I held my replica of Christine Forster's* vocal tract and pushed air through the hollow of its unique undulations, before I saw her face on a video call. When she spoke the words ‘Bahn’ (A), ‘Beet’ (E), ‘mit’ (I), ‘Offen’ (O) and ‘Butter’ (U), lying rigid in an MRI machine, a part of her was transformed into a speaking machine.
This sculptural, multi-channel sound installation explores the unease and unaddressed intimacy of speaking in an alien voice. Using AI generated voices in various stages of training, modelled on Sebes and Forster, it challenges asymmetric power relationships between the silent, disassociated operator of a vocal synthesizer and the voice it produces. Mouthpiece delves into the fleshy and personal relation of holding another human’s throat in your hands, of assuming their identity, of wearing the skin of their voice.
*name has been changed