Sound Art

of the soone

In this work, artists Sofian Audry and Erin Gee use the soft vocalizations of ASMR to translate deep learning processes into an intimate, human scale that incorporates role play and personal attention into the syntactical unfolding of an alien vocalization.

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is a growing genre of aural performance specific to online communities of amateur media creators (ASMRtists) who experiment with aural “triggers” such as whispered words, personal attention, subtle high frequency tapping, and abstract gentle body sounds to soothe the listener into calm and sometimes euphoric states. Through Gee’s tender vocalizations of machine performance we re-embody AI, and give it a physical intimacy through its technological re-mediation as sound.

The algorithmic process featured in this work is a deep recurrent neural network agent known as a “long short term memory” (LSTM) as it processes or “reads” Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The network encounters the book character by character, familiarizing itself with the syntactical universe of the text. As it reads and re-reads the book, it slowly and hesitantly attempts to mimick Brontë’s style within the constraints of its own artificial “body”, hence finding its own alien voice. The revoicing of that speech by a human performer allows the listener to witness the program’s journey from syntactical spaces, vowels, and syllables, eventually creating strings of intelligible text that come to generate sentences.

Exhibition History:

January 2018: Her Environment @ TCC Gallery, Chicago
March 2018: XXFiles Radio @ Nuit Blanche, Montreal
April 2018: NRW Forum, Düsseldorf, Germany

Erin Gee recording “of the soone” at Perte de Signal, Montreal

Erin Gee - 7 Nights of Unspeakable Truth at Nuit Blanche Toronto 2013

7 Nights of Unspeakable Truth

(2013)

7-channel audio installation, woven blankets, text work

8 hours duration

It’s a search for disembodied voices in technotongues.

“7 Nights of Unspeakable Truth is a recording that consists of dusk-till dawn searches for number stations on shortwave radio frequencies. Arranged in order, from day one to day seven, the installation allows one to physically walk through seven evenings of shortwave, synchronized in their respective times, in physical space. This spatialization of each night allows listeners to observe patterns and synchronicities in Gee’s nightly search for unexplained broadcasts that consist only of numbers, tones and codes.”

This body of work is informed by my fascination with mystery, symbolic organization and communication. I take on the nocturnal patterns of a solitary listener, connecting to other enthusiasts via online chat in order to share an obscure passion. The patterns of my searching during 7 Nights of Unspeakable Truth are woven directly into blankets, another evening activity partaken during Nuit Blanche 2013 in which I encoded and wove my audio searches into a physical form that you could wrap yourself in while you listen – two different versions of encoded time on radio airwaves.

More on this work:

Gautier, Philippe-Aubert. “Multichannel sound and spatial sound creation at Sporobole: A short account of live performance, studio design, outdoor multichannel audio, and visiting artists.” Divergence Press #3: Creative Practice in Electroacoustic Music (2016).

Erin Gee - Voice of Echo

Voice of Echo

(2011)

Works for video, audio, and digital images

Propelling the mythology of Narcissus and Echo into a science-fiction future, I translate Echo’s golem-like body into a digital environment.

What is the Voice of Echo?  It exists as a repetition – of what?  Of human voice, of Narcissus?  A voice that extends anothers’ voice, the activities of an environment, is it independent, does it vocalize at all?  The voice of Echo exists beyond its content, the repetitions, but how then to capture a voice devoid of content, devoid of sounding symbol?  The voice of Echo exists as a bouncing of processes, a distortion, a glitch, born of a love and desire uttered but never really communicated.  As artistic process I began by becoming Echo as image, in a video intended as love song for …Narcissus?  A camera?  A perverted gesture towards Echo’s self?

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Voice of Echo: Song of Love for Technological Eyes (2011) silent HD video for monitor playback, 18:01 (looped)  Photography by Kotama Bouabane.

Echo is in love with recording technology, particularly the video camera. The mirrors emanating from her throat are her concrete manifestations of her voice – the lovesong intended for the camera’s eye.

I took stills from this love song and translated the raw visual data into an audio editing program, choosing particular interpretation methods to “compose” the echo.  I bounced this data between photoshop and audacity multiple times, eventually coming at glitched sounds of data interpretation, as well as an accompanying distorted image for each “song”.  Echo may only traditionally exist as a re-utterance of Narcissus’ voice, but in this case her cyberfeminist reimagining points at perverse loops somewhere between love, repetition and becoming.