Frankfurt am Main | 13 – 20 October 2024

Smile to Play

Germany 2023
By Nani Gutiérrez, Orhun Mersin C., Yağmur Uçkunkaya

"Smile to Play" is a video game-like essay that invites players to engage through facial expressions, advancing only by following specific instructions. Guided by an appearance-changing virtual assistant named Xat, it delves into two main topics. First, it explores the complex dynamics of human/machine encounters in relation to the recognition of emotion, highlighting the expanding industry known as "affective computing" and its apparent effectiveness. Secondly, it examines the concept of happiness and the central role that its instrumentalization plays within neoliberal societies. The performativity of happiness, as a relational organizing power, is called into question. The artwork aims to develop an understanding of how consumers are utilized for political and economic interests and presents an alternative to counter the narratives that are imposed on them.


Film Info


Smile to Play
Release Date
  • Germany
12 Minutes
Color Format
  • Colour


  • Nani Gutiérrez
  • Orhun Mersin C.
  • Yağmur Uçkunkaya
  • B3 Moving Image Forum

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