Measuring the mood of NYC at the Museum of Feelings

A pop-up museum in New York promises to measure the mood of the Big Apple.

This holiday season, The Museum of Feelings will bring emotion and scent to life through an engaging and immersive experience, inspired by Glade(R) fragrance.

This holiday season, The Museum of Feelings will bring emotion and scent to life through an engaging and immersive experience, inspired by Glade(R) fragrance. Image by PRNewsFoto/SC Johnson

The Museum of Feelings, sponsored by Glade fragrances, has launched in New York and will use social media and real-time data to change colour based on the “mood” of the city, which includes: red for exhilarated, orange for carefree, green for joyful, purple for worried, pink for calm, and more.

According to a news release, the mood is determined by conversations on Twitter, the local news reports, weather, the stock exchange, flight delays and more.

As the whole thing is sponsored by a fragrance company, it can also use your biometric data to create a MoodLens, described on the website of as a “unique emotional selfie” that can be matched with a fragrance. It involves taking a selfie, inputting data like your heart rate and voice, and adding local social media trends and weather conditions to create selfie that is said to reflect your mood.

The Museum of Feeling in New York City.

The Museum of Feeling in New York City. Image by PRNewsFoto/SC Johnson

Until 15 December, visitors can also stroll through five rooms that will use different scents and the five senses to reflect emotions.

While not everyone may be interested in letting their heart rate and Twitter feed influence an installation sponsored by a company, the practice of participatory art using physical or online information is growing much more common.

At the Merge Festival in London in September, British artist Marcus Lyall created a laser and sound installation called On Your Wavelength. It involved the participant putting on an EEG headset to monitor their brain activity and thought patterns, which was then interpreted by a computer to create light and sounds.

If you are looking to snap out of an online oversharing habit, a touring exhibition called False Positive – at the Media Lab Prado in Madrid in late November and at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool in early December – may have you rethinking your behaviours.

The participatory piece uses a person’s online activities to build a portrait of them using information and images of their friends, interests, work, age, gender and more. The focus of the piece, by University of Buffalo associate professor Mark Shepard, is to create a portrait of the person from information they may not know is accessible online.

Participants can then ask for their portrait to be deleted, or it can be kept as part of the presentation of the project. Either way, after participating, guests get a brochure outlining how to keep their information secure and how to protect their online information in the future – which for many visitors may be the most useful souvenir they could possibly get.

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