Evasion Score I: Utan

Exhibited as part of 'Soft Power' for Firstdraft, 2021

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Evasion Score is a downloadable graphic score and video demonstration that proposes ways of using the voice to evade detection from domestic smart speakers. Various vocal techniques are used to prevent speakers from 'listening' to and understanding speech. The idea is that these vocal techniques can be incorporated into everyday speech; adapted, built upon and used iteratively in human-human interaction.

 

Evasion Score 1: Utan introduces this ongoing project with a simple score of ten vocal lines. Each line is a sentence or phrase that I have used or heard used by friends or family in my private life. They are seemingly innocuous phrases that in the wrong context, could signal transgression against state authority, political or philosophical/moral subversion.

I applied a series of vocal techniques to each line and tested them out on my iPhone 12 speech-to-text function, and an Amazon Echo dot, to see what each machine could hear. 

The subheading of this Evasion Score is called 'Utan', an American fake tanning product, because my phone continuously suggested that this is what I was trying to say, when it couldn't understand me.