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Manipulation: Emotion Hero

What does it mean to feel 48% surprised and 18% joyful?

Over the last years new software has emerged that estimates what people feel based on their facial expressions. Emotion Hero is a video-game-artwork that welcomes the visitor to use this technology, inviting to explore the boundaries between between inner feelings and facial expression.

Manipulation: Emotion Hero results of the artistic residency of Ruben van de Ven at Arquivo 237 as part of the Summer Sessions (V2_) program – short-term residencies for young artists, organized by a network of cultural organizations all over the world.

This exhibition is the first of a series of events related to the annual theme of Arquivo 237 – Manipulation – a term that, when applied to substance, is connoted with the motion of handle, prepare or modify, although when transposed the field of thoughts, becomes synonymous with tamper, influence or control.

Ruben van de Ven

Combining his backgrounds in filmmaking and programming, Ruben van de Ven (NL) challenges alleged objective practices. He is intrigued by the intersection of highly cognitive practices and ambiguous experiences. In his last works he investigates computational quantification of emotions.


(project discussion and support)

  • Luísa Ribas
  • Miguel Cardoso
  • Miguel Carvalhais
  • Rudolfo Quintas
  • Luís Giestas
  • André Sier


  • Arquivo 237
  • V2_, Summer Sessions


Bairro das Artes


Opening Photos