Antoine Catala


You will find yourself laughing, uncomfortably to be sure, at the video in Antoine Catala’s show “New Feelings.” It’s based on video footage of an 11-year-old boy whom Catala asked to mimic various emotions. In the video, his digital avatar’s facial contortions suggest a cyborg striving to have feelings. Writing for A.i.A., Federico Florian described a recent Catala show that featured drones and holograms as having a playfully space-age feel. This show maintains that atmosphere. A latex balloon inflates and deflates; inside are small parenthesis-shaped objects based on an emoticon that revolves to create different “expressions.” On a low pedestal are bizarre objects that visitors can handle; their textures will surprise you. A computer voice occasionally calls out phrases that appear in the show’s press release, such as “I don’t feel the same anymore. I feel new. I don’t know how to describe the sensation. Do you?” Are the machines gaining the capacity to feel, or are our own emotions becoming mechanical?