How Happy is Your City?
A giant emoticon erected above this Bavarian city is set to measure the general mood of the people below.
Just in case social media didn't already provide us with sufficient scope to project our mood at unwitting strangers, three German artists have provided another, even more public avenue through the 'Public Face'. Their interactive art installation reflects the mood of the city in which it stands with a giant electric emoticon. Hidden cameras at ground level capture the facial expressions of passers-by to measure the general vibe at any given time, and relay it back to the emoticon tower. So long as there are no manic-depressives in the crowd or cause for any emotion beyond happy, sad, or indifferent, the giant smiley will provide an accurate public vibe-o-meter, constantly updating itself to match the collective mood.
There are unverified rumours that the Public Face will do the rounds in a variety of cities across the globe in 2012, but this may not be good news for everyone. The smiley's stint atop a lighthouse on Bavaria's Lindau Island last year revealed that the town could do with a little more cheer, where the giant face spent a lot of time being indifferent and was rather reluctant to flash any pearly whites. How to bring the mood of a city down even lower? Show the people how depressed they already are.
The Public Face is a quirky piece of interactive art, taking a playful spin on the distillation of emotion that occurs when relationships go digital.
Published on December 19, 2011 by Melissa Werry