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Sagacity: The Periodic Table of Emotions , Firstsite Colchester

Sagacity: The Periodic Table of Emotions

Firstsite / November 15, 2019 - March 8, 2020 / Colchester, United Kingdom


Sagacity is a live and responsive installation based around the Periodic Table, reflecting the emotional state of its location. Its installation at Firstsite shows the current mood of our visitors, and will record the feelings of participants from November 2019 to March 2020.

The installation works through sentiment analysis of Twitter – the microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as tweets.

When one of the emotional words from the Periodic Table of Emotions is detected it begins to become illuminated. As the emotion is tweeted the colour/intensity of illumination increases. Over time the intensity fades unless it is tweeted again.

The emotions are grouped according to type and coloured accordingly. They are also given an emotional weight. For instance, Happy is lighter than Ecstatic, Fondness is lighter than Passion. Similarly feeling Sad is not as heavy as feeling Desolate. Low emotions are coloured blue, happy and love, red. Anger is purple and so on.

Aidan Moesby is a Newcastle based artist and curator. His artistic and curatorial practices explore relationships to our environment, with particular focus on the dual crises of climate change and mental health. In 2020, Aidan will be joining Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art as curatorial resident in DASH's (the Disability Visual Arts organisation) innovative partnership programme to support the career development of Deaf and Disabled Curators.


Lewis Gardens, High Street
Colchester, United Kingdom

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