"Everyday Voices and Voids: Reclaiming and Transcoding our Data as Performance", a collaboration between Afroditi Psarra (DXARTS), Audrey Desjardins (Design) and Bonnie Whiting (Music) was selected by the University of Washington for a Mellon Faculty Fellowship in the Arts.
Responding to current concerns about the ubiquity of voice assistants, this artistic research focuses on building a series of performative artifacts that aim to challenge artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, and to examine automation through the prism of “ghost work” that constantly support these systems. By allowing AI agents to listen to our most private conversations, we become receptive to a sense of mediated care that arises from the liveliness of these systems, while forgetting or ignoring how much these automated interactions have been pre-scripted. While these interactions cultivate a sense of familiarization with non-human machines and explore the agency of their sentience, they also corroborate the impact of Late Capitalism and the Anthropocene. Within these contradictions we see an opportunity to reclaim, examine, and ultimately transcode this data through an interdisciplinary performance project, by developing embodied experiments using a combination of design, data-driven art, cyber crafts, found-object and traditional percussion instruments, spoken word, and movement.