Charismata is an AD-Node Grand NCE affiliated research project I initiated to examine the persuasive potential of aesthetic experience in the contemporary data-saturated condition. The research-based artwork uses the Karolinska Emotional Directed Faces Database to explore the changing role of charisma as it is decoupled from physical presence and finds its way into the mediated channels of the Internet. The project engages with data that seeks to quantify the aesthetic impact of human faces on emotive decision-making.
The Karolinska Emotional Directed Faces Database was developed at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. This prominent database relates the aesthetic qualities of human faces to perceived influence and trustworthiness. In a context of unprecedented amounts of information, sensory and emotive influences can motivate human decision-making as much as cerebral rationality. Among competing influences, charisma plays a key role in inspiring people to care about the important issues of our times. Charisma is influential but little quantified, and will increasingly operate alongside data driven design systems and collective design processes, both of which rely on the feedback of large distributed sets of participants.
The research project, which built on my book, La Lucha Sin Fin On Charisma and Its Persuasive Technologies (2013), published by Jan Van Eyck (Netherlands), engaged a larger network of researchers within the Grand NCE network and beyond. The GRAND NCE via ECUAD ADNODE was instrumental in transforming this research into a highly visible installation that explored the generative artistic potential of the prior research.