Research and Waves
ɅV – A Sound Writing Tool RAW [0.6,y,0.75]
Attune website-platform release [ https://attune.researchandwaves.net ]
Record release as the Research and Waves collective titled ɅV – A Sound Writing Tool and authored by Andreas Bülhoff & Marc Matter. The record was released together with the new website-platform Attune which, as a starting point, presents audio visual contributions from authors selected by Research and Waves that respond to the record release.
Throughout the evening there were performative moments performed live by Andreas Bülhoff & Marc Matter as well as diverse forms of previewing the pre-produced content of the website platform. These commissioned online contributions come from Amina Abbas-Nazari, Jorge Vega, Claudia Salamanca, Kazehito Seki, Branka Čolić and Paul Michael von Ganski as part of SEX. Read more below.
ɅV (phonetic transcription for ‹of› or ‹off›) is a twelve-inch vinyl record consisting of spoken words, which can be used as a DJ-tool to compose an artificial dialogue. ɅV is at the same time a post-digital take on sound poetry as it is created due to the current landscape of online debates and their ideologies. It makes use of 32 monosyllabic words on each side which were collected from the website of the New York Times (newspaper, formal language, mainstream, liberal) and a subforum of the 4chan messageboard entitled Politically Incorrect (online messageboard, informal language, subculture, reactionary) in winter 2018/19. Recited by two synthetic voices, these platforms mirror two opposing extremes of current online debate in the materiality of a vinyl record. The selection of words made by the two artists is avoiding hate speech. SWR broadcast ɅV from Mar 3, 2020 https://bit.ly/3hxXYmk
Under the question mark to “Can words be neutral?” Research and Waves collective commissioned responses and recorded uses of the record to (re)situate the speech of the sources through (sonic) processes and gestures such as remixing, sampling, cutting, mashing, quoting, covering, morphing, or fading.
Both the NYT and the 4chan subforum, which act as examples for a political and cultural divide around identity and class politics, are put on the line for critical discussion. By (re)connecting the missing dots between the words and their sources these fragments of speech can be appropriated for a cross-cultural conversation about forms of oppression such as racism and white supremacy, patriarchism and neoliberalism.
BIOS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
Andreas Bülhoff (sync zine, Library of Artistic Print on Demand, SLU&ERS) and Marc Matter
(Institut für Feinmotorik, The Durian Brothers, Salon des Amateurs) first met for a collaborative sound poetry performance at Poesiefestival Berlin in 2018, resulting in an ongoing artistic research of which ɅV is its latest manifestation. The two will present their contribution as a live performance in the Changing Room.
Attune is a collaborative research platform hosted by collective and label Research and Waves that critically examines digital (re)formations of media, specifically the use of language and the emancipatory possibilities of poetic intervention in real life practices.
Attune platform and ɅV – A Sound Writing Tool are created with the kind support of Senator für Kultur der Freien Hansestadt Bremen
Author: Amina Abbas-Nazari
Amina is a designer and researcher undertaking a Techne funded PhD in the School of Communication at the Royal College of Art, in partnership with IBM, around the themes of Artificial Intelligence and Voice. She is also a trained singer, performing internationally with a number of choirs for over 20 years, as well as regularly for artists' projects. Amina is interested in the social, cultural and ethical implications of emerging technology. She employs voice as a medium, exploiting vocal potential to devise stories about alternate arrangements for society via design, technology and politics.
Artwork: Acoustic Ecology of an AI System
Google Duplex is an AI enabled assistant with synthesised voice created to sound as natural as possible. Today synthesised voices strive to emulate human communication, complete with prosody, pauses and punctuation. However, sonically they are flat and unanimated owing to their disengagement with the material world. The acousmatic nature of AI enabled synthesised voices means they are free to operate not aligned to any particular culture, belief system etc, but are also untethered to the physical world in terms of space and time, which human voices act within.
Alternatively, we could avoid the uncanny valley altogether and preserve recognizably robotic speech-to-text voices, even as speech synthesis technology advances, in order to be able to distinguish between human and non-human entities. But if we contemplate the aesthetics of synthesised voices, we can consider the voice as a sonic object, opening a creative space to manipulate the audible material to present new poetic possibilities. Can we use sound and acoustic design applied to synthesised voices to provide new and alternate narratives about the technology with which we now intimately interact? In this presentation of experiments into fictional acoustics for synthesised voices I explore how we could use sound to locate non-human voices in space, time, environment and architecture to create new styles of human-computer communication and navigate the unseen networks of AI systems.
Author: Jorge Vega
Jorge Vega Matos, born in 1987 in Puerto Rico, is a researcher focused on the political and cultural aspects of peripheries, edges, and in-between spaces: the grey, the informal, the taboo, the liminal, the transitory. Most of his work is based on speculative fiction, such as media, role-playing, and immersive spaces. The bulk of his work is done as co-curator of Peripheral Intuitions, a Berlin-based collective that blends artistic interventions, immersive spaces, and education guided by the senses as a way to break from logic-driven oppression while championing cultures in flux and marginalized subjectivities as agents for collective change.
Artwork: [ASDR] - Autonomous Sensory Dissociative Response
By decontextualizing words from origin and context, Marc Matter and Andreas Bülhoff are revealing the inherent political tension of language. But just as the non-neutrality of language is uncovered through the act of decontextualization, so can the causality of words be decoded/recoded through the act of disassociation. ‘[ASDR] - Autonomous Sensory Dissociative Response’ is a psycholinguistic poetic fragment that seeks to show how the political tension of language can be reconstituted in myriads of ways, responding to the smallest of audiovisual shifts. Tapping into the popularity of ASMR and the fear of ongoing experiments in emotional manipulation by political operatives, we imagine an abstraction of a political manifesto delivered with one objective: assuage through discomfort.
Author: Claudia Salamanca
Claudia Salamanca received her BFA from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá Colombia with a scholarship for her work developing films with disenfranchise youth. Salamanca built her undergraduate education by combining art seminars, computer science courses and her community college education as an electronic technician. She started teaching really early in her life which made her art practice inseparable from pedagogy. Claudia got her M.A. from Rutgers University with a Fulbright Scholarship with an emphasis in Science, Technology and Culture and holds a PhD in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley. She lives and teaches in Bogotá, Colombia.
Author: Kazehito Seki
He is an electrifeeding voice artist, noise musician, or Self Toxication” is Kazehito’s solo musical project. His in-the-moment, site-specific live experiments that utilise the organic materials and catalysts of his body, mind, extended voice, amplification, feedback through re-amplification, room acoustics, and the existence of the audience (if there is one,) creating an observation on what noise music can be. He considers noise music (art) is a possibility for spectra instead of binaries. Nothing is good or bad without setting a specific context – observing something, there is always another point of view.
Artwork: digital graphic scores
Read the words on the score as you read such a webpage. If the words are made “neutral,” what could affect the “neutrality” of the words? Voice is an organic instrument. Our voice is always tuned up unconsciously by our body regarding the context. Each time, when we talk to someone in a distance, we mumble alone, we are shocked by something, laugh, or cry for some emotionally intense reason, our body automatically tunes up the volume, tone, pitch, tension, rhythm, and etc of our voice.
The 2 x 32 words are extracted from the original contexts and purified to be free from their literal meanings by the artist. Kazehito contributes another couple of graphic scores. In the scores, the original contexts which are made "literally empty," are randomly filled up with the words that are reverted to the literal form. Without literal meaning of the sentences, each context is still full of non-verbal directions, e.g. the layout, the markup, and all the styling aspects of the words. However, the reader also has her/his own freedom either to follow or refuse such directions.
Authors: Branka Čolić and Paul Michael von Ganski as part of SEX
Branka Čolić is trained as an actor and studied fine arts at the HfK Bremen with Rolf Thiele and at the HfBK Hamburg with Matt Mullican and Michaela Melian. She is part of diverse music and sound projects such as gestatten, schulz and SEX. More about her chanel for self optimisation for women artists https://youtu.be/-xQSfm4bDH4
Paul Michael von Ganski works as a musician, DJ and doing transfers of forgotten classical records.
The response of Branka and Michael is titled „Wort und Stimme“, originating from the name of a series of records that was released by Telefunken in the 50s and 60s with which the artists create a contrast with ɅV – A Sound Writing Tool focusing on voice.
Artwork: Wort und Stimme
(ger. word and voice) was the name of a series of records released by Telefunken in the 50s and 60s which presented contemporary poets speaking their own works. The idea for our piece is to put these and other historical recordings in opposition to the words on Andreas Bülhoff & Marc Matter’s release. To do this, we have created a tool that allows us to deconstruct the historical recordings into single words and phrases. Additionally, we are trying to manipulate the sound of the voices using techniques such as time-stretching, delays and filters. The words on ɅV - A Sound Writing Tool are spoken again by Branka Čolić, expanded and put into context with a collage of the edited, historical recordings. Of special interest is not only the meaning/non-meaning of words, but the sound of the voice that adds a temporality to the words. With this improvisational approach, we try to penetrate the area between the meaning of words and their temporal and expressive voice sound.
(Description by the artists, translated from German)