Speculative Voicing

Practice-led research by Amina Abbas-Nazari

Amina is a voice designer, with a background in design, research and vocal practice.

Amina has researched the voice in conjunction with emerging technology through practice, since 2008, as documented on this website. Amina is now completing a PhD in the School of Communication at the Royal College of Art, funded by Techne (NPIF).

Her PhD research investigates the sound and sounding of voices in conversational artificially intelligent (AI) systems, such as human voice interaction with an Amazon Echo device, voiced by Alexa. Currently human and synthesised voices in conversational AI systems are understood through practices of profiling - a mode of working and understanding that further perpetuates harm to already marginalised people. Using a methodology highlighting the sonic materiality of human and synthesised voices she critiques practices of profiling while demonstrating alternative possibilities. The research is orientated from her position as a practising speculative designer and vocal performer, while tracking the motivations of a lineage of female experimental vocalists. The practice-led research stipulates that the voice taken as a material and sonic phenomenon within conversational AI systems can facilitate new forms of meaning making. By working with the voice as a design material, but treating it as though an experimental singer would, possibilities emerge to experiment with vocal potential, building dynamic relations with other matter and exploring concepts of being and identity from an ecological and social standpoint.

Contextual research can be found on the Speculative Voicing Instagram

Amina Abbas-Nazari‘s Archived Work 

Get in touch:
Email: amina.abbas-nazari [at] network.rca.ac.uk
Insta: @aminaabbasnazari
LinkedIn: /in/aminaabbasnazari/




What You Will Watch and Hear, performed by Musarc, Lisson Gallery, London, 2023

The New Real AI Art Commission: Uncanny Machines with Johann Diedrick, 2023

Research Biennale, RCA, Online, 2021

Attune, Research and Waves, Online, 2020

Empathy Loading, Furtherfield Gallery x Curating Contemporary Art, RCA. Online, 2020

Le Marteau Sans Maître Concert, Musarc, Whitechapel Bell Foundry, 2020

Happy End, lítost, SVIT Gallery, Prague, 2018

Odrathek, musarc, London, 2018

Objects of Desire, Support Systems, Design Museum, London, 2018

Four Words: Technology. Curated by Alan Dunn with Leeds Beckett University, Channel 4 Television, 2017

Echo, The Function Room, King's Cross, London, 2014

Paradise, Milan Furniture Fair, Italy, 2012

Solo Performances:

Aonyx And Drepan, The Minders Of The Warm by Fani Parali, Southwark Park Galleries, 2020

Repositorium by Nestor Pestana, Scrolling The Arcane, Planetarium, Porto, Portugal, 2020

The Terrace of Lungs by Fani Parali, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2019

Ecstasies by Marguerite Humeau, Kunstverein, Hamburg, 2019

Angels like Buildings by Fani Parali, Assembly Point, London, 2019

The Wingspan Measurers, by Fani Parali, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2017

Oral Rinse, with Harry Bix, Crypt Gallery, Euston, London, 2017

All Silent But For The Broadcast, RCA, London, 2014

And You Were Wonderful On Stage (group performance) by Cally Spooner, Tate Britain, London, 2014

Click here for full CV 


AI: Who’s Looking After Me?, Friday Lates: Machine Mythologies, Science Gallery, London

Beyond the Every Day: Vocal Potential in AI Mediated Communication, Sounding Out! Blog, Online

Articulating Data, Edinburgh

Peer Review, openwork, Columbia University, 2022.

Where Speech Meets Sound, as part of Hausmusik Kollektiv, edited by Claudia Molitor, Uniformbooks, 2021

Speculative Listening, Auraldiversities: Future Listening. Goldsmiths University, 2021

Looking Back and Looking Forward, Sound Practise and Research, City, University of London, 2021

Giving Voice to Synthetic Sonics, with Anja Borowicz-Richardson, RCA, 2021

Phonocentric Adventures in Design Fiction, Art/Thought/Sound: Knowing Through Sound, School of Arts, UCP, Porto, Portugal, 2021

Beyond Words, MRes, School of Communication, RCA, 2020

Human-Data Interaction workshop on Music and AI, Somerset House, London, 2019

The (Un)Sound Barrier Symposium, Royal College of Art, London, 2019

Acoustic Ecology of an AI System, SPARC (Sound Practise and Research at City, University of London) Symposium, London, 2019

Very Very Far Away Radio, Sympoiesis, DIY Space for London, 2017

Sonic Fiction-Sonic Futures, Listening After Pauline Oliveros, Centre for Audio Visual Experimentation, Leeds, 2017

Sound Cultures in the Modern Age, Queen Mary University, London, 2017

Sounding Out the Anthropocene Conference, Critical Media Lab, Basel, Switzerland, 2016

V&A Digital Futures and SPACE present: The DeLuxe Edition, V&A, London, 2016

FutureFest, Nesta, London, 2015

Across the Sonic Border, Work & Play: Economies of Music Conference, Music Department, Harvard University, America, 2015