I had the pleasure of spending an hour wandering through the exhibit last week and was intrigued by the multi-media presentation. A combination of video, photography, life-sized infographics, hand-written commentary and more, the viewer is presented with some of the findings from Sagmeister's ten-year quest to train his mind to be happy as one might train their body to be fit.
Sagmeister is a designer by trade but was compelled to use his gifts and skills to do something other than sell. He is on the brink of releasing a feature-length documentary on his happiness exploration entitled The Happy Film.
Sagmeister's sense of humor is felt throughout the exhibit and his design sensibilities turn the social data he has collected from psychologists, anthropologists and historians into art. He mixes fact with anecdotal musings to create a compelling and fascinating experience.
"Like everybody else I have six basic emotions: Sadness, Surprise, Anger, Joy, Fear and Disgust. Only one of them is positive, one is neutral and all the others are negative.
Which is why I'm more attracted to negative news than to positive ones. And so is everyone else, which explains why every attempt to publish a positive newspaper failed within weeks.
Even if I read blogs depicting my own work, one negative comment seems to cancel out two dozen positive ones. I've spent more time contemplating a single negative review on our latest work then the thirty positive one."
The exhibit will run until September 23, 2013 and is free of charge. Please, don't miss this thought-provoking and utterly entertaining installation.
*If you aren't in Chicago but are interested in Sagmeister's work, he has written several books including Things I have learned in my life so far and Made You Look.