| ART | Tyler Coburn brings the voice of Siri, live to New York March 29




Curated by Rachel Valinsky

Sunday, March 29th, 46:30 PM
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South, New York

Tyler Coburn
Ian Hatcher
Lanny Jordan Jackson
Research Service

NYPAC is pleased to announce User Agent, a program of performances at Judson Memorial Church onMarch 29th, 2015.

Curated by Rachel Valinsky, User Agent presents four works that interrogate our relationship to devices, software, and technological apparatuses, often complicating our perception of these systems’ cognitive faculties and capacity for agency. Derived from computing, the term “user agent” refers to software that acts on behalf of a user. In other words, the software is a performer, enacting a functional, operational task. Through a sustained engagement with the language and codes of these technologies, the pieces inUser Agent blur the boundaries of user and agent, subject and object, agency and automation, and propose new ways we might consider the technologies that shape communication, movement, and speech.


Tyler Coburn, NaturallySpeaking, 2013/2014: NaturallySpeaking is an experimental essay performed live for the first time by Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri, Apple’s speech recognition software. The essay retells famous stories of the births and afterlives of the voice: from Edison’s attempt to make his phonograph a device through which every sound in the history of the world again might be heard, to the robotic dogs and chatbots of early AI, and the scene in Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel, when the warming air thaws the frozen sounds of a past battle. As Bennett reads, a projected screensaver tracks the melting of an ice sculpture of Pantagruel’s ship. NaturallySpeaking was commissioned for the publication You Are Here: Art After the Internet (Cornerhouse Books, 2014) and presented in 2014 as an installation in the exhibition “La Voix Humaine” at Kunstverein Munich. It has screened as a single-channel video with voiceover by Susan Bennett in “Art Post-Internet” at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing.

Ian Hatcher, Drone Pilot v0.2, 2015: In Ian Hatcher’s DronePilot v0.2, a seemingly endless flow of software-driven text flickers and streams rapidly across a screen, expanding and contracting from the smallest word particle to a multi-word column. Hatcher performs at astonishing speed a reading of this text, even as it is occasionally interrupted — silenced — when the screen goes dark.

Lanny Jordan Jackson, Young Blood, 2014/2015: Lanny Jordan Jackson will present a new work titledYoung Blood (2015): an elliptical and provisional monologue via microphone and projector, helmet and shield, assessing the remains of a failed film project.

Research Service, Systems Say What Words Cannot, 2015: In this performance-lecture, the three members of Research Service (Avi Alpert, Mashinka Firunts, and Danny Snelson) each deliver a brief statement on the relationship between automation and embodiment. Three virtual avatars choreograph their movements as they speak. Their instructions lead to variations on each lecture. This event commemorates the passing of Eugene Goostman.

Artist biographies are available at nypac.org. Image: Tyler Coburn, NaturallySpeaking, 2013/14. Text, screensaver, monitors, furniture. Detail: screensaver. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

For further information, please contact Samuel Draxler at samuel@nypac.org.

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