Emotion recognition technology is increasingly used to make normative judgements on mental health and body image with the intention of suggesting behavioral and biobehavioral optimizations through quantification and categorization of physiological data into discrete emotional boxes. This technology is deployed in classrooms, workplaces, surveillance systems, and prisons making decisions that impact people’s lives and access to opportunities without consensus on it’s ethics, accuracy, or validity. We will engage audiences through an artistic, speculative process in which multimodal bio-emotion recognition is used to encourage emotional (self)reflection and insight for communities and individuals. Through this process, we seek to raise awareness of the widespread use of these technologies and the potential harm for people who are miscategorized or othered.
We aim to bring together audiences who use and think about data —academics, scientists, designers and policy-makers— with audiences who typically don’t, but nevertheless use and produce it. We imagine a future in which biosensing technology benefits people rather than attempting to define them in limiting categories such as consumers or products of carceral systems. CELSO seeks to mobilize critical conversation around data consent, along with the use and misuse of biodata, while welcoming audiences to perceive themselves in the performance.