Voice Booth adopts a sarcastic attitude towards the role of popular technologies in our social reality, through a device that monitors and corrects performance. It can be examined under the prism of our increasingly digitally enhanced social life, exploring the contradictive nature of the new technologies where the optimisation of the human as a social species through technology and censorship can be seen as going together.
In the film, the concept of delivering bad news is employed as an experimental situation where a software is put to use to “engineer” the optimum voice for an unfortunate occasion. A workshop took place as an experiment that dealt with the “practicality” of the technology and the progress of the participants, while enabling an observation on how people handle social situations; medical students from the Imperial College where asked to break the news of the death of someone and HR managers were trained to fire people with sympathy. The technology aimed to exercise the judgment of the participants on the different circumstances and the conventions they go with.
Progress was then assessed by a voice coach. Empathy turns into a mechanised expression of emotions in a scenario where the “wrong” voice is unforgivable.
Appearances: ICA Miami, the Wall Street Journal, Transmediale 2015, Athens Video Art 2015, SXSW 2014 Interactive awards, Core77 Awards, FACT Foundation for Art & Creative Technology, Victoria & Albert Museum at London Design Festival, MoMA Talks, Marianne Brandt Awards
Imperial College, Faculty of Medicine
Aleksandra Wozniak, store manager at Scotch and Soda
Deborah Louise Grant, HR Manager at IMG Artists
Code: Panagiotis Tigkas
Voice Coach: Ysabel Clare
Camera: Emma Dalesman