Thomas Heidtmann Studio


2017 | Interactive Object

The piece was originally created for the exhibition “Serious Sparkles. An Inquiry into Artificial Stupidity” during Vorspiel / transmediale & CTM at Lacuna Lab, Berlin, Germany. It consists of two objects located in different spots of the exhibition space.

Thomas Heidtmann: Antenna, 2017. Istallation view.

The first one captures sounds to isolate voices which are then analyzed by several layers of speech recognition. They get synthetically reproduced by a speech synthesizer at the second object. During this process, sentences, words, and meanings get changed, modified or lost.

Thomas Heidtmann: Antenna, 2017. Live recording voice samples.

Inspired by experimental military TV and radio antennas used at the beginning of the 20th century to receive long-distance signals of radio frequencies, the objects consist of a metal antenna-like shaped attachment which sits on top of a wooden tripod. To process the input of the visitor/user, the objects are communicating via WiFi through Raspberry Pi microcomputers which are connected to the internet.

Thomas Heidtmann: Antenna, 2017. Detail.

The piece plays with the modification of our perception of reality and the intellectual correspondence of human minds through artificial intelligence systems. It uses them to create a “Chinese whispers” / telephone game-like experience.