A dark psychophysics robot, CURIOUS TAUTOPHONE is spinning a speaker around two axes. Like a swirl of sound and light the visitor is drawn into the piece with all his senses and finds himself enveloped in a transforming spatial sound sculpture. A moment of precious intimacy is created and a door between the subconsciousness of the visitor and the machine is opened, both aurally and visually. The decidedly non-anthropomorphic robot is the source of this transcendent atmosphere and shows that the CURIOUS TAUTOPHONE is as much an apparatus of art as it is a tool for music and an instrument for psychology and physics.
The name Tautophone derives from projective auditory tests developed by psychologists Skinner, Rosenzweig and Shakow that can be understood as a form of Auditory Rorschach Inkblot where a sequence of vowels is repeated in an attempt to trigger latent speech hidden in the listener’s psyche. The Tautophone seems to be curious, motivated to explore its surroundings and to learn. It reflects the human capability to feel attachment to inanimate objects as already demonstrated by psychologists Heider and Simmel in 1944 and speculates about the human desire to give birth to new forms of life as part of a subconscious reasoning surrounding mortality. Tensor fields expresses the mathematical representation of the visual environment creating a new form of continuously changing inkblots of light.
Using the physical phenomena of directional sound as a medium of robotic expression, the unusual, even uncanny nature of hearing these auditory hallucinations opens the observers perceptual engine and intensifies the multitude of subliminal stimuli. Finally CURIOUS TAUTOPHONE deals with the basic structures that are connecting reality and possibility, the role of the robot being to re-calibrate the cognitive tissue that binds man and machine.
Shina metal MULTIPLEXING TAUTOPHONE is a high speed rotating parametric speaker apparatus that projects a focused beam of sound in any direction. Through carefully timed pulses sound can be spread over the entire surface of a room creating the effect of many sound sources without any discernible speaker being present.
Combining these apparatus for a performance is also an artwork on its own. Each time the piece is performed aspects of the room acoustics changes how the piece is perceived which again enhances the impossibility and impermanence of the moment.