The audiences' hands form specific gestures that imitate the opening of the mouth while speaking, and these are translated into a kind of voice.
KII (Kempelen 2.0) is a voice-topological interface for gestural navigation in linguistic space. The hands serve as speech organ during the articulation process. By using sensors, the device determines how opened both hands are, their position in space and their relative height. These and other parameters are then assigned to the jaw and tongue position in the mouth as well as to pitch and rhythm. A gesture imitating an open mouth would produce a sound reminiscent of a spoken 'aaaa', for example.
Phoneme production is based on phonetic laws. The implementation of musical scales and speech rhythms produces a spoken language. Their context of meaning is not characterized by the conveyance of information, but by the abstraction of the voice in the tonal linguistic space. Articulatory-topological phonetics deals with the speech process – parts of the body serve as speech organs during the articulation process. It is therefore historically linked to Kempelen’s motif of speech generation for the voiceless: voice generation for the speechless.
When we speak or sing, we typically also produce other articulations of various body parts, such as gestures. The artist's research focuses on articulations of behaviour, posture and expression that are part of human speech. This work does not aim to reproduce meaning as source of communication, but to generate behaviour by interaction. The electronic voice is not intended to imitate, but to be an instrument. To distinguish this work from original speech, no original voices are used. Instead, high quality realtime speech synthesisers create the voices. The object is self-contained and also includes the speaker. In exhibitions it is typically placed on a plinth. The installation object is a cybernetic automat to generate system transcendent kinetic energy.
Michael Markert is a media-artist and musician specialising in programming and electronics. He lives in Nuremberg, Germany. His research in intuitive musical interfaces started with a diploma in Multimedia and Communications Design. Since then, he has developed various interactive sensory devices which he has used for installations and as musical instruments. His work focuses on exploring harmonic musical control through intuitive realtime sensory processing and cybernetic interaction systems, thereby overruling hierarchic mechanisms of reception in art.
Since 2005 he has been a member of the Urban Research Institute for Public Art and Urban Ethology (Intermedia), founded by Georg Winter. In 2008 he graduated with a second diploma at the College of Fine Arts Nuremberg and is currently teaching at the College of Fine Arts in Nuremberg and at the Bauhaus University Weimar, in the Faculty of Media.