“Politician’s Speech” is an interactive installation. People can make a speech about a momentous political topic by gesturing. Important political speeches are no longer for les hômmes d’État only, now everyone is invited to act and give speeches.
There are distance sensors built into the microphones, which read the gestures, feeding this data into a microcontrolled sensorBox (→ ACSensorizer), which converts the signals to harmonized MIDI data and sends them to a connected computer. A special developed Speech Synthesis program “kIII” provides various control possibilities of realtime speech- and phoneme generation using the Mac OS X speech output.
For “Politician’s Speech” a voice generation engine is used by feeding a real political speech into a Random Markov Chain Sentence Generator. The source text is analyzed (by building Markov Chains) on the most probably occurences of following words. The Markov-Order (determining the degree of similarity) can be seleted and is set to a degree of fair nonsense, but still gramatically correct. (well, most of the time ;)
This word generator constantly produces new words (no predefined loop!), which are triggered by the gestures of the system user. If supported by the voice ouput, various other parameters of the voice are controlled as well: pitch, rate (speed), modulation, volume.
I’m currently using Apples Speech Output, which is able to generate astonishingly real-sounding voices – with additional sofware even in different languages! As the speech-input source is freely chooseable and there are other languages than english available, the system is not bound to North American sounding politicians (although they work quite well, due to nice short sentences in their speeches, which can be randomized very lovely).
More Informations (german) can be found in this article: Werkschau A detailed datasheet and artistic documentation is available on request!
· 28.02.2008: Werkschau, Akademie der Bildenden Künste Nürnberg, Ausstellungshalle
· 20.09. to 04.11.2007: Kunsthaus Nuremberg (K4 / formerly KOMM) as part of the Exhibition “Human Lights”, which is running in the scope of the Nuremberg Award for Human Rights.