About Multivocal

What are the politics and aesthetics involved in synthesized voices? What happens during the listening experience when the voice we hear is synthesized? What are the notions of identity, personhood and will that we ascribe to the synthesized voices talking to us?

Synthetic voices are artificial voices generated by algorithms. Currently, the designed synthesized voices that we hear in our everyday life seem to have only one vocal identity. In multivocal we question the aesthetic design as well as the representational modes of these synthesized voices, and ask: since voices from machines are not limited to a single vocal identity, why do the currently available synthesized voices have only one gender, one age, and one accent?

multivocal aims to produce reflections on the implications resulting from a single synthesized voice identity, and create new listening experiences to improve and reimagine human and machine relationships.

Who are we?

Alice Emily Baird

Alice is a sound artist and researcher from the UK. Currently a research assistant and Ph.D. candidate for the Chair of Complex and Intelligent Systems, Passau University, Germany. Alice works across an array of disciplines, predominately exploring the intersections between scientific research and the arts, with particular focus on the human experience and perception of sound. Alice has shown work at venues including; Basilica Hudson (Hudson, NY, USA), Pioneer Works (New York, NY, USA), PACE (New York, NY, USA) and Parker Gallery (Whitechapel, London, UK). Alice recently completed her MFA in Sound Arts at Columbia University, New York City - where she was in residence at Columbia's Computer Music Centre.

Frederik Tollund Juutilainen

Frederik is a software developer and programmer from Copenhagen. He has a degree in philosophy and computer science from Roskilde University and now works in the development and programming of digital-/physical installations. Frederik works in interdisciplinary teams and in fields including, object-oriented and functional programming, machine learning, evolutionary algorithms, parametric design, audio design and programming of micro-controllers. Alongside his work he actively contributes to and publishes open-source software. Frederik is also a DJ celebrating disco and the likes.

Stina Hasse Jørgensen

Stina is a PhD fellow at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, where she is researching the politics and aesthetics of synthesized voices. Stina has published articles on art, technology and sound in magazines and journals such as Transformations Journal of Media & Culture, Body, Space & Technology Journal, Cultural Analysis, Seismograf, and kunsten.nu. She has given papers at conferences such as TERRÆN, ISEA, Aesthetics, Ethics and Biopolitics of the Posthuman, Global Lives Project - UC Berkeley, Re-New IMAC, and NORDIK. Stina is also a practitioner of art with a focus on data, sound and technology. She has presented her work in places such as Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, NLHspace, DIAS - Digital Interactive Art Space, Wundergrund Festival, BEAM festival, Atelier Hotel Pro Forma, MIX Copenhagen, LAK festival.

Mads Steensig Pelt

Mads is a programmer residing in Copenhagen. He works with backend development and software architecture for a Danish IT startup. He has experience with a wide-array of platforms and web frameworks. In his spare time he is an avid collector of exotica music, and likes to work with sound/music, recording, and production.

Nina Cecilie Højholdt

Nina is an is interaction designer and developer from Copenhagen. She has a bachelor from the IT University and is currently on the last year of her Masters in Interaction Design at Malmö University. Futhermore, she is a part of a tech/art collective, building interactive installtions for museums, festivals, conferences and so on.