Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary


Perspectives on Digital Interactivity and Narrative in Performing Arts and VR

Digital Interactivity provides novel opportunities for narratives in performance art and VR productions. This means emerging artistic practices, opportunities for critical reflection, and a reconsideration of the roles of the author and the audiences as participants.

One aim of the conference is to investigate whether the format of VR will acquire a status comparable to film, performing arts and video games in the near future. We are planning to explore what kind of storytelling strategies and simulative spaces can be used in such immersive productions, and how much the audience will be able to and would want to engage with control over the narrative path.

Another aim of the conference is to explore how play and game can be interpreted as different types of performances within the genre of mixed-reality theatre and immersive theatre. In both cases, it is also important to focus more closely on how this immersive medium can handle the first person "audience" while co-creating the story with them, and how is this influencing the narrative mechanics.

We are also expecting papers that question the “empathy machine” myth that is mainly related to VR technologies, but which also haunts mixed reality productions. Focusing more on the different tactics and strategies to achieve empathy mechanics is important in order to point out whether the recipient empathizes with the creator of the work, rather than the subjects of the creation, as Fisher states[1]. But it is worth to challenge these strategies by more thoroughly analyzing how to create the sensation of reality and presence in order to engage the users or what kind of mechanics of persuasive game design are these productions using.

Immersion is one of the keywords used in defining new artistic and work environments, which refers to a feature of such environments that can enhance audiences’ perception of being transported somewhere „else”. Transdisciplinary creators are experimenting and making use of playfulness in their works by adapting video game mechanics and narrative design strategies, in order to create fully immersive environments. These environments can be analyzed on several levels: their overall aesthetics, their authorial affordances, from a design perspective, and as a consideration of the audience’s experience, especially, their engaging and empowering mechanisms and last but not least, as interactive narratives. Some possible perspectives (additional ones welcome) include Murray’s affordances and aesthetic qualities of the digital medium[2], Bogost’s procedural rhetoric[3], Kwastek’s “aesthetics of interactivity”[4], multi-sensorial experience atmospheres (based on Gernot Böhme's concept[5]), the trajectories offered by them (based on Benford-Giannachi’s concept[6]) or as interactive narrative systems (Koenitz, 2015)[7].

It is important and challenging to compare the design strategies of site-specific live arts productions with those of VR works, which also create the experience of full immersivity and presence for their users-turned-participants. For interactive VR-experiences, Jesse Damiani's taxonomy[8] can serve as a possible interpretation strategy that also applies to forms such augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality.

Conference themes:

  • Interactive storytelling methods
  • Interactive videos
  • Video games
  • Location-based technology (with augmented reality)
  • Virtual reality experiences&movies
  • Augmented reality in interactive storytelling
  • Games-based performing arts practices using new technology tools
  • Interactive Museum
  • Immersive environments (media archeology and phenomenological approach)

Regional relevance:

Besides the lack of financial sources especially in Central Eastern Europe, the artists who are willing to use new technology tools in a coherent manner can't find partners from the region as there is no platform for them. During the conference we are planning to enhance the researchers to form pilot projects as they get to know each other’s research and work. The overall event will raise the awareness of the artists&researchers based in the region regarding the importance of getting familiarized with each other, to form new regional collaborations, and also to create a regional lobby in cultural policy for this type of performance art. The Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest can offer a lively context for a conference that gathers professionals from different fields and it can also enrich the event’s program by presenting researchers from the university's curriculum.

Keynote speakers:

Mirko Stojkovic (SR) – University professor, dramaturg, The Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade.
Mirka Duijn (NL) - International Emmy Award winning filmmaker, interaction designer.
Hartmut Koenitz (DE-NL) – University Professor, HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.

Best Paper Award

If you'd like to be considered for the best paper award and also be considered for a presentation at International Conference of Interactive Digital Storytelling ( please send a full paper in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) format, available here.
(The conference will take place in Dublin, between 5-8 December, 2018)

Organised by:

Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest

Strategic partner:

Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Department of Film, Photography and Media

Supported by:

National Cultural Fund (NKA)

Consultant on behalf of ICIDS:

Hartmut Koenitz

[1]Joshua A Fisher. Empathic Actualities: Toward a Taxonomy of Empathy in Virtual Reality. In: Nunes N., Oakley I., Nisi V. (eds) Interactive Storytelling. ICIDS 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 10690. Springer, Cham, 2017

[2]Murray, J. (1998/2016 (new edition)). Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

[3]Bogost, I. (2007). Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

[4]Katja Kwastek, Aesthetic of Interaction in Digital Art, MIT Press, Cambridge-London, 2013

[5]Gernot Böhme. Atmosphere as the Fundamental Concept of a New Aesthetics. In Thesis Eleven, 1993, 36; 113. DOI 10.117/072551369303600107

[6]Steve Benford – Gabriella Giannachi. Performing Mixed Reality. 2011, MIT Press, Massachusetts

[7]Koenitz, H. (2015). Towards a Specific Theory of Interactive Digital Narrative. In H. Koenitz, G. Ferri, M. Haahr, D. Sezen, & T. I. Sezen (Eds.), Interactive Digital Narrative (pp. 91–105). New York: Routledge.

[8]Jesse Damiani. Virtual Reality vs. 360 Degree Video - Semantic Divide (Last seen: 24.04.2018,


Mirko Stojkovic (SR)

University professor, dramaturg,
The Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade

8 November
18.30 – 20.00

Moholy-Nagy University
of Art and Design
1111 Budapest Lajos u. 2.

Facebook Event

Mirko Stojkovic is Head of Dramaturgy Department and founder of the Interactive Arts Laboratory, with years of professional experience as copywriter, screenwriter, documentary filmmaker and game designer. A member of Serbian Screenwriter Association, SRN (Screenwriting research network) and IETM (International network for contemporary performing arts).

Selected works:

TV series "In the Net", screenwriter and director (Share Conference, Serbia 2017)

Video game "Vampire Legends: The True Story of Kisilova", writer (02d, Big Fish Games, USA 2013)

Pervasive games "Serb.I.Am", co-designer (London International Festival of Theatre, National Theatre, UK 2010)

Democratic opposition of Serbia political campaign ”Our Win, Everybody’s Gain", copywriter (DOS, Serbia 2000)

Mirka Duijn (NL)

International Emmy Award winning filmmaker, interaction designer

9 November
17.30 – 19.00

Moholy-Nagy University
of Art and Design
1111 Budapest Lajos u. 2.

Facebook Event

Mirka Duijn is a Dutch-Finnish filmmaker working and living in Amsterdam. She makes and produces documentary films, interactive-, and experimental projects.

Mirka Duijn started her career in 2003 at broadcasting station VPRO Digitaal / 3VOOR12 where she experimented with interactive and transmedia storytelling for web and TV. In 2008 she left the VPRO to focus on directing completely. Since then she has been working on various fiction, documentary, interactive and experimental projects. The interactive documentary Last Hijack Interactive (Femke Wolting, Tommy Pallotta) where she worked as an interactive director won an Emmy Award for Best Interactive Documentary in 2015. Her latest interactive documentary and podcast series De Industrie was launched in 2018 and is nominated for the Dutch Gouden Kalf. At the moment she is developing Shangri-La, Paradise under Construction, a film on the impact of tourism in Tibetan China.

Recent prizes:

Won International Digital EMMY® Award 2015, Prix Europa 2014, for Last Hijack Interactive. Interactive Director. W. Submarine, Femke Wolting & Tommy Pallotta.

Hartmut Koenitz (DE-NL)

University Professor, HKU University of the Arts Utrecht

10 November
17.30 – 19.00

Moholy-Nagy University
of Art and Design
1111 Budapest Lajos u. 2.

Facebook Event

Hartmut Koenitz is Professor of Interactive Narrative Design at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.Before coming to HKU University of the Arts utrecht, Hartmut Koenitz was an Assistant Professor in Mass Media Arts at the University of Georgia, researching Interactive Digital Narrative and Video Games. He is also an artist (his work was exhibited in Atlanta, Paris, Seoul, Istanbul and Copenhagen) and sometimes a car mechanic. His areas of interest center around new expressive forms using digital technology. This includes narrative in video games as well as interactive art pieces and installations. He is the creator of the authoring tool ASAPS. He has taught many classes connected to digital media, including interactive narrative, game programming, video production, and web design.

Selected publications:

Koenitz, H. (2018). What Game Narrative Are We Talking About? An Ontological Mapping of the Foundational Canon of Interactive Narrative Forms. Arts, 7(4), 51.

Koenitz, H. (2018). Narrative in Video Games. In Encyclopedia of Computer Graphics and Games (Vol. 1, pp. 1–9). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Koenitz, H., Ferri, G., Haahr, M., Sezen, D., & Sezen, T. I. (Eds.). (2015). Interactive Digital Narrative. History, Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge.

Koenitz, H. (2015). Design Approaches for Interactive Digital Narrative. In Interactive Storytelling (Vol. 9445, pp. 50–57). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Selected works:

Koenitz, H. (ELO 2017 Art Exhibition, Porto, Portugal) The Multiple Lives of Walter B. A Biographical Exploration. Digital Installation based on motifs from Walter Benjamin’s life. Porto, Portugal



Thursday, 8 November

  • 14.30 - 15.15
    Arrival, Registration
  • 15.15 - 15.30
    Ágnes Karolina Bakk & Natália Fábics
  • 15.30 - 15.45
    Ábel Szalontai, Head of Media Institute
  • 15.45 - 16.30
  • 16.30 - 16.50
    AR in Gaming
    Traditional Games in AR Environment. a Case Study of Treasure Hunt in Istanbul
    Okotur, Ferhan Egemen
  • 16.50 - 17.10
    AR in Gaming
    Utilization of Psychological Tools in Horror Game Design
    Kovács, Dorottya
  • 17.10 - 17.30
    AR in Gaming
    God, It's So Huge! – Vast Narratives in Pseudo-Evolutionary God Games
    Makai, Péter Kristóf
  • 17.30 - 17.50
  • 18.30 - 20.00
    Nano-spectacle: Procedural Writing in the Time of AI
    Mirko Stojkovic

Friday, 9 November

  • 9.50 - 10.10
    Modes of Spectatorship
    Through the window- Bringing Virtual Reality to the Web
    Muntean, Adela
  • 10.10 - 10.30
    Modes of Spectatorship
    Interactive storytelling methods; Interactive Museum
    Claisse, Caroline
  • 10.30 - 10.50
    Modes of Spectatorship
    Building experience using location - based storytelling
    Marczyk, Marcin
  • 10.50 - 11.10
  • 11.10 - 11.30
  • 11.30 - 11.50
    DEMO presentations
    The Third State of Mind. Archeology of Stereo Immersive Installation
    Bǎlǎnescu, Aura
  • 11.50 - 12.10
    DEMO presentations
    Memory as spatial hologram: an immersive 360° video series of remembrances of San Salvador’s historical center
    Aguilar, Jimena
  • 12.10 - 12.30
    DEMO presentations
    The perfect language
    Moon, Martina Zelenika
  • 12.30 - 12.50
    DEMO presentations
    The Incident
    Schalk, Sytze
  • 12.50 - 13.10
  • 13.10 - 14.50
  • 14.50 - 15.10
    Digitising Consciousness. The Digital U
    McErlean, Kelly
  • 15.10 - 15.30
    Phenomenology of the Representation of Destiny
    Nagy, Gabriella Ágnes
  • 15.30 - 15.50
  • 15.50 - 16.00
  • 16.00 - 17.15
    Roundtable discussion
    By StoryCode
  • 17.30 - 19.00
    Mirka Duijn

Saturday, 10 November

  • 9.30 - 9.50
    Theatre & Games
    Interactive Methods in Inclusive Theatre
    Karanovic, Dijana
  • 9.50 - 10.10
    Theatre & Games
    “The Long Way to the Stars”
    Uzunov, Dimitar
  • 10.10 - 10.30
    Theatre & Games
    Virtual Storytelling Through Time
    Semjonova, Marija & Novikova, Irina
  • 10.30 - 10.50
    Theatre & Games
    VR, theater and the audience – interactive performative VR. How do we perceive interactions on the border between virtual and physical environments
    Mirsky, Ilja
  • 10.50 - 11.10
  • 11.10 - 11.50
  • 11.50 - 12.10
    VR & Film
    Self-construct mechanisms in the context of the immersive Virtual Reality
    Georgieva, Iva
  • 12.10 - 12.30
    VR & Film
    Towards the Artificial Experience. Interactive Fiction in Cinematic Virtual Reality
    Reyes, Maria Cecilia
  • 12.50 - 13.10
    VR & Film
    Tales of the Aswang
    Villanueva, Paolo
  • 13.10 - 13.30
  • 13.30 - 14.30
  • 14.30 - 14.50
    Environments and engagements
    Playfulness in interactive art systems. an empirical study for the creative development of Underneath the skin another skin
    Reis, Patrícia J.
  • 14.50 - 15.10
    Environments and engagements
    Designing Hybrid Spaces
    Etentuk, Udeme & Püspök, Balázs
  • 15.10 - 15.30
    Environments and engagements
    The Design of Time
    Gálosi, Adrienne
  • 15.30 - 15.50
  • 15.50 - 17.30
  • 17.30 - 19.00
    Hartmut Koenitz


The Media Institute and the Doctoral School of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design

Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME) is one of the most significant European institutions of visual culture due to its traditions and intellectual background. In its effort to visualize its professional concepts MOME compounds its own character and traditions with the most up-to-date trends. Its educational structure comprises architecture, design, media, as well as theory. Therefore, MOME has a great international potential considering its broad field of education and synthesis of students. The three-cycle study structure (BA/MA/DLA) provides adequate flexibility and mobility for its students. MOME’s definite ambition is to further broaden its international relations. It welcomes every professional co-operation which inspires its educational and artistic work. MOME on the one hand is a university which educates professional designers, and on the other hand an intellectual workshop with the aim of setting up creative process in order to enhance design consciousness in Hungary.


Natália FÁBICS is a film historian and has been a lecturer at the Media Institute of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME, Hungary) since 2011. In her research she specialises in film festival studies and contemporary global cinema from an intercultural studies perspective. She has finished her studies at the Film, Media and Contemporary Culture PhD program of Eötvös Lóránd University, Budapest (ELTE, Hungary), and is currently working on her dissertation: The Perception of Contemporary East Asian Cinema at European and North American Film Festivals and in Art-house Cinemas. Prior to that she studied English Language and Literature, Media and Film Theory, Sociology at ELTE; she holds an MA in Film Studies, and BA degrees in English, Public Relations, Media Studies, as well as in Film and Media Theory. Previously and in parallel with teaching, she has been a communication and media consultant since 1996, recently focusing on cultural communication.

Main organizer:

Ágnes Karolina BAKK / Zip-Scene (1986) graduated from Theatre Studies and Hungarian-Finnish Department at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, later acquired her MA degree in Theatre Studies from Károli Gáspár University, Budapest. In 2015 she was member of the organizing committee of IETM Budapest meeting responsible for the new technology sessions. She is the founder of the performing arts&new technologies blog: and is currently a PhD student at Moholy-Nagy Art and Design University in Budapest. She is currently a member of the research project Rethinking Intermediality in Contemporary Cinema: Changing Forms of In-Betweenness led by Ágnes Pethő (Sapientia University, Cluj) and organizer of the Zip-Scene Conference on immersive storytelling (8-10 November, Budapest). Her latest publication: How Interactivity is Changing in Immersive Performances. In: Interactive Storytelling. ICIDS 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10690. Cham, Springer. Currently she is also a fellow of National Excellency program 2018-2019.

Design by:

Katinka CSENGE



We also recommend booking on Airbnb.


On weekdays between 8-15 the university canteen is open. You can also find here vegan, vegetarian and street food options. It has two, one for the street food bar and other for several opter options

Nearby on Bartók Béla street you can find many bistros and restaurants:

  • Vegan Love (vegan burgers, etc.)
    Bartók Béla str. 9
  • Kelet Café (café, bar, bistro)
    Bartók Béla str. 23
  • Szatyor Bár (café, daily menu, bar)
    Bartók Béla str. 36


Coming from the airport you have two options:

  1. Take bus no. 100 (1000 HUF, paid in the bus). You can get out at Kálvin Square and then take the metro no 4. towards Kelenföld and you can get out at Gellért Square. From here a 5 minutes walk is required to reach the university building.
  2. Take bus no. 200 (local transport tickets (single ride or 24-hour, weekly, etc.) are accepted. You can get out at the endstation of the bus, Kőbánya Kispest. Here take the metro no. 3 to Kálvin Square and then take the metro no 4. towards Kelenföld and you can get out at Gellért Square. From here a 5 minutes walk is required to reach the university building.

If you wish to commute by the local city transport we recommend you the following options:

  1. Buying a 10-ticket package, 3000 HUF (in case if you do not wish to commute many times) (
  2. Buying a 3-days ticket, 4150 HUF (valid for all public transport in the city, except for ships D-11 or D-12 in the weekends) (
  3. A single ticket costs 350 HUF
  4. You can buy these at any BKK Ticket vending machines or ticket counters. The vending machines can be found at most of the stations (link) (including at Budapest Ferihegy Airport) but some stations don't have ticket counters. We would strongly recommend to use bank cards at the vending machines.


Nemzeti Kulturális Alap (National Cultural Fund)

Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania
(In the frame of the Exploratory Research Project - Rethinking Intermediality in Contemporary Cinema: Changing Forms of In-Betweenness. Code: PN-III-ID-PCE-2016-0418 funded by the UEFISCDI (Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation), 2017- 2019)

StoryCode Warsaw

StoryCode Budapest

ÚNKP-18-3-I-MOME-5 New National Excellence Program of the Ministry of Human Capacities