Turning Towards a Radical Listening
James Allister Sprang
May 1-May 2
$15 – $24
With a complex sound system of approximately 200 speakers and interactive visual projections, this intimate sonic performance repurposes voice-to-text algorithms to explore the societal biases inherent in our technology.
While working with Google’s voice-recognition software, multidisciplinary artist James Allister Sprang noticed its inability to reliably understand his voice and the voices of Black Americans in general. If machine learning reflects the biases of its data sets, he pondered, how does our listening reflect the racial, gender, and social biases that exists beyond our screens?
For Turning Towards a Radical Listening, Sprang has developed an intricate, one-of-a-kind audiovisual experience—an immersive metaphor for the way language and algorithms shape and even program our lives. Google’s algorithms transcribe spatial sound and recordings of conversations with poets and peers about their relationships to language to form a concrete poem that is unique for every audience member.
This profound new work invites us to reconsider the chasm between information and knowledge, tune into what gets lost in translation, and turn towards a newly informed, radical way of listening.
Content references racism and racial slurs, including the use of profanity.
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Turning Towards a Radical Listening has been developed in part during residencies at Shandaken Projects: Storm King, New Winsor, NY; The Fountainhead, Miami; Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York; and the Camp Fringe residency supported by Independence Foundation; in addition to workshop showings at The Tank, New York; and showings at The Kitchen, New York.
Produced by Sandra Garner, Lingua Franca Arts.
About the Artist
Photo by Jauhien Sasnou | Picturebox Creative
James Allister Sprang (Lead Artist/Performer) is a first-generation Caribbean-American who works across mediums to investigate poetics, performance, gesture, and the ways in which they are documented. This work is informed by the black radical tradition. Sprang has read, shown, or performed at institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Apollo Theater, Abrons Arts Center, the Brooklyn Museum, The Public Theater, David Nolan Gallery, AUTOMAT Gallery, Vox Populi, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Emerson-Dorsch Gallery, FringeArts, Knockdown Center, and The Kitchen.
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