The Uncanny Cat Café and Affective Induction Spa

Visit a future where the uncanny is catty and meow is now. Techno-Optimism turned inward. Sensations that make sense

Memory in the brain is a constructive process, and museums are not just spaces for static remembering. #mfaNOW Uncanny Cat Café (#mfaMEOW) is an interactive installation for remixing memories; a pop-up café in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) cafeteria where waitstaff await with menus of memories (beloved childhood Beanie Babies). Attendees make their selections while lounging with doula robotic cats, and step into a makerspace with their tray of choices. Sitting at the cafeteria tables, they sacrifice the past and give birth to new chimera creations from separated parts, each made animate with motors, scissors, sewing and digital voice boxes. The Frankenstein future is then passed along to the factory line’s finish, where the creatures are assigned new memories by other attendees. Half-alive, hyper-relevant, chewed-up parts and expelled wholes. An Exquisite Corpse with memory and mechanical reinvigoration, as the museum begins a parallel transition from preservation to process.

Affective Induction Spa is a performance piece in which neuroscience and art converge. We skip the unpredictability of aesthetics and instead actuate the viewer’s art experience directly using emotional induction techniques from the last century of neuroscience: emotional contagion, hot haptics, affective audio, time dilation and response bias. We are, after all, quantified selves, measured and measuring. Affect and aura are not immune to mechanical reproduction.

These projects are works by the Hot Milks Foundation. Visit Adam Haar Horowitz’s webpage for more information.

Uncanny Cat Café team:

Adam Haar Horowitz: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Fluid Interfaces Group
Ani Liu: Media Lab Graduate, Design Fiction Group
Gershon Dublon: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Responsive Environments Group
Pip Mothersill: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Object-Based Media Group
Rébecca Kleinberger: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Opera of the Future Group
Nicole L’Huillier: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Opera of the Future Group
Thomas Sanchez Lengeling: Media Lab Graduate, Opera of the Future Group
Akito van Troyer: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Opera of the Future Group
Sands Fish: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Civic Media Group

 

Affective Induction Spa team:

Adam Haar Horowitz: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Fluid Interfaces Group
Ani Liu: Media Lab Graduate, Design Fiction Group
Gershon Dublon: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Responsive Environments Group
Xin Liu: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Fluid Interfaces Group
Rainar Aasrand: Research Assistant in the Art, Culture and Technology Program
Rébecca Kleinberger: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Opera of the Future Group
Nicole L’Huillier: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Opera of the Future Group
Akito van Troyer: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Opera of the Future Group
Sands Fish: Research Assistant in the Media Lab Civic Media Group

Uncanny Cat Café

#mfaNOW Overnight – College Edition
Friday & Saturday, October 14-15, 2016
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Arts on the Radar
Friday, September 8, 2017
MIT Building E15

MFA Late Nights: Takashi Murakami
Friday-Saturday October 13-14, 2017
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Affective Induction Spa

The Summer Party @ the Boston MFA
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Hacking Arts: Hacking Arts Invaded the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

#mfaNOW Uncanny Cat Café. Credit: Hot Milks Foundation
#mfaNOW Uncanny Cat Café. Credit: Hot Milks Foundation

Selected Past Projects