“How is it that an individual’s smile can lift the atmosphere of a room or that we find ourselves ‘catching’ another’s mood from a display of anger, fear or disgust?”


For the ninth in a series of ten artistic and scientific experiments at Fabrica, Tina Gonsalves and her team created Chameleon. For this installation, the gallery became an emotional theatre in which visitors and digital video portraits could interact with each other. Gonsalves and her team developed software that would seek out visitor’s emotions and then trigger an ’emotionally intelligent and learning’ computer system to play back video portraits in response:

“In Chameleon, individuals become intimately connected and implicated into varying emotionally provocative and reflexive social interactions leaving them with a better understanding of how their own non-verbal communications have an impact in social groups.” Tina Gonsalves

In this exhibition of ever changing portraits, the emotional expressions of the visitors had a direct effect on the tone and emotional state of the gallery space itself. Gonsalves worked to highlight how often we attempt to make sense of each other and how we search for meaning and significance in expressions, dialogue and body language. By collaborating with a team of leading neuroscientists, affective computer scientists, emotional designers and curators, Gonsalves was able to further explore the intersections of art, technology and science.

Total Vistor Numbers: 8,467

Exhibition Visitor Comments

Very interesting. Unusual to experience people’s emotions in close proximity without influencing them!

Interesting through I didn’t feel they were always reflecting my emotion it was a bit frustrating, I don’t think a computer can pick up inner emotion! Only the superficial voice and facial expressings.

Fun! Baby liked it but had to keep lifting her up – lower ones for children perhaps? With children doing it? Mine volunteer (8 & 12).

Image Gallery

Photographs by Philip Carr