The Shape of Happiness

A speculative project made in response to the body of research which states that the global shape of happiness is “U”. The curve shows that a person tends to be happier at their early and late years, with the least joyful period occurring around one’s middle age. Similar life patterns were also seen while experimenting with the apes, which led me to thinking about the genetic aspect of happiness. Further research showed that genetics plays a significant role here as even 50% of our capacity to feel happiness depends on the genes. However, the analysed report seems quite generalising – can such a complex emotion as feeling happy be compressed to a simplified set of data?

In order to illustrate this with a satirical note, I took the role of a deterministic ‘scientist’ and challenged myself to “diagnose” the level of happiness from a person’s DNA/bacterias (which I have attempted to grow on my own from the collected specimens).