SONNTAG, 15. Juni 2008, 23:05. - 23:45, Ö1


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Video: Klaus Taschler



by Alessandro Bosetti
live from Studio RP4, ORF Funkhaus, Vienna, Austria




A few months ago, Alessandro Bosetti wrote a note to himself: "Try to create a mask that doesn’t have anything to do with anything." He kept wondering for a while what that could have meant – until he started to imagine Mask/Mirror.

Mask/Mirror is a sampler to process recordings of spoken language in real time. The sampler follows both sound and meaning criteria in sorting, organizing and processing samples and in formulating utterances. It is a software tool based on max/msp and a speech recognition software interacting with Alessandro Bosetti's voice during performances.

In the Kunstradio performance of the piece Alessandro Bosetti and Mask Mirror will interact with phone calls coming in from listeners.

"A blank mask I can put on my face – and my voice – it's also a mirror that lets me browse and talk to my memory while I am watching into it. All mirrors are masks and vice versa. Both are tools enabling identity."

"It is difficult not to treat Mask Mirror, with its randomized garble of words, as a wilfully cryptic Oracle of Delphi reincarnated as an Apple laptop. While Bosetti had described the project as "about the aboutness of being about", it's devilishly hard not to seek meaning even where it's clear none is forthcoming. Not until the program, in a moment of absurd hilarity, spit forth the word "hamburgers" did it all click: Mask Mirror is a tool for sharing all meaning from language. It's a liberation, of sorts, like the sound version of Rorschach tests: The mind is encouraged to wander freely and delight in words purely for their sound. In the information overload of contemporary times, Mask Mirror's playful rupturing of sense -- its nonsense, in other words -- is a welcome respite."

(Raven Baker – Noise/Citypaper)

Mask Mirror has been developed in collaboration with Harvestworks Digital Arts Center in New York and STEIM in Amsterdam.