of the soone

of the soone
of the soone
 / deep learning ASMR sound work
 / 2017

of the soone re-embodies the cognitive processes and creative voices of three agents (a deceased author, a deep learning neural net, and an ASMR performer) into a tangible device. The device transmits the soft vocalizations of a computer-generated text, attempting to induce autonomous physiological sensations that reveal the listener as an integrative part of the assemblage. These human and nonhuman agencies are further materialized in the object through words etched onto its surface as well as into the device’s silicon memory, blurring the boundaries between time, cognition, language, and technologies of communication.


The algorithmic process used in this work is a deep recurrent neural network agent known as “long short term memory” (LSTM). The algorithm “reads” Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights character by character, familiarizing itself with the syntactical universe of the text. As it reads and re-reads the book, it attempts to mimic Brontë’s style within the constraints of its own artificial “body”, hence finding its own alien voice.

The reading of this AI-generated text by a human speaker allows the listener to experience simultaneously the neural network agent’s linguistic journey as well as the augmentation of this speech through vocalization techniques adapted from Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR). ASMR involves the use of acoustic “triggers” such as gentle whispering, fingers scratching or tapping, in an attempt to induce tingling sensations and pleasurable auditory-tactile synaesthesia in the user. Through these autonomous physiological experiences, the work aims to reveal the listener’s own cyborgian qualities as part of the hybrid system in place.


Sofian Audry and Erin Gee

3D design and fabrication: Grégory Perrin