Herwig Kopp:
The World Really Is…

Herwig Kopp comes to Alibis to share for the first time a little bit of his upcoming book Brains, Tropes & Narrative Interaction Design. The talk is based on reserach he did in his “irregular study plan” of Cognitive Neuroscience as well as within the Department of Neurophysiology at the Brain Research Institute in Vienna. It tells the story why a brain researcher ended up in Transmedia Storytelling.

Combining Neuroscience, Philosophy and Linguistics, Herwig makes the case that our making sense of the world is based on storytelling – not on an objective, fully accessible reality. We create our world through the poetic formation of concepts already on the sensory level, and communicate and post-stabilize our experience through the use of metaphors, which we both live by and decide with. This has all kinds of interesting implications. We must re-evaluate the role of imagination and language, and reconsider the meaning of deception – self-deception, habits, social conventions, propaganda, mass manipulation – as “a necessary consequence in a world we make up out of fragmented and incomplete stimuli”.

Herwig’s goal is to convince us to shift our world-view in just 30 minutes. This might require “a physical live experiment in experiencing the experience design of our neuronal system and looking behind the curtain”. We don’t exactly know what this entails, but in short, we’re taking last year’s Brain Sensor Story Hour to the next level!

About Herwig

Herwig Kopp is a story-game producer, speaker and researcher of decision-making processes, as well as a decision coach, author, interactive documentary filmmaker and social strategy consultant. He consults in and produces story-based games and transmedia storyworlds, and has a special focus on building bridges between Europe and the East (foremost China & Japan).

After studies in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Vienna as well as New Media Art and Conceptual Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, he worked in advertising and video production for some years before founding, in 2011, the transmedia start-up NORmALUM – Mixed Realities in Berlin.

Webpage. Blog.

Herwig Kopp

Daughter: Yes—and I know what non means. But what’s fingo?
Father: Well—fingo is a late Latin word for ”make”. It forms a verbal noun fictio from which we get the word ”fiction.” 
Daughter: Daddy, do you mean that Sir Isaac Newton thought that all hypotheses were just made up like stories?
Father: Yes—precisely that.
Daughter: But didn’t he discover gravity? With the apple? 
Father: No, dear. He invented it.
Gregory Bateson (1972) ”Metalogue: what is an instinct?” in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, New York: Ballantine Books, p. 48f