A collaborative project discovering transpositional sensorial experiences, specificly the cross-border networking of people between virtual and real space


The interdisciplinary and experimental joint project of the University of Art and Design Linz , Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre focuses on the cross-border networking of people between virtual and real space. An encounter between two people takes place at different locations. Tactile, visual and auditory sensory perception are separated and therefore amplified in order to initiate an encounter. By means of an avatar, the user in virtual reality is able to interact with the person in the real space. In return, the person in the real space is able to perceive the other person with tactile and auditory senses. Emotionless and distant encounters on a virtual level are experienced in a new way.

In our experiment, one person is in a virtual reality (VR) installation, the other person is in a dark room equipped with a vest with vibration motors, compass and controller. The person in the dark room is represented as an avatar in the VR installation. The position and orientation of the avatar corresponds to the position of the person in the dark room. The person in the VR installation can interact with the avatar and touch it by means of a 3 degree of freedom input device. By touching the avatar tactile feedback in the vibration vest is triggered at the contact points, while every single touch gives visual feedback on the avatar. Spatial audio in the dark room supports the representation of the proximity of the two people.




Dark room

We created a vest in triangular form with rayon and gray felt as materials with a red network pattern applied and added an elastic belt. The vest is equipped with 16 motors along the spine, shoulders, and arms for experiencing hits, bumps and touches initiated by the user in the VR installation.
In our weareable-design we played with the exciting contrast of cool, emotionless technology and warm, emotional materials like fabric. This idea represents our basic concept, where we combine human encounter, human proximity and thus warmness with functionality and cool technology.

The spatial audio system sonifies distance, velocity and contacts from the user in the VR installation. The main concern of the sound design resides in not loosing semiotic links: actions, like the hit or bump, need to be understandable acoustically without transporting the user to other mental places, suggesting other different actions out of context.

VR Installation

The virtual world of Senseparation is the counterpart to the dark room. It is run on a VR installation and communicates via network with the devices in the dark room. We opted for the virtual space as the interface of the encounter to achieve a higher degree of immersion and thus achieve an intensification of the encounter. The design of the avatar leaves enough space to imagine the real person behind it. It is a pleasant and not scary counterpart. Inspired by existing projects we choose a visualization consisting of cubes which convert into a human silhouette when the two people come closer to each other. A low proximity between the two people leads to a whirlwind-like distribution of the cubes.

Upcoming Exhibitions


When: during the ab|art exhibition
03-06 July

03 July: 19-19.50 & 20-20:50 h
04 July: 15-15:50 h
05 July: 15-15:50 h
06 July: 17-17:50 & 18-18:50 h

Where: Mohr-Villa Remise
Situlistraße 75 - 80939 Munich


When: during the ARS Electronica Festival
04-08 September
Where: "Raumschiff" artspace at main square
and „Strafsachen“, part of the former tax office.


Senseparation is an interdisciplinary project of the University of Art and Design Linz (UfG), Ludwig- Maximilians-University Munich (LMU) and the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ), in collaboration with participants from the Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU) and the Technical University Munich (TUM).

Project Lead

Christoph Anthes
Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany, and
Leibniz Supercomputing Centre

Marlene Brandstaetter
University of Art and Design Linz, Austria

Karin Guminski
Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany

Garment Design

Tomi Stevenson (LMU), Franziska Tachtler (LMU), Eva-Maria Scheer (LMU), Rico Sperl (LMU), Nathan Guo (UfG), Paulina Rauwolf (LMU), Nelson Heinemann (LMU), Bernhard Slawik (LMU), Karin Guminski (LMU)

Garment Electronics

Bernhard Slawik (LMU), Franziska Tachtler (LMU), Rico Sperl (LMU), Nathan Guo (UfG), Paulina Rauwolf (LMU)

Sound System and Design

César Escudero Andaluz (UfG), Jure Fingust (UfG), Rico Sperl (LMU), Ulrich Brandstaetter (JKU)

VR Implementation

Felix Manke (LMU), Tibor Golschwendt (LMU), Oleg Maltsev (TUM), Christoph Anthes (LRZ/LMU)

Camera Tracking

Idil Kizoglu (UfG), Martin Nadal (UfG), and Kim Hyeonjin (UfG)

Communication Server

Ivan Petkov (UfG) and Marlene Brandstaetter (UfG)

Visual Design

Karol Kagan (UfG), Inga Bunduche (UfG), David Braune (LRZ), Michael Kaesdorf (LMU), Natascha Singer (LMU)

Virtual Environments

Michael Kaesdorf (LMU), Natascha Singer (LMU)

Video Production

Tomi Stevenson (LMU), Natascha Singer (LMU), César Escudero Andaluz (UfG)

Discussion and Concept

All the previous and Chiara Esposito (UfG), Felix Hollegger (LMU), Beat Rossmy (LMU), Lisa Kaesdorf (LMU)

Special thanks to:

Ulrich Brandstätter (JKU Linz) - Spatial Audio System
Bernhard Slawik (LMU München) - Garment Electronics and Programming
Oleg Maltsev (TUM München) - Virtual Environment Avatar

Univ. Ass. Marlene Brandstätter - Abteilung für Interface Cultures - Universität für künstlerische und industrielle Gestaltung - Kollegiumgasse 2 - 4010 Linz - +43 732 7898 - 484 - marlene.brandstaetter(at) -

Dr. techn. Christoph Anthes - Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (LRZ) - der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften - Boltzmannstraße 1 - D-85748 Garching bei München - +49- 89-35831-8744 - anthes(at) -

Dr. Karin Guminski - Studiengangsleitung BA Kunst und Multimedia - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität - Institut für Kunstpädagogik - Leopoldstr. 13 - 80802 München - Tel 089 2180 3003 - karin.guminski(at) -

Realization Website: Natascha Singer