Moodbank - Let Us Know How You Feel

10 March 2014

Insight into how New Zealand's capital city feels will be the result of a pop-up bank and art project led by Victoria University researcher Dr Sarah Elsie Baker and Wellington-based artist Vanessa Crowe.

Moodbank managers help customers monitor their moods.

Moodbank managers mapping Welington's moods

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‘Moodbank’ is a collaborative project, believed to be a world first, which will document the collective mood of Wellington and allow people to consider how factors such as the weather, the traffic and who won the rugby, influence how we feel.

“Governments and businesses have come to see the value in finding out how happy we are, but we are interested in complex and contradictory moods. Sometimes we feel grumpy, rushed and excited at the same time,” says Dr Baker, lecturer in Design Culture + Context at Victoria’s School of Design.

At the ‘Moodbank’, in the old ASB bank at 29 Manners Street from 13 to 22 March, visitors will be invited to visualise, deposit and exchange emotion. Transactions can also be made:

  • via an ATM-style mood machine found in various locations throughout the city
  • online at www.moodbank.co.nz.  

City spaces have often been thought about in terms of their function, says Ms Crowe, but the places in which we live have a strong impact on mood. “How we feel is often overlooked — we hope to take the Moodbank to different locations in New Zealand to reveal and compare how people feel.”

“We chose to mimic and subvert the look and function of a bank in order to draw attention to the ways in which some moods are commercially valuable and others not so,” says Dr Baker.

Throughout the project the collective moods of Wellington will be displayed via posters, video and a customised stock market mood ticker, allowing a visualisation of the usually unseen mood of the city to emerge.

Dr Baker and Ms Crowe will discuss their inspiration for the project, and reflect on collective mood data at an event on Thursday 20 March, 6.30pm, at 29 Manners Street, Wellington.

The Moodbank project is run with funding and support from Victoria Univeristy, Wellington City Council Public Art Fund and Urban Dream Brokerage.