Smell Feel Match

23 March-5 May 2019, Experiment Zukunft, Kunsthalle Rostock, DE
25-26 September 2019, VIVA! Art Action, Ada X, Montreal, CA

Smell Feel Match is a performative experiment that investigates the perceptual olfactory judgments of friendships. It offers the opportunity to make new friends based on shared feelings and body scent preferences about the ways that others smell.

Smell Feel Match offers the opportunity to make new friends based on people’s smell. Participants explore their perception of others’ smell by examining their feelings as well as their own preferences about others’ body scents. Through a paper and online questionnaire, the work catalogs these responses for further documentation and assessment. Based on participants’ online responses, they are then immediately matched and are sent a friendship potential prediction via SMS.

Smell Feel Match spurs participants to ask themselves the following three questions:
(1) How do I feel when perceiving someone’s smell?
(2) What does a body scent experience disclose about my perception of others?
(3) What role do body scents play in including and excluding people from my social circles?

Exploration of others’ anonymized body scent samples, Experiment Zukunft, Kunsthalle Rostock. Photo: Fritz Beise/Kunsthalle Rostock


Exploring body scent preferences about friends, paper questionnaire, Experiment Zukunft. Photo: Fritz Beise/Kunsthalle Rostock


Participants at VIVA! Art Action are reflecting their olfactory experience towards their memory of friend’s body scents via a paper questionnaire, Photo: Paul Litherland


Participant at VIVA! Art Action evaluates their experience of smelling other’s body sent samples via the online questionnaire, Photo: Paul Litherland


Participant at VIVA! Art Action collects their underarm body scent, Photo: Paul Litherland


Curator: Susanne Jaschko

Scientific feedback: Ilja Croijmans, Garmt DijksterhuisSabrina Meissner, Marie-Celine Schulte

Programming: plomlompom

Information architecture & UX design: Kaustubh Srikanth

Poster design: Sheraz Khan

Paper questionnaire design: Robby Ndwiga

Photos test run: Ali El-Darsa

Venue test run: top e.V.

Many thanks to Susanne Jaschko, Kaustubh Srikanth, Mindaugas Gapsevičius and all participants of the test run!