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  • Wet Signal Voice Gardens (launch & event)
    2020-09-29 16:00:00
    Published at 17 September 2020

    An event exploring the hierarchies, difficulties and politics of voice in the digital domain, arranged for the launch of web-based artwork Wet Signal Voice Gardens by Kari Robertson.

    Kari will present on her research and launch the site, made with programmers Luke Murphy and Cristina Cochior. Artists Amy Pickles and Cristina Cochior will also present their workshop Say it ain't so.

    Wet Signal Voice Gardens

    Typical vocal avatars, such as Siri, are absent of speech defects such as stutters or slips of the tongue. They do not get laryngitis, toothache or social anxiety. They almost always resemble impossibly able-bodied members of society, with limited representations of age, race, physical ability or neurodiversity.

    Wet Signal Voice Gardens is an online landscape, built to explore voice, its differences and place in the online world. Within the 'garden' audiences are invited to speak into the microphone built into their laptop or smartphones. The audience contribution is recorded and the recording is transformed into a visual avatar with the form and characteristics determined by the attributes of the voice such as pitch, length and nuance, and volume. Wet Signal Voice Gardens relies on varied audio properties in order to subvert, rather than replicate, established power relations.

    Kari Robertson works with time-based media, primarily sound, analogue film and digital video. She takes a sci-fi approach to subjectivity, using narrative as a tool to re/un-think the sovereignty of our bodies, identities or minds, and as a means to access forms of radical empathy.

    Say it ain't so

    "I would go so far as to say that the natural, proper, fitting shape of the novel might be that of a sack, a bag. A book holds words. Words hold things. They bear meanings. A novel is a medicine bundle, holding things in a particular, powerful relation to one another and to us." The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, Ursula Le Guin

    Say it ain’t so is a sound-to-voice-to-speech making, arranging, and announcing workshop by Amy Pickles and Cristina Cochior. The workshop looks at techniques used in speech to text recognition, such as the Bag Of Words technique, and reassembles the words of selected authors through scripts. The authors whose words we will be performing are Anna Mendelssohn, Silvia Federici, Nina Cassian, Mary Bulcholtz, Eeke van der Wal, James Baldwin, Allison Parrish, Steven Levy, Ursula K. Le Guin, and the Dragon software.

    Amy Pickles is an artist and loosely formed educator. She is learning how educational and artistic processes can collapse into each other, and feed each other, to make a research-based performative practice.

    Cristina Cochior is a researcher and designer. Her practice largely consists of investigations into the intimate bureaucracy of knowledge organisation systems and more recently, collectivising digital infrastructures.

    Where? Varia, Gouwstraat 3, Rotterdam

    When? Tuesday, 29th September from 16:00-19:00

    The event will also be live streamed here. Press Play to listen.

    We are looking forward to practice careful conviviality together again! Physical presences will be protected as much as possible by adopting some security measures: max 12 people are allowed in the space with 1.5 meter distance between them. Hand gel and masks are available. If possible, please send an email in advance to info@varia.zone to reserve your spot.