The emotionally charged exhibition used wearable tech to recognize more than just great ideas.
A great piece of film will always elicit an emotional response, be it joy, discomfort, laughter, or a touch of melancholy. We’ve seen the trend in advertising, wherein brands are going right for the cockles of the heart with emotionally rich stories. But unless you shed a tear or break out in laughter, it’s hard for an outsider to know what you’re really feeling.
Saatchi & Saatchi tapped into those inner emotions with its New Directors Showcase—an annual selection of the best new directing talent that’s presented at Cannes—which it called Feel the Reel. Along with showing films, the NDS is famous for the accompanying grand theatrical piece. This year, the global agency network tapped wearable technology to mine individual emotional reactions to the work and visualize it for all to see. In short, if one of the 18 filmmakers’ films made you cry, it was visualized through a bracelet that changed color with your emotions.
“We literally monitored people’s individual reactions to what they were watching and not in a way that they can control,” says Andy Gulliman, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Film and Content Director and the curator of this year’s reel. “We’ve monitored their body and how their natural emotions react. We then created data from that, which gave us a response to what they’re watching. So if the brain is thinking that you’re going to cry, then that light comes on.”
There are only a handful of places where you can see a sunset on the water here on the East Coast. I mean, after all, the sun sets in the West. (This is regionalism at its most offensive.) Our options? A few islands off the coast and parts of Cape Cod.
Thank goodness, then, for artist and developer Joseph Gray, who has created a pretty facsimile for those of us who don’t have access to a shimmering, watery sunset. Infinite Sunset is his answer. Composed of a few simple horizontal bars of colors, including warm yellows and reds and blues, it evokes the appearance of a sunset seascape. The colors are chosen from an automated Google Image Search for the term “sunset,” which is then parsed for its color palette and presented on your screen. (Take that, California!)
Air-conditioning units are like the acne of apartment buildings. But not only are they ugly; they also demand quite a bit of electricity, which too often results in the burning of fossil fuels. In order to highlight the issue, one artist decided to make AC units unavoidable—by placing 45 of them in the bustling Serbian capital of Belgrade, where people couldn’t help but look.
"Some people got angry, because I put all this trash in the middle of the pedestrian area," she wrote. "Some people liked it, because you could chill out inside like in a little shelter and smoke or drink. Some others started a discussion about climate change on a Serbian blog. That’s why I love to work in public space, because you get an immediate response from passersby."
Finnish artist Jani Leinonen has set up a Hunger King installation in Budapest that draws attention to Hungary’s conflicting policies toward the rich and the poor. Visitors choose between getting in “rich” or “poor” lines, with signage on either side revealing stats about inequality in taxes and education opportunities, fines for vagrancy, and other points. The first 50 people in the “poor” line each day are greeted with a clamshell burger box holding the equivalent of about $15, the daily minimum wage in Budapest. Visitors to the “rich” line get a fake burger and fake fries, and an appeal toward activism.
"I felt like digitally I was already being exposed, and physically, I just felt like that was a apart of the statement," Chen says. "While wearing it, just the amount of activity that happened made me realize how much it was showing off."
In her series “Sound Form Wave,” Ukrainian designer Anna Marinenko draws a fresh comparison between visualized sound waves and jaggedly oscillating patterns in our natural environments. Mountain ranges, cityscapes, far-off tree lines, jet streams, and speedboat wakes are juxtaposed with graphics that reconsider their shapes as sound frequencies. The effect is at first beautiful—because the images blend so well. And then, as your eye adjusts, the effect is slightly jarring.
In “Above L.A.,” a new time-lapse short by filmmaker Chris Pritchard, we’re offered a rare bird’s-eye view of the City of Angels. Pritchard, a high-res time-lapse specialist, calls it a “love letter to Los Angeles.”
Just in time for the World Cup, the UK-based artist has transformed this waste into an eye-catching photo series, called Penalty, which aims to raise awareness about marine plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Arranged against black, the colorful, sea-gnarled balls resemble galaxies of waste. Viewed abstractly, the images are simply beautiful. But they take on a more sinister aspect when you realize they represent just a tiny fraction of the pollution clogging our oceans.
On Tuesday morning, at Manhattan’s American Museum of Natural History, Harvard Professor and CEO of Vapor Communications, David Edwards, will hit the ‘send’ button on his iPhone, and an email photograph tagged with the quintessential smell of New York — Pizza? The halal food trucks on 6th Avenue? The stench of horse piss on Central Park South? — will be delivered to a colleague in Paris, completing the first ever TransAtlantic transmission of a scent message.
The message, called an oNote, will be composed via an iPhone application called oSnap, soon to be available for free download in the Apple App store.