FEEL:CHAMELEON: An emotional algorithm video installation

Art & Direction : Tina Gonsalves
Neuroscience: Dr Hugo Critchley, Dr Chris Frith
Computer Science: Tina Gonsalves, David Muth
Images: Karolinska emotion expression database

Our mental life is about interacting with others. In daily encounters, people automatically and continuously synchronize with the facial expressions, voices, postures, movements of others. Some happen in milli-seconds. Through unconscious mimicry, we forge a bond with each other through our gestures and movements - long before we utter a word. In essence, we are carriers, dancing with each other in harmonized body language, infecting each other with our emotions. Through these behavioural patterns, hierarchical and social power structures emerge. “Feel_Chameleon” highlights how, through contagion and empathy, our representation of the world become aligned with those with whom we are interacting. Using ‘emotional algorithms’ based on affective neuroscience studies, the piece demonstrates how we often have the uncanny ability to decode and predict the beliefs, goals and feelings of others. Each figure dispalys an emotion, which is met with the appropriate corresponding emotion. The figures move through a range of emotionals responses, often becoming immersed in sadness or anger. Over time, the figures learn to create an emtional homeostasis, resulting in calmness.

FEEL_CHAMELEON emerges from an established Art/Science research collaboration between neuroscientist Dr Hugo Critchley and artist Tina Gonsalves, and was created over her artist in residency at the Institute of Neurology at UCL, London.