29.01 /// 14:00 - 18:00
In this workshop from sound artist and researcher Wesley Goatley, participants will create sound sculptures from discarded Amazon Echo devices to tell new stories about the relationships between humans and AI.
Participants will first be introduced to the Amazon Echo as a critical object; one that reflects the hopes, dreams, and exploitations of AI tech companies while being a totem for discussions around extractive capitalism, critical futures, and civilisation-scale myth-making.
Wesley will then introduce participants to the basic principles behind his own work of re-purposing broken and discarded Amazon Echoes with new Alexa speech and audio. Participants will have a practical introduction to sound editing and composing for the Echo, as well as how to generate custom Alexa voices to create compositions of both music and speech for the Echo. They will have the opportunity to upload these new compositions directly to hacked Amazon Echo devices which will be provided.
Participants need to bring their own laptops, and have pre-installed the Ableton Live demo, available for free here. and sign up for an Amazon Developer account – this can be done by signing up with any email address (not phone number.)
Wesley Goatley is a sound artist and researcher based in London, UK.
His critical practice examines the aesthetics and politics of data, machine learning, and voice recognition technologies and the power they have in shaping the world and our understanding of it. His work is exhibited and performed internationally, including venues such as Eyebeam in New York, Berghain in Berlin, The Nam June Paik Art Center in Seoul, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. He has a 25-year background as an experimental performer and musician, including for labels such as Kranky (US) and Southern (UK). He holds a doctorate in the philosophy of aesthetics and is Course Leader of MA Interaction Design at the University of the Arts London.