Peter Schloss & Sebastian Sprenger

Per aspera ad acta

Ongoing I (2022)

“Per aspera ad acta I” follows the footnotes of a history of emotion science. The sculpture in the form of a modified filing cabinet presents a collection of visual output from experiments that sought to prove that emotions can be read from the facial expressions and gestures of living beings. Early on, science played with the idea that certain facial expressions could be assigned to specific emotions. The traditional understanding of emotions with partly culturally generalised views continues into modern developments in facial recognition. Today's emotion research now contradicts these theories. So far, no system has identified clear features that measurably distinguish emotions on or in the body. This means that many politically highly relevant technologies, such as the use of surveillance technologies at national borders, are already based on false assumptions.