The Helen Pitt Gallery artist run centre presents:
Google Emotional Index (GEI)
A web-based artwork by Kristina Lee Podesva and Alan McConchie
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 7:00 pm
The Helen Pitt Gallery is pleased to present GOOGLE EMOTIONAL INDEX as the first of our year-long series of web-based artworks.
This interactive project utilizes and alters the Google image search engine in a subtle act of co-option to provide an ever-evolving database of images associated with the full spectrum of human emotion.
Accessible through our web-site, www.helenpittgallery.org, the GEI interface allows the participant to conduct searches for words indexing emotions far beyond our more general categories—happy, sad, angry or depressed—to help locate points of personal reflection. GEI offers the opportunity for users to explore a vast, real-time archive of individual or group images for discussion, experimentation, intervention and play.
While GEI works to expand our sometimes narrow understanding of human emotional states—and highlight the highly abstract, linguistic limitations that allow us to both communicate and understand this nebulous terrain—it also challenges our ideas of the role that the image, pictorial representation, plays in our notions of emotional understanding. As GEI quickly reveals, it is these very representations that compel users to measure and compare their own feelings against what appears in the index.
Within the medium and context of the web, Google Emotional Index specifically draws a contrast between the cacophony of diverse and conflicting representations of emotion online and the narrowing of information through a single channel, specifically the Google search engine. In cataloging images from a variety of sources according to a coherent theme, GEI, among other things, proposes questions about the relationships between emotional understanding, communication, memory and representation—not to mention the sometimes impersonal structures of categorization that underpin our most personal emotive experiences.
KRISTINA LEE PODESVA is an artist, writer, and curator based in Vancouver, Canada. She is the founder of colourschool, a free school within a school dedicated to the speculative and collaborative study of five colours (white, black, red, yellow, and brown) and cofounder of Cornershop Projects, an open framework for the examination of the relationship between art and economic transactions. In between things, she is Assistant Editor at the Fillip Review.
ALAN MCCONCHIE is a MSc student in the department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. His current research explores the critical and emancipatory potential of web mashups and mapping on the internet. He is the author of the popular linguistic mapsite PopVsSoda.com.
Helen Pitt Gallery
#102-148 Alexander Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6A 1B5
Contact: Lance Blomgren, Director/Curator
Official Website: http://www.helenpittgallery.org
Added by HelenPittGallery on March 12, 2008