Syncness, speak to me human being


One of the legends about Saint Francis is that he was able to literally speak to animals and be perfectly understood. The legend describes a dialogue beyond mere empathy and beyond any pretence at recognising the cause and effect of gestures or eye contact. Instead it describes mutual understanding through a shared language. “Syncness” by Saša Spačal and Slavko Glamočanin is an artwork scientifically addressing the same topic. It comprises a wooden structure with integrated speakers hosting house crickets (acheta domesticus). A microphone in front of the structure allows a human to have his/her vocal frequencies filtered to match the cricket’s chirping footprint based on tempo and rhythm. The matched percentage of this dialogue is then broadcast to outer space. “Syncness” critiques the anthropocentric domination of human sounds (anthrophony) in research into life beyond earth, therefore, but it also questions the artificial construction of languages, and the infallibility we attribute to machines.