intro describing work My recent works have been exploring speech recognition programs as a tool for (mis)interpretation in cinema and live performance. In 'Smart Objects' the speech recognition software 'listens' to household objects and translates the sound of their humming, buzzing and whirling sounds into text that appears on screen as subtitles.
Is this a different Yeah its an earlier work thats in the making of what I'm doing now is it an experiment? yeah sure, recording the objects and making the 2 min video was an experiment after i had tried it on my own voice. I was performing in the studio with apples in my mouth and tape over my mouth and making obstructions between myself and the software that was producing misinterpretations of my voice. Then i was showing it to my housemate who suggested i try it with objects. If all sounds can be phonetically interpreted then why not give objects a go. So this project is definitely an experiment i did over half term and i wanted to take myself out of the performance. Instead of using my voice or my obstructed voice i began using the software in a more innovative way. Pushing the sounds of the everyday, ambient sounds of domestic objects into this machine The process then became more interesting, with more suprising results. Is that what it is ? i don't know. you will have to be firlm on the questions. because Now there are two versions (of this work)? - To use objects is a deliberate attempt to move away from using myself and my mouth. Have you made a choice in what it exactly is or is it still in development? because there is 3 examples of what it is yet, have you determined to yourself what your take on it is yet? I'm getting there. But the things that interest me most about is generative language, using it in a live context where you can see the object or the noise going into the machine and then you have your interpretation. So there is a circuit between the performer (or the sound) and the computer and the result and then improvising with that and beginning to respond to that. Im [probably going to far because your just looking at this one video. Yeah but its an outline of what the concept is of course … So I'm not fascinated by object dialogue or conversing with objects particularly. Im interested in methods of generating narrative thats improvised somewhat sketchy, unbalanced, volatile, random. That the audience can also see into, they can see that there is a level of improvisation going on. So im interested in the method of the interpretation of its randomness and the things i apply to it. So thats what interests me in it. So for the exercise i should ask how is it made? also how it is it made in a sense that is important to how the piece is done? Yeah how its being made is really important and crucial to this project and this enquiry. This video has all been done in post production and not live, i filmed these objects , taken that to a computer, uploaded my media and then exported. I want this process to happen live - so i can response to that , so the viewer can experience that. So how it is made is quite important in getting this idea how i want it to be. For example there are other speech recognition programs that im using that are too good to play with, it wont play ball, if i clap it wont say anything. I guess there is also a level of ventriloquism going on here , bringing the computer to life, making it speak, making it responsive. There is a bit of a drive into ubiquitous computing we do sort of want them to be alive, through our interactions with them. So just through this quite rudimentary method of making sounds and hearing its (dumb) responses you sort of bring it to life in a very dumb down way. (8:51) When you talk about its like you give the cpu a feeling - the cpu is just doing what its supposed to - but for you its something else . The cpu is instantly waiting for a new assignment And i'm dancing round it persuading it to be my co-performer. To be generative. Have you found a way already in how you can achieve this? In previous works , yes using tweets and online data as content for storytelling and narrative. Your using what its doing automatically and using that material as performative content. So bringing its systematic processes into the performative realm, using that process as content for experience and performance. I find it really intriguing how it works but what do you want a an audience to get out of it? You see with that video - what do i want the audience to get out of that video? not just that video - the whole project - the video is just the starting point for this project right? how is the video presented? i havnt presented the video in any format. The video feels more like a final product than a research moment no its an experiment, that i have titled. thats just how i document my work as its ongoing. That was a critiscm of my work is that i export to early when there is further to be explored. Basically applying this method in a live performance , thats what im really excited about, it either sinking or flying , as a concept and a method for performing with computer. There is some nice things there about the production of foley , you have an artificial interpretation happening of artificial sounds (or real sounds that are artificially added) to create a sense of realism. Coming back to the experience of the audience - your talking about friday when you will present this live? I guess whats really nice about doing this live is that you enter into a temporal framework with the computer. As soon as that mic is on its listening and its feeding back instantly to what im doing. and that might be bringing the cpu life , you have that automated improvisation that begins to happen from the system that just responds from my interactions with it and not the normal well sometimes it is just the systematic responding to my actions, if i then respond back with an audience that hopefully can become more interested i hope, i don't know…
What is it? thats a good question because its taken different material forms but for me, if we are going to talk about it in an abstract sense. Its a compression of time into a single image, and excess of data and information that cannot be interpreted, it cannot be processed or read. ITs a years worth of day to day meetings, notes, planning, shopping lists all layered onto one image to make an unreadable annual disaster that visually is overwhelming, its an overwhelming amount of data that cannot be processed. Did you know that at the time? Well yeah at the time i was reading present shock by Douglas Rushkoff and its about our experience of time , how we can have a temporal overload when we login to Facebook and see an ex gf from 6 years ago when actually the present gets completely bombarded by mobile media and social networking . And i wanted to visualise that by scanning every day of the diary onto one page. What if all that planing happened in the now and theres one moment when you see all that. So its a compression of a temporal experience into the now - He talks a lot about the now - how we are loosing the conditions of the presence by always having these (mobile phones) on and being bombarded by other time zones , you know world news or whatever , we have no sense of what the now is any more. So it was about compressing a years worth of time into the now which is what life can sometimes feel like on a day to day when your constantly linked in to all these news feeds. why was it important for you - why did you use thiss material - for instance shopping lists - why did you use the diary? well if id made it about shopping than it would of been about consumerison. The diary is semi-personal. Its not fair to call it a diary, its a day to day planner, its not like i write my feelings in there. Its timetables, scheduling appointments all this self management stuff which i guess most of the western world is doing digitally. But i didn't choose to do it to say 'hay im using moleskin' its more a response to reading that book and realise how much noise is being fed into our daily lives digitally. This book is something quite manual that i have control over, i write in the things, if i overload my own system to make it as noisy as mobile social media noise and our information society can be then i can demonstrate that with an analogue medium. Its really not about digital vs analogue, its just a handy personal medium that i carry round with me on my day to day. I carry round with me a record with me of everything. ITs also completely useless data, as soon as that day is over hat day is not valid or memorable. So there was a whole process of copying each day, reprinting all this expired data, this is useless information, its like re-reading every old email you ever did. There was a couple of nice moments but generally there was no sentimental or nostalgia it was purely about the compression of time. Its a hard task , a tough job for someone to do, does it make you think again about what you write down in the diary? I definitely stopped using my current diary for a while. It stopped me using it for a while but it hasn't stopped me. Im very aware of these scribbles that we make , like post it notes, these writings that we do in an attempt to stay on top of our lives as time passes as life is flowing, to have some sense of control to have make some sense of it. we understand how it was made but what i want to know is how you presented it? So i was printing it out and preparing to show it but then i thought that this printing of time , or this document of time, would work well being done live. So you enter into a new time realm, where within that a printer is re-printing this document of time. so i sent the printer on a timer and printed 52 pages in the gallery space. The process was automated - i liked that systematic processing of all this life going on and all my frantic scribbles to try and document the world that is and watching the computer just spitting each page and it landing on the overhead projector out like it was on a factory line. As soon as you had more than one page on the projector none of it made any sense as you couldn't interpret the notes any more and this is my reflection on life . We do try and make sense of everything by making notes and writing things down. But by photocopying it you render everything meaningless and put it through a systematic process where it represented as useless document of time. as soon as you've printed last years diary its not valuable data, because its all handwritten it cant be processed either. I really like photocopying, putting back through the printer, there is no point when this is digitally tracked or numbered, or saved its all my own manual labour ..bizarrely. To record, re-record, print, present data that is no longer valid in a document of time. What do you want your audience to feel ? I learnt a lot from that performance because it didn't go as well as i would of liked. I think it would of been better to present the image as a single layer composition but i was more interested in the processing of the experience of time and how i could recreate the printing experience. all the labour and performing that silly manual labour process. (does sketch) i wanted to perform that but it became a bit rediculas it became unintelligible because the ink was smudging and all sorts was going wrong.. if i present it again i would just show the final image. but even then its too dense to understand the ideas. There is a further desire of mine …i wouldn't be comfortable showing that final print anywhere because there doesn't feel like there is any of me in there or the process involved in the production is not visible. It is a timeline, a new timeline. is it not about awareness? yeah i think the image on its own is quite interesting it looks quite disturbed. I don't know how you situate that on a timeline. This is the layering that we don't ever get to see because our lives are saved somewhere else. Its like documenting the document to create a snowball effect? we have totally moved into the immaterial where we are no longer managing all that self admin crap , but you can see when you open your gmail account you have emails back from 2006. Someone else is managing it for you , so lets show that. lets layer up all those things because its a lot of stuff - We produce a lot of information don't we?