In Real Live Thursdays #6: The Hmm @ Real Feelings

In Real Live Thursdays #6: The Hmm @ Real Feelings

It’s almost time for the very first experimental, hybrid event by The Hmm : the inclusive platform for internet cultures. Thursday 9 September, 8 guests will take us along the world of emotions and technology in the context of MU’s current exhibition during ‘The Hmm @ Real Feelings’. Some will join us at MU; others will be present on screen. As a visitor, you can also choose if you’d like to participate virtually or in real life. As an online visitor, you’ll be linked to someone who is physically present at MU. This person shows you - as their virtual buddy for the evening - around the Real Feelings exhibition, brings you into contact with other visitors, and asks your questions during the presentations, which you’ll be following via a livestream. 

The Hmm hybrid events
Over the last year we’ve been thrown head first into the world of online events and have been exploring all kinds of virtual spaces together, from VR chat rooms to collaborative spreadsheets. With cultural spaces slowly opening up again, we’re going to continue to actively experiment with a series of hybrid events as we delve even deeper into the internet cultures that shape, complicate, and transform our lives—further blurring the boundaries between the ‘online’ and ‘offline’ worlds. This event is their first hybrid experiment.

Where: At MU & online | When: Thursday 9 September | Time: doors open 19.30, start 20.00, end 23.00 | Tickets: 5,- via The Hmm 


Product- and interaction designer Lola Gielen
Design Academy alumna Lola Gielen will tell us all about the social robot Felix. Why are ‘happybots’ so valuable and what do they mean to the people who use them? Lola created Felix in order to help people express their feelings. The happybot functions as the buddy that makes you feel comfortable and safe and who you want to share your emotional well-being with. Felix has already been successfully used in the care of people with disabilities, ASD or psychiatric problems and in (special) education.

Media designer and artist Esther Hunziker
Esther Hunziker uses deconstruction and montage as basic elements in her work. She often mixed the real with the illusory world, creating new alienated realities. For her work Streamers, on show at Real Feelings, she uses voices used in online videos in which people express their emotions, which they share with strangers on the internet. She borrows these feelings and gives them new bodies: the strange objects, which she calls 'specimens', look like stones or rocks on screen. 

Professor Bert Kappen
As professor in Neural Networks and Machine Learning at the Radboud University Nijmegen, Bert Kappen studies the learning ability of AI, and if this can operate without being dependable on algorithms, using quantum mechanics. No clue what this all entails? No worries! During the evening Kappen will take us along his studies on intelligent material, the quantum brain, atoms, learning algorithms, neural networks and how this all intertwines.

TUe assistant professor Minha Lee
How does technology shape us as moral beings?
During the evening, Lee will talk about people’s willingness to punish robots if they have no emotional expressions. At the TUe, she explores how we can design interactions with conversational agents like robots and chatbots as our moral mirrors to explore moral emotions and concepts like compassion and fairness. 

Artist Marie Munk
Marie Munk is one of the other participating artists in Real Feelings. Together with Stine Deja she created the work Synthetic Seduction, which her sculpture Skin-to-Skin is part of. The work – which kind of looks like a human organ – represents our need for touch. It’s soft and inviting to sit on, demonstrating a physical intimacy that induces different feelings in each person who experiences it.

Researcher Lisanne Pauw
Pauw is specialized in the field of emotion regulation. Currently she works as post doc at the University of Münster, exploring why we share our emotions so frequently with others and why it often does not work in the long run. How can technology may help or harm our emotional sharing? Does it matter whether we talk about our emotions over Whatsapp, Zoom or face-to-face? May avatars replace the human listening ear?

Designer and 'digital witch' Ginevra Petrozzi
Ginevra explores the role of magic and fate in our digital age by reading our smartphones as modern tarot cards. Witchcraft and divination traditionally gave humans a sense of control over the elusive future, yet today Big Data seems to be the power predicting these new scenarios. During the evening, Ginevra will interpret the messages that appear on apps on our devices and tell us about ourselves and our futures. 

Design researchers Nadia Piet & Ocean Conijn
Nadia & Ocean created the project Dictionary of Digital to explore their own and others' emotional relationships with technology, by mapping shared experiences and sentiments. They will introduce us to new words as 'phantom reply' and 'window effect',  which are part of the dictionary.