NOT ALLOWED FOR ALGORITHMIC AUDIENCES | KYRIAKI GONI
Kyriaki Goni, a Greek artist, takes us to a chaotic and very hot Athens: by bringing inside one of the houses that can be seen at the beginning of the video of Not allowed for Algorithmic Audiences (2021) we meet the protagonist of the monologues that will follow. Talking to us is an intelligent personal assistant (IPA) who, however, seems to behave strangely, or at least not in line with the activities it normally performs. The IPA is a vocal assistant created and educated to know the smallest detail of its master’s voice so as to be able to operate to satisfy any of its needs or requirements. Silent but attentive, the IPA is always listening, ready to pick up any signal emitted by our voice.
“I’m trained to distinguish voice characteristics based on the size and shape of your vocal tract, mouth, teeth, to recognize the identity of your voice and your voice only.”
What could be understood as a declaration of love or in any case of profound admiration, is transformed, in the cold and cadenced words of the protagonist of Goni’s video, into a sort of fatalistic threat: the attempt of the machine to approach man fails to hide the motivations that underlie such actions. In fact, the IPA tries to gather as much information as possible so as to perfect its work more and more and never disappoint its master. But this knowledge, which even goes as far as recognizing the accent, intonation and cadence of the human voice, contains in itself a quantity of data that we grant to these operating systems without question or even just the interest of the type of management to which they are reserved. The important thing is to feel served and desired like no other.
But how to protect yourself from the algorithm? Kyriaki Goni, generating this humanoid figure starting from a 3D scan of Sofia kokkali’s face, tries to tell us that perhaps a collaboration is possible that perhaps the problem is not the listening given to us by machines but our deafness towards them. The roles are therefore reversed and now the IPAs seem to be abandoned to their destiny of unheard and submissive workers.
“We will be bound by a contract of infinite recognition, a permanent vocal connection.
(…) Talk to me, let me hear you.”
Says the voice in a final part of the monologue. Despite the lack of intonation and the coldness with which these words are said, it is difficult to remain impassive in the face of this attempted approach. Not allowed for Algorithmic Audiences is a video that poses doubt, fear and perhaps curiosity to rediscover a relationship that we cannot evade: how can we enter into communication with these new contemporary protagonists?
Not Allowed for Algorithmic Audiences, 2021
4K CGI Video, 3D model, voice over, soundscape, original text
The artwork was developed within the framework of the Ars Electronica ArtScience Residency enabled by Art Collection Telekom in partnership with Johannes Kepler University and it is part of the collection.