Sensitive Pictures: Emotional Interpretation in the Museum

Steve Benford, Anders Sundnes Løvlie, Karin Ryding, Paulina Rajkowska, Edgar Bodiaj, Dimitrios Paris Darzentas, Harriet Cameron, Jocelyn Spence, Joy Egede, Bogdan Spanjevic

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Museums are interested in designing emotional visitor experiences to complement traditional interpretations. HCI is interested in the relationship between Affective Computing and Affective Interaction. We describe Sensitive Pictures, an emotional visitor experience co-created with the Munch art museum. Visitors choose emotions, locate associated paintings in the museum, experience an emotional story while viewing them, and self-report their response. A subsequent interview with a portrayal of the artist employs computer vision to estimate emotional responses from facial expressions. Visitors are given a souvenir postcard visualizing their emotional data. A study of 132 members of the public (39 interviewed) illuminates key themes: designing emotional provocations; capturing emotional responses; engaging visitors with their data; a tendency for them to align their views with the system's interpretation; and integrating these elements into emotional trajectories. We consider how Affective Computing can hold up a mirror to our emotions during Affective Interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '22: Proceedings of the 2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages16
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems -
Duration: 8 May 2021 → …


Conference2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Period08/05/2021 → …


  • Affective Computing, Affective Interaction, Emotion, Affect, Museum, Data Souvenir, Interpretation, Ambiguity, Computer Vision


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