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E M 0 T I 0 N A L A R C A D E


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E M 0 T I 0 N A L A R C A D E


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After one day in Miami, the Retention Balloon had captured over 5 cubic feet of competitively-spent emotion. Mostly bliss and lust. 

After one day in Miami, the Retention Balloon had captured over 5 cubic feet of competitively-spent emotion. Mostly bliss and lust. 

Winner: John

Thinking about: "Loving my mom"

Reflective Roulette IDFA DocLab:

To win the prize, you must not want the prize. You must let go of all want. A calm mind triggers the mind scissors. A calm mind IS the prize. 

 

Winner: Kyle Emotion: Bliss Strategy: "Puppies....then dolphins." Miami, Art Basel 2013

Winner: Kyle

Emotion: Bliss

Strategy: "Puppies....then dolphins."

Miami, Art Basel 2013

Observation: In lust competitions, guys start fast but have a hard time finishing, especially if people are watching. Girls start slower, but generally dominate. 

Observation: In lust competitions, guys start fast but have a hard time finishing, especially if people are watching. Girls start slower, but generally dominate. 

Play to Win, Win w/ Feeling 

Two years ago  several strangers agreed to participate in an artistic experiment, the worlds first "Love Competition." Facilitated by Stanford neuroscientists, we placed seven contestants in fMRI machines and gave them five minutes to "love someone as hard as they can." From the 72-year-old man loving his wife of 50 years, to the 10-year-old boy who chose to love his new baby cousin, everyone emerged surprised and moved by the experience. It seemed the mere act of choosing to feel, and knowing those feelings are being "seen," free us. One heartbroken contestant, who walked into the lab believing to the point of tears he was in love with his ex-girlfriend, came out arms raised above his head having realized to his shock and ours, he was totally over her. 

The work raised questions into identity, consciousness, and for me at least, even our most prideful descriptor, humanity. Emotions are the fabric of perceptual existence and I began to wonder how deeply patterns of emotional regulation and suppression affect our self-awareness? I mean, what are we if not our feelings? 

As public displays of emotion are increasingly shunned (in schools where minor tantrums are treated as signs of neurological weakness to be medicated) or criminalized ( in airport security lines where reacting to the institutionalized frottage can result in arrest), we are being acculturated into a state of emotional repression by a society that increasingly rewards compliant silence over honest expression.

 And so to further explore these questions, I began working with my artistic partner-in-arms Alex Reben to create a portable and engaging interactive installation more people could explore for themselves. The Emotional Arcade.

The Emotional Arcade is an introspective obstacle course where experiencers engage in competitive games using their emotions. 

The Arcade games measure feeling to create a liberating space for exploration. Because there should be at least one place on the planet where unrestrained expression is celebrated. And because it is fun. 

And new questions arise: 

If you were offered the chance to be in an emotional competition, “What emotion would you choose to feel?” 
“What can make you feel the most?”
And “Who exactly will be feeling this emotion?”
“What exactly are the measurers measuring?”
“Can we ever really know our emotions anyway?”
“Who do I love?”

"What do I hate?

"Where is my bliss?"

“What is the Emotional Arcade?”

Exactly.

In these games, there are no losers, only questions and revelations. 

The only way to win is to feel. And everyone who plays gets a lollypop. 

- Brent Hoff

@emoarcade

Emotion: Chill Winner's Strategy: "Just letting go." Location: IFP MINY Media Center Launch Event
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Winner: Luis

Emotion: Rage

Strategy: "My cheating ex-girlfriend"

Winner: Daniela

Emotion: Lust

Strategy: ";)"

Winner: Mark

Emotion: Chill

Thinking about: "The color green"

This event was recorded in Nov. 2013 at De Brakke Grond in Amsterdam as part of the Interactive Reality program and IDFA DocLab. All thanks to the vision, trust, and genius of Caspar Sonnen!

Seven contestants have five minutes in Stanford's fMRI brain scanner to neurochemically love someone "as hard as they can. Winner of the Nature Scientific Merit Award, this moving documentary experiment has been known to make strong men cry. Screening at festivals from SXSW to Taipei, Stanford University neuroscientists now offer a class exploring the intriguing results. For more info: http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blogland/2012/oct/09/i-would-love-you/ http://filmmakermagazine.com/40489-brent-hoff-explores-the-science-of-love/

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An interactive event and installation.

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An interactive event and installation.