Affective Induction Spa: Experiments in Programmed Emotions

 

How are you feeling today?

Is it possible to bypass the unpredictability of art and aesthetics, and program emotions directly into your brain through science?   How much do we want to be quantified selves?   And how reducible are we, flesh and neurons, to measurements?  This is a performance piece in which neuroscience and art converge to question the thresholds between the mind, body, aesthetics and emotional experiences.

Together with a group of friends – scientists, designers, engineers, and artists from MIT- we found an art collective called the HOTMILKS Foundation. The collective organized a series of participatory performances in Museum of Fine Art in Boston from  2016 - 2017.   In this commissioned piece by the museum,  we imagined an Affective Induction Spa- the future of Art, where we used findings from science to induce emotional experiences of pleasure and happiness directly into the participants.

6-8 min performance
Bone conduction sound massage, placebo pills, tickle fan, wax chair, light strobes with vibrated hands and touches
Dimension variable
Piece commissioned by the Boston MFA
Collaborative work with #hotmilksfoundation: Adam Horowitz, Nicole L'ullier, Xin Liu, Gershon Dublon, Rebecca Kleinberger, Akito, Sands Fish, and Rainar Aasrand, a range of support from different MIT laboratories. 

 

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