Like Pearls by Morehshin Allahyari is an animated and interactive mash-up of the Farsi spam Allahyari receives in her mailbox.
According to Pasolini, ‘we don’t have a body, we are a body’. Accepting this principle, in a society that traditionally tends to separate mind from body, would change both the social and the linguistic taboos. Changing the body, in fact, would modify also the perception of foul language. With Amy e Klara Marc Bolhen explores this principle using synthetic speech. The involved bodies are two pink boxes, two machines, which speak with a feminine voice generated by ‘text to speech’ and automated speech recognition softwares. Should one box start to speak, the other might respond. One bad word leads another and the outcome is rather unpredictable. There are many similar artworks based on ‘text to speech’ application, likeA Soap Opera for Imacs, Chant or Virologic Conditioning, but the choice of this slice of language makes Bohlen’s work original. If the synthetic speech has achieved such levels of ‘naturalness’ that it can be confused with the voice of living human being, it is usually highly selective and optimized for commerce, plain, without exclamations. The fact that two machines quarrel and use foul language makes the situation more realistic and, according to the author, gives a real example of the future interactions between machines and human beings.