AI permeates our world, but is the sound of AI something specific, or is it the subtle reshaping of the soundscape that surrounds our daily lives? Sounds Like AI is a long-form soundscape that integrates sounds common to the Gallery’s exhibition space (for example, the constant hum of the escalator), sounds that we typically associate with computers and AI (for example, sound effects from films), and random snippets of speech that resemble the talkin AI agents we encounter everyday (for example, Alexa, Siri and “Hey Google.”)
Patrick Pennefather describes the work as “a sonic resting point amidst the often disorienting and chaotic sounds we experience in public spaces.”
The rotunda soundscape, Are you Talking to Me?, interactively tracks visitors using a motion tracking system and targets individual visitors with specialized speakers that have an extremely tight focus. The selection of what audio is played is determined partly by where in the rotunda that audio is being projected by the tightly focused speakers, and in that sense audio content is also responsive to each visitor’s movements. The result is a constantly changing and never-repeating sound experience that is shaped by the movement of the visitors who experience it.
Text To Speech
Patrick Pennefather and Sheinagh Anderson, Sounds Like AI (excerpt), 2022, digital audio, AI sound generators, AI sound generating plug-ins, automated and randomized mixing, Commissioned by the Vancouver Art Gallery, and supported by the University of British Columbia with Sound Design Assistant Olivia Chen
Installation documentation of Patrick Pennefather and Michal Suchanek, Are You Talking to Me?, 2022, GigaPoint intelligent speaker, Hypersonic Speaker technology, Commissioned by the Vancouver Art Gallery, and supported by the University of British Columbia