MACHINE LISTENING RESIDENCY
Unsound has worked with Australian artist-research collective Machine Listening (Sean Dockray, James Parker and Joel Stern) since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, when we commissioned online transmissions, experiments and performances totalling nine hours. Building on our continued collaborations over the years, 2023 will see Machine Listening in residency at Unsound, Krakow IRL, presenting several works.
After Words is a multichannel audio installation about how we speak to and perform for listening machines and what is happening to language as a result. The work comprises a series of speculative scenes, each incorporating audio repurposed from machine learning datasets, woven through a script written with and against an ‘autoregressive language model’. The result is a strange set of semi-fictional tales of computational scripting, instruction, production and performance. The work was originally commissioned for the Data Relations exhibition at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. After Words opens at Cricoteka on Monday at 6PM and will remain open throughout the festival week.
Expanding on the installation, Machine Listening will also lead a workshop titled Data Audit featuring a lecture and participatory experiments delving into online audio datasets, which will be explored as domains of power, potential, critique and creativity. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops and headphones.
Lastly, threaded throughout the festival at various live events will be the Machine Listening Songbook, a series of audio-visual interventions using experimental software designed by the group in order to explore speech decomposition, voice-cloning and deconstructed song-form, with a nod to the legacies of Dada and concrete poetry.