France Tag

NOT POMPIDOU – Paris, FR

As part of the 2020 exhibition NEURONS: Simulated Intelligence at Centre Pompidou, Paris, my work as a media artist in AI, affective computing, and interactive sound website was misattributed to American composer and professor at Brandeis University Erin Gee (who shares my name).

While the two Erin Gees have been aware of one another’s practices for several years, (we share many peers who have teased us about our namesakes, and we were even programmed in the same music festival in 2019), to our knowledge our works have never been mixed up or misattributed in a professional capacity.

A public statement was made by the publishers of the catalogue (HYX editions) on their website and as a digital addendum/downloadable pdf, available here.

This post is intended to clarify the following points:

  1. The work that was presented at Centre Pompidou, Shillim: Mouthpiece 34 (2019), is not my work. Mouthpieces is the name of a body of work by homonymous American composer Erin Gee. She is best known for her work in non-semantic vocal music that typically consists of vocal and instrumental compositions, named Mouthpieces with a numerator afterwards. She has been contributing compositions to the Mouthpieces series for over twenty years.
  2. The artworks Machine Unlearning (2020) and Laughing Web Dot Space (2018) referenced in the wall text of the exhibition (see below) and attributed to the American composer are my works. These are new media artworks, incorporating technologies such as neural networks and interactive HTML in their creation. In addition, my work of the soone (2017) attributed to the American composer via the catalogue (see below) is another new media artwork of mine that uses machine learning / AI, and is a collaboration with Canadian media artist Sofian Audry, who is not acknowledged in the catalogue.
  3. As part of the events surrounding the exhibition, American composer Erin Gee was also invited to speak on a panel as part of Forum Vertigo: human and artificial perception dealing with generative music and artificial intelligence.  The opinions expressed and works she references in this panel discussion are entirely her own and are unrelated to my practice.

 

Following the discovery of the misattribution of my work at the exhibition opening (thanks to Parisian peers who were on site), I worked with Robin Dupuis (the Director of the organization perte de signal, which represents my work) to communicate the seriousness of this error to the exhibition’s curators Frédéric Migayrou et Camille Lenglois. Unfortunately, the wall text misattributing my work and research in new media art to American composer Erin Gee remained on the wall of the exhibition for weeks before being replaced by a text that was truly dedicated to the research of the American composer.

In response, the curators of Neurones apologized for these misattribution errors. They expressed that they were unable to do anything further to mitigate the issue of the 200-page catalogue, which also attributed other new media artworks of mine to the American composer who shares my name. During this period I had also reached out to the American artist who was also onsite, however for personal reasons she was not available to respond to the situation for several months.

A photo of original wall text from Neurones exhibition at Centre Pompidou combining the works and research of Canadian Artist Erin Gee with American Composer Erin Gee.

I am very grateful for the assistance of Robin Dupuis at Perte de Signal as well as Editions HYX publishers for working together to create a digital addendum that addresses the error published in the catalogue a month after the error was discovered. It was very pleasant to work with the publishers together on this solution. Despite this, a digital addendum has only a limited impact, as the printed copies remain in circulation without any printed addendum (see below).

I have recently been in touch with American composer Erin Gee to share a horrified laugh and work on solutions – we have both agreed to be diligent and aware of potential confusions this situation might create in the future. We collectively state:  Canadian new media artist Erin Gee is a specialist in affective technologies, emergent technologies such as quantum computing and AI, and vocal performance inspired by ASMR. American composer Erin Gee is a professor at Brandeis University and also an expert in non-semantic vocal performance and composition techniques.

This is of course an imperfect and improvisational solution, as I would never want to prevent a peer from exploring new technology, nor is it logical for me to avoid non-semantic vocal content in future works. Rather, this strategy speaks to a disciplinary situatedness that our sensibilities emerge from. If you are a professional artist or curator working in our fields, please share this story in your network as a means of preventing further confusion. As more peers learn of this issue, as well as our two distinct practices and achievements in our respective fields, we hope that this error will not reproduce itself.

Recto VRso Festival: France

Recto VRso Virtual : April 14-16 2021.  https://rectovrso.laval-virtual.com/

Recto VRso Restitution: July 8-11 2021, Musée Ecole Jardin de la Perrine, Laval (France). 

My ASMRtronica work We as Waves (2021) is part of the 2021 Recto VRso festival

For its upcoming edition, Recto VRso reinvents itself and reshapes its format by combining a virtual exhibition and a restitution in the physical world. The 4th edition of the international digital art festival Recto VRso will take place online from 14th to 16th April 2021 in the virtual world of Laval Virtual World.  A second part of the festival will be organized in a physical space from 7th to 11th July 2021 during the international exhibition Laval Virtual.

Behavioral Matter Workshop Centre Pompidou, Paris

March 15 – 17  2019 :
“Behavioral Matter” : Public research-creation workshop for international participants

I’ve been invited to participate in a big research-creation party at the Centre Pompidou with many fellow digital romantics, post human dreamers and hyper geeks.  I don’t have that many details beyond the fact that I’m in a group concerned with inter-species communications, and that perhaps I can collaborate with others to communicate with pigeons through my emotional biosensors, harnessing the power of our emotional bodies to simulate pigeon coos, squawks and wingflaps.

🐦

I’m excited to see the great exhibition and also to meet some interesting artist-researchers. Information below en français…

15 – 17 mars 2019 :
“Behavioral Matter” : workshop de recherche-création international et public

Au sein du forum du Centre Pompidou, 12 modules thématiques (machine learning, comportement de la brume, internet des objets, matérialisation de données, microbiotes, impression 4D,…),avec la participation de plus de 70 créateurs, chercheurs, étudiants et étudiants-chercheurs.
Centre Pompidou * Forum, en face de la librairie * 11h-19h
Visites organisées les 16 et 17 mars (inscription sur place), restitution publique dimanche 17 mars à 16h.

Le projet “Behavioral Matter“ est mis en place par EnsadLab, le laboratoire de recherche de l’ École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs
(EnsAD – Université PSL, dans le cadre de l’exposition #LaFabriqueduVivant (cycle Mutations/Créations 3), avec le soutien de la Chaire « arts & sciences » de l’École polytechnique, de l’École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs – PSL et de la Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso et avec le partenariat du Cluster “Matters of Activity. Image Space Material” de Humboldt State University de Berlin et du fonds PERSPEKTIVE pour l’art contemporain & l’architecture, une initiative du Bureau des arts plastiques de l’INSTITUT FRANÇAIS, soutenu par le Ministère de la Culture et le Goethe-Institut.

Locus Sonus Residency France

I will be developing a new work for VR in the context of a residency at Locus Sonus in Aix-en-Provence starting February 2018 until May 2018.  During these three months I will push the potential of sonified biodata into increasingly posthumanist/non-anthropomorphic territories using virtual architectures as sensorial training ground, as inspired by materialist philosophers such as Jane Bennett and post-humanist Rosi Braidotti.

I thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for its financial support of this project.

About Locus Sonus

Locus Sonus is a research group attached to ESAAix (École supérieure d’art d’Aix-en-Provence) and the French Ministry for Culture, integrated with PRISM (Perception, Representations, Image, Sound, Music) an interdisciplinary research unit that groups researchers from AMU (Aix Marseille University), CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) as well as ESAAix.

Locus Sonus’ main aim is to explore the continuously evolving relationship between sound, place and usage in an Art/Science tradition. The research methodology includes experimentation with emerging audio technologies particularly those relating to sound transmission, mobilization or spatialisation as well as historical contextualisation of such practices. Locus Sonus accommodates practice-based PhD students enrolled at Aix-Marseille University (« Pratiques et théorie de la création artistique et littéraire » E.D 354).

Locus Sonus’ main field of investigation is entitled New Auditoriums, to be understood here as the different ways in which audiences collectively share a listening experience. Beyond physical spaces such as concert halls or open-air stages, we attribute this description to all systems that enable a shared audio experience. Examples include radio, audio streaming or virtual worlds. We consider that each system has particular (audio and social) qualities that call for artistic enquiry and experimentation, these may in turn lead to different types of artistic practice.

Locus Sonus’ current research focuses on audio in virtual environments (for example New Atlantis) and the transmission and perception of remote soundscapes (for example : Locustream).

About the project

In this project I propose virtual space and spoken word as a means of creating a “speculative” materialism that promotes empathy to (virtual) objects by allowing the viewer to objectify and analyze their own (biodata), making material of the human body itself. I’m interested in exploring the limits of virtual physicality and phenomenological experience through imaginative sonic narrative as well as virtual space, making use of simple 3D objects and architectures dramatically lit, referenced imaginatively through the five senses by the unseen narrative voice in order to maintain the focus on sound: the disconnect between virtual material and sonic suggestion forms a useful perceptual noise (for example, the voice writes on a notepad that is never seen, the sounds of a lab or examination room can fade in and out, lab is never seen). During this residency I would record the spoken word sections inspired by roleplay, personal attention and spoken narrative vocalizations typical to the genre of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), a style of sound composition developed largely on the internet that focuses on high frequency noises to create intense feelings of relaxation accompanied by “tingles” felt on the skin. ASMR enthusiasts focus intensely on the physiological reaction of the listener to sound, and so I want to use this voice as a means of loosely describing material agencies of virtual objects as imperative to the expansion of human sensorium. The link between physiological and phenomenological experience and confirmed biofeedback pushes the physical potential of VR into new sonic territories that focus on embodied experience through perceptions of external as well as internal spaces.

Other Residents

I am excited to be working alongside the other residents at Locus Sonus, and learning more about their projects and practices.

raadio caargo (Christophe Aslanian et Aurélia Nardini) – Bourges, FR

Mitchell Herrmann (USA)