Friday, 23 May 2014

CFP – Tuning Speculation II (Toronto, 7-9 Nov. 2014)

Tuning Speculation II: Auralneirics and imaginary networked futures

7-9 November, Toronto (Canada)

Organized by The Occulture (David Cecchetto, Marc Couroux, and eldritch Priest)

Plenary Speakers: Frances Dyson, Nandita Biswas Mellamphy, and Dan Mellamphy

In the context of ubiquitous media not only is the sheer volume of data notable, but so too are the ways in which we encounter, interact with and articulate its abstract mass. This is particularly significant where contemporary social experiences are increasingly interpellated by a technical apparatus in a way that makes the former available only through the invention and deployment of extra-sensory algorithms. The implication of technology in human activity (while always present) in this instance raises new challenges, for the algorithmically negotiated data-bloom of digital networks intensifies the problem of agency by distributing its expression across material and virtual domains that belong to both organic and inorganic systems, as well as actual and fictional entities.

Building on last year’s meeting, this three-day workshop seeks to examine how aurally inflected mediations might address the complexities of agency and its relation to the counterfactual when one’s actions, feelings, thoughts, competences, desires, failures, and daydreams are implicated in the self-adjusting operation of nonlinear networks. For instance, we are interested in the ways that aurality conjures alternative sensitivities to data flows and rhythms of change that allow for both increased agency in existing networked settings but also for the envisaging and summoning of new vectors of agency itself. While several approaches can catalyze such speculations, we propose to concentrate on sounding art—broadly understood—in order to leverage the fated semiotic parasitism, differential production, relational expression, and perceived multiplicity that informs such practices. However, alongside such concentrating we also welcome various reflections on sono-distractions, phonochaosmosis, rhythmanalysis, harmelodic-prescience, audio pragmètics, chronoportation, h/Hypermusic and other invocations of impossible and/or imaginary networked aural futures.

Please send an abstract (maximum 250 words) and bio to no later than 21 July 2014. Notification of acceptance will be given no later than mid-August.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Monday, 5 May 2014

Hello, Hello, Hello

From Glasgow University Voice Recognition Lab

"On hearing a novel voice, listeners readily form personality impressions of that speaker. Accurate or not, these impressions are known to affect subsequent interactions; yet the underlying psychological and acoustical bases remain poorly understood. Furthermore, hitherto studies have focussed on extended speech as opposed to analysing the instantaneous impressions we obtain from first experience. In this paper, through a mass online rating experiment, 320 participants rated 64 sub-second vocal utterances of the word ‘hello’ on one of 10 personality traits. We show that: (1) personality judgements of brief utterances from unfamiliar speakers are consistent across listeners; (2) a two-dimensional ‘social voice space’ with axes mapping Valence (Trust, Likeability) and Dominance, each driven by differing combinations of vocal acoustics, adequately summarises ratings in both male and female voices; and (3) that a positive combination of Valence and Dominance results in increased perceived male vocal Attractiveness, whereas perceived female vocal Attractiveness is largely controlled by increasing Valence. Results are discussed in relation to the rapid evaluation of personality and, in turn, the intent of others, as being driven by survival mechanisms via approach or avoidance behaviours. These findings provide empirical bases for predicting personality impressions from acoustical analyses of short utterances and for generating desired personality impressions in artificial voices."