post exhibition at the ICA

April 28th, 2008

All of the sudden it seems, we are preparing for an exhibition at the ICA, London – opening may 6th. The promo material needs to be written by midday – the work needs to be finalised. I have a big day with Evan Raskob, the programmer/interactive designer working on Chameleon to try and make the most of the prototypes we are exhibiting. Last we week we sat down with Chris Frith, the social neuroscientist on the project, and tried to flesh out the emotional algorithms. Its working better, but I feel there is still an issue with pacing/dynamic and also the aesthetic of the work. Hopefully by 5pm today – we will both be happy.

We are showing two version –  each effects each others emotional states. As each figure emits each emotional state, a live scour of the internet (live chat rooms) searching for statements that relate to the emotion they are feeling. It then transposes the text from live chat site to contextualise the emotional state. For example, if the figure feels sad, the project displays a sad portrait while at the same time transposing live text of someone writing about sadness in internet chat rooms. The conversation is always on the threshold of making sense.

We are using the API of We are looking to a database of   a “live” snapshot of the last 1500 or so feelings from – there are over 5000 different relating to a range of emotions – they are sourced from live chat rooms , etc. We are transposing these ‘thoughts’ on the faces.  Its quite an intriguing story that reveals and a quite like the way we are desperately searching for meaning all the time.

The other prototype looks at emotional contagion in groups. The emotion of the group is constantly shifting, but occasionally through group cohesively comes together in bouts of happiness,etc. Evan is writing a code that you can text and emotion to the group, which effects the social dynamic of the group. Quite nice for the social space it is being exhibited in. Anyway, we shall see how it all pans out today. Hopefully I will get two full days with evan this week, as I am feeling a bit apprehensive about it all.




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