second iteration
Premiered at Ars Electronica 2018, POSTCITY, Linz. Performed for 24 hours across four days as part of Error – The Art of Imperfection exhibition, from September 7-10. Ars catalog.

Performed at Akousma Festival, October 18 and 20, 2018 (Usine-C, Montréal)

first iteration
Presented September 2017 at Sight & Sound (Eastern Bloc, Montréal)

Performed at Leonardo Journal 50th anniversary, Montréal celebration. (Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology, Montréal)



Abstract

Spiel is an in situ performance for prepared mouth.

​While absorbed in conversation you notice a stranger approaching. With a curious instrument affixed to their face the visitor leans in, and listens. The mouth opens, patterns of rhythm and sound emanate from within: voices recognizable as your own.

Spun out of focus, words reveal their ingrained subtleties as the collector of conversation captures the sentence but not the sentiment. Vocal exchanges are recalled and reflected. Voices are transformed by physical formant inflections, while acoustic hallucinations seem to reference what might have been said.

An étude on hearing lips and seeing voices, the performer’s mechanically augmented vocal tract reshapes and filters conversational spectra into new modes of mis-communication. Spiel physically unravels the tenuous synesthetic relationship between what is seen, heard and understood.


Credits

PETER VAN HAAFTEN | MICHAEL MONTANARO

PETER VAN HAAFTEN
Creative direction, composition, sound, interactive design, programming, and electronics
MICHAEL MONTANARO
Original concept, creative direction, and visual design
TATEV YESYAN
Visual design, mask fabrication
NiEN TZU WENG
Performer

Research collaboration: Topological Media Lab / Concordia University [an “in time” FQRSC funded project]
With special thanks to Greg Salinger, Nicolas Bernier, Garnet Willis, Navid Navab, and Laboratoire Son / Matière (Université de Montréal).


Photos from Ars Electronica 2018, Error: the Art of Imperfection


Photos from Akousma Festival, 2018.