Emotional Polarity: Cardioid

James Dooley and Matthew DF Evans

7 February – 15 February 2020, 12-5

Technologies in the form of social media platforms and artificial intelligence are changing the way in which we establish meaningful connections. Our relationships are increasingly developed and maintained through digital technologies, started and ended in the form of pixels and alphanumeric data, cultivated by an interdependent web of algorithms many of us have no control over. Taking its name from the heart-shaped microphone polar pattern, Emotional Polarity: Cardioid sees artists James Dooley and Matthew DF Evans present three new works using ubiquitous and developing technologies to explore how we are able to feel, generate and communicate love.

Feeling Loved (James Dooley and Matthew DF Evans) is an interactive sonification installation that translates photographic representations of love into a physical sensation. After an open call for members of the public to send in images that they feel exemplify love, the pixel data of these images has been spectrographically scanned and mapped to sound.  The resulting sonic output is turned into haptic feedback via the use of a SUBPAC, a tactile audio system that heightens the physical dimension of sound. By translating a digital image to sound, can we feel love?

In 120215 // 290417 , Matthew DF Evans has developed an audio installation charting the journey of two people from being strangers to becoming husband and wife. Over 19 percent of marriages began with a first meeting online, including Evans’s first communication with his wife in 2015. The work explores the couple’s shift from the digital world into the corporeal.

It was revealed in March 2018 that Cambridge Analytica had exploited Facebook to harvest millions of user’s profiles. This data was used to target users during the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum. People’s online identities were commodified; people’s emotions were commodified. In James Dooley’s Emotional Exchange posts containing the keyword “emotion” are scraped from Twitter. A receipt printer splutters out information about each tweet’s “Emotional Index”, as well as retweets in real-time. Replicating the ticker tape from a stock ticker, the earliest electrical dedicated financial communications medium, we are reminded of how social media platforms encourage us to share personal data and how these online actions are visible and transmittable to everybody with relative ease.

Opening 6-8pm, Digbeth First Friday 7/02/2020

Continues to 15/02, open Thu-Sat 12-5pm.