[ISEA2015] Artist Statement: Chris Vandegrift – RECURSIVE DICTATION

Artist Statement

Experimental text and speech, with SIRI and Dictation for iPhone (2013-2014)

As of version 10.8 (July 2012), Apple Inc.’s Mac OS X desktop operating system has included Dictation, a feature modeled on Siri, the iPhone voice-recognition interface. When activated, this feature cross-references spoken audio input against an online database of speech data and, using this data, transcribes the audio into text. The accuracy of this transcription is variable. Mac OS X also features a speech synthesis utility capable of “reading” text selections aloud in a variety of differently accented computer voices. The verisimilitude of these various voices is, likewise, variable. In Recursive Dictation, Mac OS X text-to-speech output is recursively routed to the Dictation feature and vice versa. The result is an iterative stream of text and synthesized speech that, due to the limitations of the speech synthesis and speech recognition software, is both ever mutating and never ending.

  • Christopher Vandegrift is a Philadelphia, USA, based writer and new media artist whose practice spans film, experimental music, and poetics. His work has been presented at conferences across the U.S. and exhibited internationally. His debut book, Policy Pete’s Dream Book, is forthcoming from Make Now Press.

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