The Institute For Comedic Inquiry is an artist-led institute that studies humor and turns absurdities into eyebrow-raising public experiments.
Since 2009, we’ve been engaging people with our experiments. They usually take the form of interactive objects or performances. Each shares a common goal: using humor, science, art, and performance as tools for publicly debating ideas. All are based on our research and collaboration with scientists and experts.
2022: Gait Augmentation Seminar
A workout for outsmarting skeletal tracking surveillance. Go incognito on any sidewalk.
Go from haha to hand-holding with this humor-first dating program.
Insecurity Security Screening
A whisper-based screening station for securing your insecurities.
Pantsuit Power Walk For Hilary
Ride gold escalators and do shoulder shimmy limbo contests to show support for Hilary.
Human Pollination Project
Be a bee. Now you can pollinate on the go with this fashionable toolset.
A joke-writing AI that specializes in analogies.
Remix your laugh from fake to ‘real’. Do you want AIs to laugh like us humans?
A meditation protocol for slowing down your Twitter reactions.
Concepts of Exercise
A circuit-training workout with fruit inspired by Erwin Wurm.
Portland Laugh Line
A rotary phone, hacked to serve up locally-crafted jokes.
Quantified Laugh Tear Self
I collect my laugh tears. They tell me more about myself than my steps.
Cliche humor is making a comeback in the age of Trump—seems we’re really desperate for comedic relief. 🧻 Alexa finally stopped her creepy unsolicited laughing, but it was an eerie reminder that she is always listening.👂🏻Visual puns about bodily humor were found on a latrine in Turkey—they are 1,800 years old! 🚽 The oldest joke is dirty and taboo. 🍆 A study of The Onion’s headlines revealed there are linguistic cues that signal satire. 📰
Related Experiment: synthHAsizer.
Exploring The Intersections of Humor + Culture
Could gait tracking be the new facial recognition?🚶🏻♀The Washington County, Oregon PD was first to use Amazon’s Rekognition facial tracking software.👮🏻An NDA prevented public disclosure. 💵 Facial tracking training data isn’t diverse. 👎🏽 The FBI’s facial recognition can match 640 million people. 📸 San Francisco outlawed police use of facial recognition, but is a ban is the right approach? ❌ Privacy law students googled people based on what they saw and heard. 🤳🏽 Surveillance in China. 👀
Related Experiment: 2022: Gait Augmentation Seminar.
Many love-seekers say they are “looking for someone who shares my sense of humor”. 🤣 Do you know how you use humor? 🥼 Appearance-first dating apps are affecting our mental health. 😨 Maybe we should stop already with feeling sparks and commit to three dates. 💗 A ghost-writer for your dating profile costs $2,000 a month. 💵 Don’t lie, have you been sexting the waters, caspering, or lining? 👻
Related Experiment: hümr.