Mouthsaic

interactive installation

Mouthsaic is the project, selected among the winning artists of the XXVII Edition of Circuitos of Fine Arts (Edition XXVII) of the Community of Madrid. This project was awared with an art production residency at LABoral, Art and Industrial Creation, Gijón, Spain.

Mouthsaic explores how digital tools alter or sometimes even destroy the original human message, making it impossible to communicate between people of different languages. The installation produces an interesting conversation between humans and machines in the Cloud, using different codes. This Cloud can be visualized and listened for an instant in the form of a large tower of contemporary Babel.

We often use technology and the internet to translate a message, but many times we find an inaccurate or even unsuccessful translation. This installation explores the difficulties of communication when it is necessary to use another language. It is also played with the possible destruction of the message, by introducing and manipulating it digitally, with tools that are presupposed precisely perfection. As we know the software often detects the sound in an inaccurate way, due to different reasons, such as the ambient noise, the pronunciation or speed of each individual, etc., and therefore it is erroneously translated. When the participant then tries to reproduce the message, twice misinterpreted (interpretation and translation), it is modified a third time in an even more inaccurate way on the part of the visitor, due to its possible ignorance of the foreign language and pronunciation, remembering the traditional game “the spoiled phone”. In this way three possible errors are introduced in the message not only committed by the machine but also by the person, something that ultimately hinders or prevents communication, until a total loss in translation. The visitor in turn, not only participates in the elaboration of the work, but for an instant becomes part of it.

The installation becomes a cultural experience and tries to awake participants to a reflection on the limits of their own interpretation of reality, which is never exact, and often perceives everything that is different to be negative or to be threatening. The intention is to put the participant in a situation where they can, for an instant, experience a sense of verbal isolation. This work places special emphasis on the notions of shyness and insecurity when communicating with other people, as well as on translation as an imperfect tool for transmitting information.

Mouthsaic aims to be a cultural experience and a meeting point between people of different backgrounds, classes, interests, culture, age, etc. In this way, it becomes a space of agreement where understanding could occur in an instant, within the absurd, since in reality it would be impossible to communicate fluently through distorted messages. By going through this experience, the natives become, for a moment, the other, the other, the foreigner, and they will feel the frustration of someone who wants to communicate, but is impeded by the fear of using a different language than theirs. And the “others” will probably feel a little more knowledgeable within that situation. You can also see this experience as a game that aims to normalize and make even fun and entertaining the fact of having to communicate in another language, without any trial, or anyone who is impatient with their clumsiness.

Year of Creation: 2017

Premiere: 26/11/2017,  LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón

 

Technique: Custom-software, two webcams, microphone, computer (Mac), projector, speakers, table, chair, two devices manufactured ad-hoc

Room conditions: The piece requires a darkened and quiet room.

Dimensions: Variable

 

Credits

  • A production of LABoral, Art and Industrial Creation and Community of Madrid
  • PureData development: Andrés Felipe Duarte
  • HTML development:  Joaquín González Gigosos

Exhibitions

Models