Works

Happiness

Happiness explores the area where man and artificiality converge, where synthetic substances help us to re-humanise, maxi-humanise or, for a while, abandon our humanness altogether. In his latest work, Dries explores the world of artificial happiness that is available to us in the form of drugs, painkillers and antidepressants. On the street stands a small pharmacy. A humanoid—a human-looking robot—works there as a pharmacy assistant. She tells us about the various products we can use to tweak our serotonin and dopamine levels, and by doing so, shape our reality. Are we moving closer to a world in which we can be lyrical on command, and our emotions programmable?

Happiness explores the area where man and artificiality converge, where synthetic substances help us to re-humanise, maxi-humanise or, for a while, abandon our humanness altogether. In his latest work, Dries explores the world of artificial happiness that is available to us in the form of drugs, painkillers and antidepressants. On the street stands a small pharmacy. A humanoid—a human-looking robot—works there as a pharmacy assistant. She tells us about the various products we can use to tweak our serotonin and dopamine levels, and by doing so, shape our reality. Are we moving closer to a world in which we can be lyrical on command, and our emotions programmable?

Credits

concept Dries Verhoeven

production Studio Dries Verhoeven

dramaturgy Hella Godee

design and development Chris Creatures Filmeffects & Nelissen decorbouw

photography Willem Popelier

Happiness is co-commissioned by SPRING Festival and Stichting NDSM-werf and made possible with the generous support of BPD Cultuurfonds, Fonds Fentener van Vlissingen, stimuleringsfonds creatieve industrie, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and BNG Cultuurfonds.