Museum of Feelings makes you feel things

By Amanda Choy, Contributing Writer


At Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City, a pulsing, colorful pop-up museum has been mesmerizing New Yorkers since Nov. 24. The Museum of Feelings, a temporary art exhibit that is in partnership with Glade, connects sensory elements and colors to different emotions. While the installment explores the link between scent and emotion, the pop-up also boasts incredible visual displays and auditory experiences within.

With the hashtag #museumoffeelings, social media users have been posting surreal photographs of the chameleonic exhibit on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Now with over 67,000 Facebook RSVPs on their official event page, the installation has garnered enough attention from social media and by word-of-mouth to have a several-hours-long wait time to get into the rectangular prism-shaped, minimalist museum. However, the wait must be well worth it as attendees don’t seem to regret their decision.

Before entering the museum, visitors can watch the exterior of the museum change in color. The long tubes of light framing the contours of the museum structure are linked to a real-time analysis of New Yorkers’ moods, which are determined from data culled from social media. The data is then translated into emotion-color pairs like joyful green, invigorated blue or calm purple. Once visitors make it through the front doors, they’re guided through multiple rooms that are themed after emotions like optimistic, exhilarated and worried. 3D glasses and holographic sheets are handed out for a more interactive experience, as patrons are encouraged to play with the hypnotizing light displays and touch-screen control panels.

Every room has a guided experience, as staff members take the time to prep visitors by explaining the specifics behind the emotion, smell, touch, sights and sounds of a room before allowing them to enter. After making their way through the labyrinth of rooms, guests leave with their own moodlens, which is a photo taken at the end of the installation and is linked to an emotion analyzed by a hand scanner. The prints are produced on the spot and boast a fun scratch-and-sniff backing that corresponds to the individual’s detected emotion. The museum has even compiled a real-time moodlens gallery that is accessible on their website. Every visitor’s moodlens is organized by emotion and website visitors can toggle between the different ones.

New Yorkers left feeling dizzy with excitement and all kinds of unique scents, some of them even taking home emotion-inspired scented candles with them. This immersive and invigorating exhibit is definitely not one to miss, as it pulls human emotions and senses into a truly unique artistic dimension.

The Museum of Feelings is open till Dec. 15 and is free and open to the public.



A version of this article appeared in the Dec. 7 print edition. Email Amanda Choy at [email protected]