Content

Visual arts

SPIEL

SPIEL

Information on the activity

June 12, 2019 | 18 H

While absorbed in conversation you notice a stranger approaching. With a curious instrument affixed to their face the visitor leans in, and listens. The mouth opens, patterns of rhythm and sound emanate from within: voices recognizable as your own.

Spun out of focus, words reveal their ingrained subtleties as the collector of conversation captures the sentence but not the sentiment. Vocal exchanges are recalled and reflected. Voices are transformed by physical formant inflections, while acoustic hallucinations seem to reference what might have been said.

An étude on hearing lips and seeing voices, the performer’s mechanically augmented vocal tract reshapes and filters conversational spectra into new modes of mis-communication. Spiel physically unravels the tenuous synesthetic relationship between what is seen, heard and understood.

PETER VAN HAAFTEN
Creative direction, composition, sound, interactive design, programming, and electronics
MICHAEL MONTANARO
Original concept, creative direction, and visual design
TATEV YESYAN
Visual design, mask fabrication
NiEN TZU WENG
Performer

Research collaboration: Topological Media Lab / Concordia University [an in time FQRSC funded project]
With special thanks to Greg Salinger, Nicolas Bernier, Garnet Willis, Navid Navab, and Laboratoire Son / Matière (Université de Montréal).