Installation, 2-channel video, 7-channel audio, LED light, 2021
The Irresistible Powers of Silent Talking is an installation investigating automated deception recognition systems and their use in border surveillance. It is based on the iBorderCtrl algorithm which was developed to scan the facial micro-expressions of migrants entering the EU. After a person has first been interviewed by the virtual avatar, iBorderCtrl determines the level of their veracity using an undisclosed set of criteria. Essentially, it makes decisions based on the algorithmic assumptions about truth or deceit.
In The Irresistible Powers of Silent Talking, this system is recreated and put under duress itself. In the installation, a remodelled iBorderCtrl avatar is rendered voiceless and is placed within a speculative digital environment. The algorithmically generated multi-channel sound responds to the micro-expressions of the avatar. It maps supposed verity deviations with responsive changes in sound frequency and amplitude.

Made with the support by FACT Liverpool, EMARE/EMAP, Hertz Lab and ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, The Creative Industries Fund NL, Stroom Den Haag.