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Just a Feeling

This is a small sample of the body of work I’ve created this past year, in my endeavour to explore the idea of visualizing complex emotions. It focuses on taking feelings that are difficult to put into words, and finding methods of conveying them, specifically through different visual mediums. The final goal of this project would be to display it as an interaction gallery installation featuring a series of videos and props to engage the senses.

Riley MacIntosh

Motion Design

To create these photographs I spoke with people about specific emotions they feel often enough that they can distinguish them, but that they find very difficult to describe or put into works. I asked them questions about how they would visualize these feelings or what colours and objects would remind them of this emotion, then I attempted to stage photographs that would evoke that specific emotion in another person. These first three images are, a cringe worthy memory resurfacing shocking you into a state of spine tingling disgust. The warm heart fluttering specialness of loving someone, and the soggy mixture of disappointment, embarrassment, and shame when you realize they don’t feel the same way about you.

These next 6 emotions are; a suffocating loss of agency forcing you realize you are nothing but a shell of a human being. A fulfilling nostalgia that fades into a melancholy sense of irrelevance. An itch that you’ll never be able to scratch, accept instead of an itch it's the turture of every cell in your body vibrating at a high frequency until it tears you apart (this relates to OCD). A distracting puzzle of sound surrounding you until it becomes a bubble of buzzing and you can’t focus on what you’re doing. A blurry, distant world that you recognize as existing right in front of you, but you can’t get back to no matter how hard you try. Incredibly intense and captivating but also silky smooth.

This video is about the feeling of hearing or seeing something gross or cringey, starting to feel nausea or anxious yourself, and then trying to distract yourself from the feeling with absurd thoughts. This is my first video of the series and I’m currently working on more. My goal is to convey these complex emotions by using abstract clips featuring key colours, objects, and sensations that will evoke the intended emotion in the viewers. I’m trying to create almost a startling sense of understanding, the feeling of seeing something and immediately relating to it, without knowing why or how. Emotions can be truly isolating, because they are trapped inside us, and many people struggle to express them to others. I want to create an experience that takes some of the isolation out of emotions, to show people that others feel the same way they do, and connect them in that feeling.