post exhibition of the initial stages of CHAMELEON at the ICA, London

May 13th, 2008

Filed under: CHAMELEON PROJECT — Tina @ 6:15 pm

I am in London working on the Synapse Residency Award by the Australian Network for Art and Technology. While in London, i am exhibiting work in progress of the Chameleon Project  - a moving image investigation of emotional contagion.

After setting the date for the ICA exhibition (which was the 6th May), sending out promotional emails etc, they have realised that their new shiny walls do not work with projections, so they are now redecorating…I did mention last week that it could be an issue. It is supposed to open this week, but all feels a little disorganized. They did set it up for the night of the meeting last week, and we are organising the next implementation.

We are exhibiting two works :

Chameleon Phase 1 – Experiments in emotional contagion

Artist, Tina Gonsalves is working with scientists and cultural producers, to explore the  CHAMELEON project, an artwork about the interplay of emotional contagion. Over two weeks, visitors to the ICA bar can both view and interact with some of the initial experiments of a two-year investigation. 

Chameleon experiment one, explores the intimate communication between a couple. They interact with each other via ‘emotional algorithms’ informed by neuroscientific research of how we read and respond to emotional states. The couple become caught in an uncontrollable array of emotional dramas, sporadically attempting to resolve them. Simultaneously, a search of the web automatically captures and transposes recent posts about emotions that relate to how the man and woman are feeling. The text contextualizes the emotional expression, and poetically highlights how often, in intense emotional states, we are always on the threshold of making sense, and searching for meaning. 


Chameleon experiment two, explores the ever-shifting emotions of a social group. Twelve people socialize together. The emotional feelings of each individual constantly infect the emotional state of the group, often causes the group into destructive loops of emotions. Over time behavioural patterns, hierarchical and social power structures emerge as they constantly search for an emotional homeostasis.  Additionally, the audience can SMS an emotion to disrupt, or aid the emotional solidarity of the group.
SMS  an emotion to the whole group (“happy”, “sad”, “surprised”, “disgusted”, “angry” and “neutral”). Alternatively, choose a single face (1 to 12). Text your number plus the emotion – For example, “sad 12”, makes the figure on the bottom right sad. You can do this remotely or at the ICA bar.
The number to text is:  07811 101090



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