Glasgow School of Art Global Excellence Initiative Fund, Connecting Cities Urban Media Lab as part of the European project ‘Connecting Cities: Participatory City 2014’, MyndPlay, the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Athens, The Hellenic-Dutch Association of Commerce and Industry (He.D.A.), the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic and others.  In this frame, I have collaborated with esteemed organisations including the Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Northern Video Art Network (Finland, Norway, Greece, Hong Kong), iMAL (Brussels) and Fournos Center for Digital Culture (Athens).

Furthermore, my creative work and research has been presented and published since 2004 in Europe, Asia, North and South America including: solo and group art exhibitions, video-art and film festivals, performances, international peer-reviewed conferences and invited talks and guest lectures.

For further information, please visit my online portfolio and connect on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

Expertise

  • Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs)
  • Interactive Film and Media
  • Expanded and Live Cinema
  • Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance
  • Hybrid Arts
  • Neurocinematics 

Research Interests

My creative practice and peer-reviewed research lies at the intersection of art, science and technology. By proving that interdisciplinary studies not only promote the advancement of the different fields involved, but also result in new observations, not made possible in isolation, my aim is to contribute in the greater discussion of applying creative methodologies in science and scientific methodologies in creative practices.

I have established and I am leading as the Director the Interactive Filmmaking Lab at the School Computing and Digital Technologies of the Staffordshire University. My research focuses on Interactive Filmmaking and Live Cinema with the use of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs). My Ph.D. Thesis entitled ‘Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance, funded by the Glasgow School of Art Global Excellence Initiative Fund, and supported by MyndPlay, has been selected as one of the top-ranked thesis abstracts for 2017 by Leonardo (MIT Press).

In 2014, I collaborated with Kalina Ntampiza, in the project ‘HOME network’, a portable, netless Wi-Fi network, transmitting within the urban environment of various cities during a series of specific time periods and events. The project explores the boundaries between the private and the public, the physical and the digital space and challenges the notion of surveillance in the urban environments, inviting the visitors to participate in and reflect upon our sense of belonging in both the private and the public sphere. The project was presented at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in collaboration with Natalia-Rozalia Avlona, at the International Academic Conference Places and Technologies 2014 (Belgrade) and as part of the European project ‘Connecting Cities: Participatory City 2014’ (Brussels) in collaboration with Alexandros Nikolaos Ziogas.

The same year I was awarded the NEON Organization Grant for Performance Production for ‘Enheduanna – A Manifesto of Falling’, the first demonstration of a Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance. The project, in collaboration with the actress Anastasia Katsinavaki, the composer Minas Borboudakis and 20 in total contributors from 3 different countries, enabled for the first time the multi-brain interaction of one performer and two audience members in the frame of a live cinema performance. It was realised in the School of Simulation and Visualisation of the Glasgow School of Art, in collaboration with the School of Psychology of the University of Glasgow, the School of Art, Design and Architecture of the University of Huddersfield and with the support of the CCA Glasgow and MyndPlay. Following the successful first events (premiere in CCA Glasgow, 2015) and the peer-reviewed publications, I have been invited to give talks and lecturers at prestigious institutions including the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Research Exchange Talks Programme.

In 2016 I embarked on ‘Re-mark’, a new artistic research project in Dundee Contemporary Arts exploring how artists with disabilities can access interactive technologies that can limit the need for human intermediaries in their fine art practice. The aim is to investigate and improve the use of open-source Eye-Gaze Tracking Systems (EGTS) by print artists with Multiple Sclerosis. The project is awarded and funded by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities in collaboration with the Glasgow School of Art and supported by the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee.

Selected Publications

For my peer-review publications and outputs please visit the Staffordshire University Online Repository, Academia, GoogleScholar, ORCID and ResearchGate.

Current Teaching

Driven by my interdisciplinary background and experience in academic as well as industry settings, my approach to teaching and research supervision aims to bridge theory and practice through research.  I am currently contributing in the Department of Film, Media and Journalism, of the School of Computing and Digital Technologies. I am leading the ‘American and International’ Level 6 module in the BA (Hons) Film, TV and Radio Course, while also teaching in the BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology Course and supervising Level 6 Media Dissertations,  Final Year Projects (FYP) and Ph.D. Students. I help students to identify their areas of interest, discover their seeds of originality and gradually become independent creative practitioners and thinkers. My students have won awards in European and International competitions.

Full-time Ph.D. and MRes supervision is available in the following, but not limited to, research areas:

  • Interactive Film and Media
  • Expanded and Live Cinema
  • Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs)
  • Neurocinematics

Ph.D. projects are offered in the following research topics:

  • Interaction and User Interface Software for Interactive Film and Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance
  • Performers and Audience Participation, Cognition and Emotional Engagement in Live Cinema and Performing Arts
  • Biometric Control of Virtual Objects and Agents in Mixed-Reality Settings
  • Hybrid Brain-Computer Interfaces and Eye-Gaze Tracking Systems for artists with disabilities

Awards

I have won a number of awards, grants, funding and commissions for both my creative work as well as my research including:

2017: Top-Ranked LABS Abstracts (Leonardo, MIT Press).
2017: Kirklees Council Grant of £10,000 for the project ‘Modern slavery: Identifying barriers and solutions to reporting’, led by the University of Huddersfield, Secure Societies Institute. Principal Investigator: Dr Maria Ioannou. Co-Investigators: Dr Dagmar Heinrich, Professor Rachel Armitage and Dr Polina Zioga.
2016: Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities (SGSAH) award and funding for ‘Re-mark. Enabling artists with disabilities to re-engage with their fine art practice using digital technology’.
2015: MyndPlay Sponsorship for ‘Enheduanna – A Manifesto of Falling’ Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance.
2014: NEON Organization GRANTS SCHEME 2014/2015 - Grant of €10,000 for the commission of ‘Enheduanna – A Manifesto of Falling’ Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance.
2014: Connecting Cities Urban Media Lab as part of the European project ‘Connecting Cities: Participatory City 2014’ – commission for the event ‘HOME SWEET HOME’ of the project ‘HOME Network’.
2014: Glasgow School of Art Global Excellence Initiative Fund for PhD Research.
2007: Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic Ms. Dora Bakoyannis - Aegis and Grant for the exhibition ‘Conversing with Rembrandt - Young Greek Artists are inspired by the great master’s work’ (The Netherlands).
2006: Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Athens & The Hellenic-Dutch Association of Commerce and Industry (He.D.A.) - Aegis and Grant for the exhibition ‘Conversing with Rembrandt - Young Artists are inspired by the great master’s work’ (Greece).

I have been an invited speaker and guest lecturer at academic and art institutions, including the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Research Exchange Talks Programme, the Glasgow School of Art Interaction Design Guest Lecturers Programme, the ‘Art-Act’ art space (Athens) and others.
Additionally, my work and research has been cited in esteemed academic journals, like Digital Creativity and Empirical Musicology Review, in proceedings of international conferences, like the Foundations of Augmented Cognition: Neuroergonomics and Operational Neuroscience, Serious Games Joint International Conference, International Conference on Live Interfaces, the BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference and others. My work has also been featured in press in Australia, USA, UK and Greece.

Professional Memberships and Activities

I am an invited member of scientific committees, peer- and editorial- reviewer of international conferences, such as the biannual International Conference on Live Interfaces. Additionally, I am a member of the University and College Union (UCU), the Northern Video Art Network (NOVA) and the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece.

Contact

Dr Polina Zioga
Lecturer in Media/Film Production
School of Computing and Digital Technologies
Staffordshire University
Flaxman Building
College Road
Stoke-on-Trent
ST4 2DE
t: +44 (0)1782295917
e: Polina.Zioga@staffs.ac.uk