Past events

DocLab Live: Bloodless – Guided by the Ghost of a Korean Sex Worker 25 Nov 2017 at 17:00

Special presentation on VR installation Bloodless, in which director Gina Kim and guests discuss the influence of American military presence on the South Korean people since 1956.

DocLab Live: Order, Chaos and Everything 21 Nov 2017 at 20:00

Join Jonathan Harris on a secular pilgrimage: from physical reality to the chaos of YouTube, and a digital simulation of consciousness.

Industry Session: Making VR Work for Audiences 20 Nov 2017 at 10:00

Zillah Watson, Commissioning Editor for Virtual Reality at the BBC, on how to make VR work for audiences.

more events

firestarters: Emotional Arcade

A live event inviting you to play with real emotions, using brain scanners, biometric sensors and carnivalesque props.

IDFA, Brakke Grond and firestarters present a live cinema event on the intersection of science, human emotion and documentary storytelling. The highpoint will be a live competition with the audience, with awesome prizes (an HTC One anyone?), thought-provoking challenges and biometric data collected on stage using brain scanners and custom built facial recognition software. The competition will be hosted by Brent Hoff and Alexander Reben. William Uricchio (MIT) will kick-off the evening with a short overview of the history of biometric technology and some of the most bizarre (pseudo)scientific experiments from the past.

About the Emotional Arcade Project
The human desire to control and manipulate our feelings and their expression is matched only by our equally intense urge to share these emotions. Technological advances have made it more possible than ever to measure expressions of emotion. What used to be seen as magic has now been established as valid science, and human emotions can be turned into neurological data through measurements of physiological changes in the capillaries, pulse, body temperature, involuntary stress responses and other micro-facial expressions.

Commissioned by IDFA DocLab, De Brakke Grond and firestarters by Vodafone, this interactive installation and live event uses a range of technologies, including modified EEG headsets and biometric sensors, as well as carnivalesque props to set up a series of “emotional competitions.” There are games such as “Rage Balloons,” in which contestants compete to fill balloons with rage, bliss or any other feelings, and “Love Competition,” where they have 20 seconds to love someone (or something) as hard as they can. The games are playful variations on our never-ending quest to understand each other and ourselves, and a commentary on the fact that these days, even our most intimate emotions are mediated through data centers and touch screens.

Win free tickets and an HTC One smartphone

Want to win a HTC One smartphone or attend the event live cinema event for free? firestarters is giving away ten free seats to the first people who sign up. Anyone who signs up, or competes in the Emotional Arcade has the chance to win one of two HTC One smartphones. Sign up at (sorry, Dutch only)

The Emotional Arcade is part of Interactive Reality, a new program initiated by IDFA DocLab and De Brakke Grond. Presented in collaboration with:

Event information

  • When: 2013-11-22 at 20:00
  • Venue Name: De Brakke Grond
  • Venue address: Nes 43, 1012KD Amsterdam
  • With: firestarters by Vodafone