vociférer || I wish my alien pet could talk

Performance involving sound synthesis using Max/MSP, live microphone recording and accelerometer data. 2019.

Communication is at the center of most of our individual activities. Communicating in ways that one’s intentions are clearly stated generates tension and anxiety. Vociférer || I wish my alien pet could talk is a wearable voice distortion device that blurs the language by transforming words into animalistic sound. This project is still in a prototyping phase.

Aesthetically, the prosthetic borrows from the shame masks used in middle age to punish people that would commit social faux-pas such as gossiping or lying. These masks would often look like animal faces, which had the effect of mocking the wearer. Social shaming still exists today, not in the form of masks (though it would be hilarious), but in ways, through social media for instance, that make the victim’s flaws obvious to everyone in their mediatic surroundings.

The input of this device is the human voice, words and/or sounds, resonating in the mask and recorded live by a small Lavalier microphone. The output is a hybrid between the sound of a humpback whale and the humming laments of a machine. The performer can access a wide range of pitch, from very low to very high.

The body motion of the wearer is used to manipulate/filter the sound coming out of the apparatus. And a tongue interface inside the mask acts as a guitar pedal.