Speculative Listening

2019 - 

        How do we want to be heard by technology? How can technology allow us to be heard and listen in different ways? How does what we hear shape the way we understand the world and each other?

From the stethoscope to satellites, technology allows us to experience sounds not normally audible to us. Furthermore, rapidly developing artificially intelligent technology has enabled machine listening that can now interpret us and our interactions via our voices and other sonic information.

In this creative, hands-on workshop we speculatively imagined how combining our bodies with technology could allow us new or modified ways to be heard, communicate with each other and / or listen to the world. The workshop was conducted and facilitated via the use of ‘silent disco headphones’ and I created a soundtrack of ‘inaudible audio’ to guide and inspire participants. The soundtrack was a compilation of sounds we can only hear with the use of technology, such as sounds from inside the human body and sounds from space, and was narrated by an AI reconstruction of my voice.

This workshop was devised as part of the Summer School Teachers Course in collaboration with Tate London Schools and Teachers Team 2019 at the Tate Modern. It was also run at the Life Rewired Hub, Barbican Centre, London, with children and families, and students at Leeds University.

Photos by Tate / Joe Humphrys.
Special thanks to @indiaroseharvey, @yemiawosile & @lisamariebengtsson