Naturally speaking is an experimental essay commissioned for the book ‘You Are Here: Art After the Intenet’ and written by Tyler Coburn. The piece explores the evolution of language following the introduction of speech recognition technologies through an intervention and adaptation of the training program for Macintosh speech recognition.
I am interested in the work’s exploration of speech, its purpose and transmission within a digital space. In this setting speech is reduced to noise in ordered to be rendered digital and understood as data. The work raises interesting questions about the nature of communicating in a digital age.
Considering this alongside my own practice, especially some of my most recent pieces where I have been performing predictive text ‘scripts’, I am interested in the relationship between speech and information. The language that goes in and comes out of the digital space, and in particular the attempts made by the ‘computer’ to synthesise speech and to render itself communicable to us.
The essay has also been performed by Susan Bennett, the voice of Siri. This adds a new layer to the work, further questioning the relationship between the real and the synthetic voice and its relationship to text and speech.