In the following, a number of ongoing projects in the VideoLab are described:

Interactive discoveries: A video and eye-tracking based study of knowledge construction in science centres

Science Centers are no museums in the traditional sense. They provide experimentation stations that enable the visitors to experience natural phenomena and understand technical connections through their senses while interacting with the exhibits. But how does this sensory experience of natural phenomena, this discovery of the laws of nature, actually work? These are the questions we want to answer by researching how visitors engage themselves together in the exploration of the exhibits and how they interact about them and about which phenomena there are to be discovered and experienced at a particular exhibit. Interaction in this case does not only encompass what the visitors express through language: our research also tries to include descriptions of the physical experience that visitors receive by touching or manipulating an exhibit together. Our project is based, on the one hand, on the theoretic-methodological basis of a multimodal and extendable analysis of dialogue; while on the other hand, we also include studies on distributed cognition and on museum teaching into our analysis.

Project leadership: Wolfgang Kesselheim, Barbara Neff (Swiss Science Center Technorama, Winterthur, Head of the exhibition) and Armin Duff (Swiss Science Center Technorama, Winterthur, Head of Education)

Funding source: Swiss National Science Foundation, URPP Language and Space

Describe your city! Experienced and physical space in descriptions of public places

How do people experience and describe urban space? Spontaneous, oral descriptions of urban places prove that descriptions of space consist of more than just objects scattered in a physical space; they much rather represent that which holds meaning for the city residents, i.e. what usage they allow, which groups of people can be found there, or which events had taken place there. Spontaneous descriptions paint a dynamic picture of a city that consists of both experiences and a physical environment. In the course of a small interdisciplinary project we want to look at a large number of such place descriptions from different perspectives: linguistics (Wolfgang Kesselheim), corpus linguistics (Noah Bubenhofer), and GIScience (Curdin Derungs). We want to utilize these descriptions in order to develop methods of analysis and visualization that enable an empirical study and precise illustration of the correlations between what is experienced and physical space. In the context of the URPP, our project shall create connections between approaches that focus on the construction of space and those that consider space to be an objective dimension. Our project is directly affiliated with the interests being researched in Zurich from a linguistic as well as geographic point of view. The special direction of our project lies in the following:

  • We work with oral data.
  • We work with data collected on site (and which can capture and reproduce the immediate impressions of the space the describing person is in).
  • We take particular note of the textual character of the descriptions (sequence of descriptive elements, narrative sequences),
  • and we want to make sure that the results of the empirical analysis and visualization experiments regain entrance into the theoretical modelling of the permeation of experienced and physical space in terms of a “theoretical empiricism” (Hirschauer et al. 2008).

Project leadership: Noah Bubenhofer (TU Dresden), Curdin Derungs and Wolfgang Kesselheim

Funding source: URPP Language and Space

Interaction at markets in Istanbul and Zurich: a cross-cultural comparison of physical communication behavior and the utilization of spatial resources

In the course of a cross-cultural comparison of forms of interaction at the market in Istanbul (Great Basar, traditional vegetable market) and Zurich (Kanzlei flea market, different vegetable markets), the physical communication behavior of market visitors and vendors during the creation of interactional spaces shall be the focus of this study. Apart from focusing on the different modes of expression such as posture, gesticulation, or gaze, the analysis also sets the focus on the role of spatial resources: how are the interactants at these particular markets influenced by spatial resources during the creation of interactional spaces? Can specific cultural mannerisms be discerned in the use of body and space? Are there similarities? The theoretic-methodic starting point to answer these questions is formed by multimodal conversation analysis. The challenge of the project lies in the goal of researching seemingly obvious existing differences in physical communication behavior of two different cultures in a precise study. Thereby, different technical methods of analysis such as classical video analysis of interactional sequences, still frames of specific areas of the market, and the use of eyetracker-data of market visitors shall be utilized.

PhD project of Kenan Hochuli, doctoral student in the VideoLab

Starting date: 1.11.2014

Supervisors: Angelika Linke, Heiko Hausendorf

Funding source: URPP Language and Space

Cooperation with the Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, on the transcription of multimodal data

The research object of this cooperation is the common exchange of information connected to the transcription of multimodal data. An initial meeting took place in January 2015 in Mannheim.

Cooperation of the VideoLab (Wolfgang Kesselheim) and the IDS Mannheim (Thomas Schmitt)

Funding source: URPP Language and Space, IDS Mannheim

Online support for video-analytical seminars: how working with student-made video corpora can be effectively managed with the aid of digital platforms

Seminars on video analysis that include video corpora collected by students are face with the problem of being able to provide access to the material to the participants in such a way that they can be used for common discussion and analysis in the seminar. Experience gathered during courses offered by the VideoLab has shown that the learning platform OLAT is only useful to a limited extent: due to size restrictions, a chaos of links to external storage providers is created, obstructing the overview of the developing discussion of the data. Additionally, there is a lack of competence for an ‘online communication’ for the presentation of analytical observation in such a way that the connection to concrete video clips becomes comprehensible. This is where the collaboration between the VideoLab and the Team for Digital Teaching and Research begins.  In the courses offered by the VideoLab, we will put several platforms and tools designed for the use of video in teaching to test. At the same time, we will develop a handout that should facilitate the work with video corpora in online-supported teaching of lecturers and students.

Cooperation of the VideoLab (Wolfgang Kesselheim) and the Team for Digital Teaching and Research (Team für Digitale Lehre und Forshcung, DLF) of the Arts Faculty (Christian Schorno, Anita Holdener)

Funding source: URPP Language and Space, UZH DLF