[ISEA2019] Artists Statement: Winnie Yoe & Chenshan Gao – Smile, Please

Artists Statement

Arduino, button, digital print, lcd display, monitor polaroid, tens unit.Smile, Please is an interactive installation created in response to societal coercion of emotions and the prevalence of emotion AI.

Several events informed our perspective: Huge global deposit of emotion database collected by companies such as Affectiva. Impact of psychological warfare in tech as revealed by the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal. China’s social credit system. Against this backdrop, we created a smile evaluation and training system that uses a muscle sensor and a TENS unit to train participants to become a citizen of the preferred society, where they are guaranteed better future prospects. The only entry requirement is that they smile well enough.
Through an extreme approach, with reference to ideas from psychology and experience design, and devices from graphic design and theatre, we hope to shock our audience into thinking about the control and ownership of our emotions in the current societal and technological landscape.   chenshangao.com/Smile-Please    winnieyoe.com/smileplease

  • Winnie Yoe (b.1992, Hong Kong) works at the intersection of art, design, and technology to explore the social implications of technology, especially on topics pertaining boundaries and discomfort. She received her BA in Studio Art from Dartmouth College and is a graduate student at NYU ITP. She was awarded Honorable Mention in the International Sculpture Center Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award and was selected to participate in the Triangle Arts Workshop in New York. She is a recipient of the Tisch School of Arts Scholarship and the Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme.   winnieyoe.com
  • Chenshan Gao (b.1996, China) received her Bachelor of Science in Food Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. Prior to her time at NYU ITP, she has conducted extensive research related to food chemistry and food product development projects both in China and the United States.  www.chenshangao.com