“Shared Senses: Intimacy Data Symphony” presented by Lancel and Maat


Session Title:

  • Augmented Feelings & Artificial Environment

Presentation Title:

  • Shared Senses: Intimacy Data Symphony




  • How does an Artificial Emotional (AE) kiss feel? Can AI/AE support an intimate kiss?

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) increasingly shapes human empathic interaction. AI systems applied to Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) for mining and interpreting biofeedback data of social behavior, focus on automatization, categorization, patterns, and prediction. Design for sharing intimate, empathic relations, however, demands a new Artificially Emotional (AE) design approach. In interdisciplinary collaboration (art, design, technology, science, society), art-science duo Lancel/Maat fundamentally rethink AI/AE concepts and ethical design of mirroring empathy (Freedberg & Gallese 2007) in future neural networks. In live experiments and dialogue with public participants, biofeedback-data are interpreted in new ways, building on artistic and scientific insights, visual data-patterns, data-sonification, shared participants interaction – leading to video-works, prints, publications (Lancel et al. 2019).

    The poetic ritual and performance-installation Kissing Data proposes an AE/ BCI mediated multi-sensory syntheses of intimate touch, essential to empathy, well-being, and social resilience. People are invited as Kissers or Spectators to experience a shared kiss. While kissing, Kissers’ brainwaves are measured with Multi-BCI E.E.G. headsets. Real-time, their streaming E.E.G.-data-visualizations encircle them in a floor projection. Simultaneously, the Spectators’ brainwaves are measured (their neurons mirroring the activity of intimate kissing movements, resonating in their imagination). Both Kissers’ and Spectators’ data co-create an immersive visual, reflexive data scape, translated to an algorithm for a soundscape: a Kissing Data Symphony. Printed data-visualizations are exhibited as Portraits of a Kiss.
    Participants can share kissing or caressing each others’ faces. The artists thank Mondriaan Fund; Delft University of Technology; STEIM Amsterdam/ Tijs Ham (sound); Waag Society Amsterdam ‘Hack the Brain’ Horizon2020 European Union Programme; RIXC-Riga; TASML artists-residency Tsinghua University Beijing; TU Twente; Universities of Amsterdam, Vienna; TNO/NWO Netherlands Scientific Research; Baltan Laboratories, Fourtress, Holst Center and Phillips Eindhoven; Eagle Science Amsterdam; EMAP-EMARE Creative-Europe Programme.