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 has been commissioned for Experiment Zukunft (2019), a joint project of University Rostock and Kunsthalle Rostock (DE), curated by Susanne Jaschko. Moreover, it has been presented at the experimental performance festival VIVA! Art Action (2019) in Montreal (CA) upon invitation by feminist artist-run center Ada X.

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. 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 catalogues 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 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?

Participants at Kunsthalle Rostock, DE, photos: Fritz Beise/Kunsthalle Rostock & Lauryn Mannigel

Participants at VIVA! Art Action, Montreal, CA, photos: Paul Litherland

Participants of test run at TOP e.V., Berlin, DE, Photo: Ali El-Darsa


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

Venue test run: top e.V.

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