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In a dark place are multi-layered artistic projects grounded on unpleasant aesthetics, emotions and artificial intelligence. Based on the established emotions classification models, such as the circumplex model of affect first conceived by psychologist James Russell, I focusing on the unpleasant’s negative valance spectrum.


Exhibit a

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Sonic feelings is an experiment using tracking technology to capture the reaction of visitors towards different types of audio files. The reactions are taken and processed using Visage Technology (a facial tracking application using Artificial intelligence). The reaction face tracking experiment will capture participants facial expressions while listening to audio designed to create a particular emotional reaction. All participants will be exposed to a conditioning stimulus that variates according to the chosen audio. One is meant to provoke a positive (pleasant) reaction and the other two will cause a negative (unpleasant) reaction. The participants will choose one without knowing which audio they will receive. The audios are based on recordings during the residency (from the church bells to my stomach struggling with possible infection) along with sound effects, music and other sonic experimentations. The design of the audios is supported by psychoacoustics theory, misophonia, audio in films, sound illusion effects and more.  



Exhibit b


The Uncanny model is an image StyleGan2 model trained using images that represent or are known to provoke unpleasant feelings, which cause fear, disgust, sadness, anger, and stress (the negative valance spectrum of emotions). First, the model picks up the common traits of what we understand as visually unpleasant. Then, the images are generated by attempting to conceptualise the aesthetics.  The result is an AI agent that can create novel images that are uncanny, unsettling and unpleasant.

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