Last Tape

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Project Description

Three distinct levels of subjectivity. Self, 39 year old self, younger self. Looped, recursive subjectivity. Self-feedback loop.


Samuel Beckett. Krapp’s Last Tape

Krapp still 1.png Krapp still 2.png


  • Recording samples for new synthesis voice.

Work Samples

  1. Solipsist. 2012. Explores language as a closed system through speech recognition software and a receipt printer. Departing from Mel Bochner’s text Serial Art, Systems, Solipsism, Solipsist explores the implications for free expression when speech is inscribed within machine listening systems. The form of the receipt brings ideas of validation and evidence to the project–the viewer leaves with proof of having spoken, evaluated through the impassive arbitration of the technical-administrative system. The viewer can say whatever they want, but the system only hears them in the finite terms of the words it knows–in this case, channeling the artist’s voice.
  2. Face Swap. 2012. Explores ideas of public persona and personal desire. This computer vision system grafts imagery from a database of characters over the viewer’s faces, aiming for a surreal, psychological shock of disjunctive collage. The voices of the spectral inhabitants (Rauschenberg, Duchamp, Pope.L) can be heard throughout the gallery, coalescing when the viewer presents their face to the system. When identified on camera, the screen cuts to a close view grafting video of the stored personae onto the viewer’s face–both erasing their identity and imposing that of another.
  3. Father-Daughter Art Show. 2007. This body of work was produced out from the concept of an imaginary daughter. Occupying a fictional persona disconcertingly close to my own, I produced a series of artifacts which hypothesized potential facets of her identity and elements of a fatherhood narrative. Exhibiting my fascination with parenthood and my fantasies of a young daughter, I placed the viewer in a position of unsettling intimacy—contemplating the boundary and interrelationship between male and paternal desire.
  4. Searle's Room. 2013. chose child-writing and child-speech as proto-languages, unintelligible in any conventional linguistic sense but rife with poetic possibilities and communicative in other registers, on the level of shared-biological experience. The system is composed of a number of static materials and two active agents: a child speech synthesis system, and a mechatronic child drawing apparatus. The system operates in cycles: synthesizing child speech, which is then interpreted and transcribed by speech recognition system, in turn launching the drawing machine into a round of additions to a cumulative drawing on the wall. As the cycle repeats, periodic bursts of child speech are followed by the sounds of stepper motors and pen-and-ink inscription.
  5. Megahal Grandmommy. 2005. Megahal Grandmommy is a chatbot program I trained as a surrogate for my real grandmother, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimers. In a private performance over the course of a number of months I conversed with this program, airing thoughts and fears for her situation, discussing events in our lives, and exploring the space around this impending loss. In later stages of existence, the piece has been installed as a program for viewers to interact with, exploring and piecing together a narrative with the fragments hidden in the program’s replies. The chatbot technology was chosen for this project specifically because of its limitations—the dysfunctional and fractured conversation which it is capable of seemed a suitable analogy for the degradation of communication I expect with my grandmother as her situation progresses. This piece functioned as a cathartic unpacking, a rehearsal for loss, and an inscription of a very particular textual, interactive portrait—and it has provided entirely unexpected moments of humor and relief.