[ISEA2011] Panel: Bar­bara Rauch (moderator) – Emotion Studies in a Contemporary Art Debate

Panel Statement

Chair Per­son: Bar­bara Rauch
Pre­sen­ters: Dee Hi­b­bert-Jones, Heather Kap­plow, Mark Palmer, Semi Ryu, Kristin Stran­sky Mallinger & Joan Truck­en­brod

With­out doubt emo­tions are evolv­ing as they are in­flu­enced by cul­ture, con­text and be­hav­iour. David Mat­sumoto (2007) elu­ci­dates these three in­flu­ences on human emo­tion. West­ern and East­ern so­ci­eties have wit­nessed change with the use of new tech­nolo­gies. Will our abil­ity to read emo­tional ex­pres­sions slowly change with the new com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems? Might peo­ple soon no longer be able to read fa­cial ex­pres­sions? With the loss of the abil­ity to read an emo­tion might come too the loss of the ex­pe­ri­ence it­self?  Steven Pinker (2002, p.40) stresses that emo­tions and be­hav­iour al­ways rep­re­sent an “in­ter­nal strug­gle”. It is not merely cul­ture and so­ci­ety that di­rects human be­hav­iour, but the mind has an in­nate sys­tem that gen­er­ates end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties to choose from.  Emo­tions and feel­ings have been stud­ied by some im­por­tant re­searchers in the field, in­clud­ing Dar­win, Dama­sio, LeDoux, and Ekman. The dis­cus­sion can now be ex­panded to in­clude emo­tion re­search and emo­tional re­sponses in Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence, Ar­ti­fi­cial Life, gam­ing in­dus­tries, vir­tual en­vi­ron­ment stud­ies and aug­mented re­al­ity sys­tems.  This re­search forum brings to­gether lead­ing artists and re­searchers in the field of emo­tion stud­ies. Re­searchers/ sci­en­tists/artists and cu­ra­tors will de­bate dig­i­tal art­works that pri­mar­ily ad­dress emo­tions and autism.  I have cho­sen the for­mat of the forum over the panel to allow more de­bate be­tween the speak­ers and the au­di­ence. A 2-3 hour time slot would be per­fect. Ques­tions raised by the panel will cen­tre around how tech­nolo­gies in­flu­ence emo­tional well­be­ing. Pan­elists will be asked to pre­sent a brief 15-minute po­si­tion sum­mary that will then be fol­lowed by dis­cus­sion with fel­low pan­elists, mod­er­a­tors, and the au­di­ence.  The focus of this panel will be more on dis­cus­sion and idea shar­ing and less on paper read­ing.

  • Dr. Bar­bara Rauch is an artist prac­ti­tioner, re­searcher and aca­d­e­mic scholar with a full­time po­si­tion at OCAD Uni­ver­sity. She has been As­sis­tant Pro­fes­sor in Graph­ics, An­i­ma­tion and Vi­su­al­iza­tion with the Dig­i­tal Fu­tures Ini­tia­tive (DFI) since Sep­tem­ber 2009. Her ex­per­tise en­com­passes the the­ory, his­tory and re­search of dig­i­tal art at in­ter­na­tional lev­els, to­gether with the dis­courses of pro­fes­sional prac­tice in con­tem­po­rary site-spe­cific in­stal­la­tions and with a par­tic­u­lar focus on cross-dis­ci­pli­nary art pro­jects. In May 2011 she ac­cepted the po­si­tion as Grad­u­ate Pro­gram Di­rec­tor for the In­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary Mas­ter’s in Art, Media and De­sign at OCAD Uni­ver­sity.