Friction (2023)

Friction was developed and performed in collaboration with sound artist and composer David Stalling for the closing of the solo exhibition PseudoRandom. Inspired by machine learning models that scrape the World Wide Web for data in order to produce generated text works, I google the term “friction,” writing my results without source information onto acetate transparencies on an overhead projector while vocalising my findings. Speaking at the pace of writing, which I perform upside down and backwards thereby slowing down and defamiliarising the task, terms stretch and syllables slip into moments of song. Stalling uses a vocoder to modulate my voice, developing an electroacoustic improvised sound work based on my articulations along with the sound generated from a contact microphone on the projector that captures the sound of writing. My gestures of transcribing, in turn, respond to the quality of the sound work as a feedback loop. The transparencies are layered onto the projector, creating a palimpsest that grows over the course of the performance. In contrast to large language models, the pace and scale of my resulting data set is slow and small, where emphasis is not placed on the content of the findings, but the process of transcription.

Documentation by Sue Murad