Edition 2019, TC 2019

多巴胺的存在 | Dopamine’s Present

An installation by Gloria Hertig (Trends & Identity, Zurich University of the Arts), Liu Shiyan (Visual Arts, Baptiste University) & Joe Ma Kam Leung (City University of Hong Kong, School of Creative Media) at McaM Shanghai.



What does the consumption of goods do for us? What is it that makes us happy when spending money? Is it just the moment or is it a simple eye catcher that leads us to this specific behavior? Things you want to have or touch while thinking they make you happy.

What colors, surfaces and textures turn a normal object into an object of desire? Can we play with these codes? Do specific satisfying materials exist? If so, which are they?

Through observations in shopping malls, finding inspiration on youtube and in pictures, we tried to find material that would allow us to shape and create a so-called eye massage. Once we pinned down the concept that form, color and material are the elements that control our eyes and tempt us to consumption. 

In Shanghai, we decided to play on the old staircase in the heart of the villa, which creates a contrast to the colorful material we were working on up until then. After an intensive phase of material testing we found a children’s clay that fit our concept perfectly and which had a unique touch and feel as well as an intriguing look. The fluid and colorful mass of the clay made the staircase become an eye-catcher and photo taking point for the audience and maybe touchable or untouchable experience in which dopamine was present or not – because this is what our body wants to reach.


There are three stages of our working process: material exploration, working with the material that we found playful and narrowing it down to one material we thought of being the most appropriate. Our approach was to connect with our senses, visually and sensationally. It was different from first group project in the sense that we were a group of three. Ideally split into three contributing parts, we could balance the workload equally. We had the same approach when it comes to presentations and we had a very clear idea on what we wished to create: an installation.

We talked a lot about the ideas and what we could work on. We used visual images to show each other what we meant exactly. The challenging part of the work was, that we had different working mode: Seain has very artistic approach working mode and way to go with the flow: see what happens and react to it intuitively. Gloria preferably works with a plan and a schedule. Sometimes it was really stressful when we didn’t know what will be happening and where we will eventually end with our project.

Result/State of Play