Chameleon Introduction

Chameleon – Interactive installations and events examining group behaviour and consensus

Tina Gonsalves: (artist, director and producer): honorary artist in residence at the Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience
(WDIN) and ‘visiting artist’ at the Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, (MIT)

Prof Hugo Critchley: (Chair of Psychiatry at Brighton Sussex Medical School) neuroscientific mentor and external supervisor

Prof Chris Frith: (Social Neuroscientist, Wellcome Trust Department for Neuroimaging) neuroscientific mentor

Prof Rosalind Picard: (Director of Affective Computing Group at the Media Lab, MIT) will act as affective computing mentor for
the project.

Dr Rana El Kaliouby: (Affective Computing Group, MIT) engineering

Helen Sloan: (Director SCAN media arts agency) curator

Various programmers: Evan Raskob, Christian Topfner, Youssef Abdallah

Project length : 24 months (January 2008 – December 2009). Work available to tour through this period and 2010.

Why is it that one person can have the ability to make a previously up beat social group feel glum? CHAMELEON merges art, neuroscience and technology into a poetic interactive video art installation driven by emotions of the audience. The project investigates emotional contagion, highlighting how we innately and continuously synchronize with the facial expressions, voices, postures of others, unconsciously infecting each other with our emotions.

With Chameleon, individuals become intimately connected and implicated into varying emotional provocative and reflexive social interactions. The work uses mind reading technology, video and emotional algorithms to assess and respond to the emotional states of the audience. For the audience, the piece reveals the delicate nature of how our emotional state constantly shifts how we make sense of our
external and internal world.
For the artist, the project conceptually emphasizes how art experiences can allow participants a conduit to explore their own vulnerability, and in doing so, reveal and share emotions, creating more intimate interactions. It organically leads on, and extends from the artist’s earlier projects (MEDULLA INTIMATA 2004/TRYST 2005-2010), wearable and mobile art projects that exposed the emotions of the wearer, and also FEEL SERIES (2006/2007), a range of video installation work that tracked and entrained the emotions of the wearer

To understand the complex nature of CHAMELEON, the work is being built in key stages, with each stage being exhibited and evaluated, in order to understand the following stage.

Chameleon has been supported by the Large Art Award at the Wellcome Trust, the Australian Network
for Art and Technology Synapse Residency and Arts Council England.

Background: For a decade, Gonsalves has explored the intimacies and vulnerabilities of human emotions, creating many short-
films, mixed media and installation works. Rich, painterly abstractions evoke intimate associations with personal space, supernatural forces, and intense emotional experiences. Her work has exhibited/screened extensively, including The Australian Centre For
Photography, Sydney; Barbican, London; Pompidou Centre, Paris and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.
Over the last few years her work has investigated the intersections of art, technology and science. Gonsalves is currently working with world-leaders in psychology, emotion and social neuroscience and emotion computing in order to research and produce moving image artworks that respond to your emotions. Some artworks respond to your pulse, your sweat, your voice and your emotional expressions. Most recently she has been awarded the prestigous Wellcome Trust Large Art Award and the ANAT residency Award to produce “CHAMELEON”, a mind reading art project that highlights awareness of our inner selves, as well as our innate tendency to synchronise and connect with others.
Over the last ten years she has been awarded numerous Artist in Residence programs including The Banff New Media Institute in
Canada, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, Asialink Residency in Bangkok, Thailand, (Pro)duction residency at Artsway,
Southern UK, the Advanced Institute of Media Arts and Sciences residency in Japan and Arts Council England’s International
Fellowship based in London. She is currently honorary artist in resident at the Institute of Neurology at UCL in London, visit-
ing artist at the Media Lab at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, USA. Her short films have been screened at
many prestigious international and national festivals and events, and her music videos for labels Universal, BMG, EMI, and Festival
Mushroom Records have been frequently televised worldwide.

Funded by:

Supported by:

Chameleon Images
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