Sagacity – Periodic Table of Emotions

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Over the last 2 years I have been working with DCA and Nick Taylor from Dundee University on a public health project co-ordinated with New Media Scotland. Project Ginsberg was initiated as an arts programme exploring methods of non medical intervention for those at risk of using the Health Services due to Mental Health issues.
There are many systems which monitor or track moods, or wellbeing or happiness indices – strangely none seem to use emotions as the basis of this. Sagacity does. Indeed Emotions are at the heart of our approach. If you ask someone how they are you generally get an answer of “good’ ‘Happy’ or ‘sad’ – binaries which are not very useful really. By producing a periodic table of emotions I have attempted to broaden our emotional lexicon and deepen our emotional intelligence.
The periodic table of emotions exists as a digital verion which illustrates the current mood of Dundee through sentiment analysis of twitter and local newspapers. It is a dynamic visualisation of the city right now.

Cities can be seen to have an organic nature which is constructed from the composite interaction of individuals and environments. These interactions form a system that is constantly responding to thousands of events and actions of all scales. These may be both perceived and imperceptible, with most of them generating temporary or persistent stimuli that may enhance or depress our attitude. All the constructed physical aspects of the city contribute to the development of this attitude with elements such as urban design having a profound effect (hard landscaping vs soft landscaping – brick walls vs flowers and parks). However not all people may feel ‘enfranchised’ by this environment – feeling as if they can influence positive change as part of a responsive action process. We commonly talk about the mood of a city – but what can we – or more specifically, I – do as an individual improve that mood ?
There are many software tools available that aim to support individuals to measure and define their mood and to represent this in ways that might symbolically or graphically allow better self-awareness and insight, but nothing that enables a city to do this. For this proposal we have taken the aspirations represented by Project Ginsberg and constructed a project that will research and develop methods through which these mood assessment processes could be developed to define and influence the mood of an entire city.

This is a live responsive installation – it has been shown at exhibitions, conferences, training days, festivals and in the public realm. If you would like to host the installation please contact me.

Following on from the digital version of Sagacity DCA in partnership have printed a Limited Edition version of the Periodic Table of Emotions.
Edition of 118
Sixe 72cm x 111.5 cm.
Archival Pigment on Hahnemuhle Photorag 308gsm
Cost – £132 including VAT
Available from Dundee Contemporary Arts

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Aidan Moesby Written by: