Turning Towards a Radical Listening is an immersive audio-visual metaphor in which an audience is asked to reconcile how their sonic experience is represented, documented, given language and transcribed by AI algorithms over the course of apx. 70 minutes. The resulting nonsense concrete poem demands consideration of how we exist between input and output—holding space for us to tune into what can be lost in translation.
In an age of information, in which meaning is so often generated through processes akin to machine learning—patterned behavior based on biased data sets—Turning Towards a Radical Listening questions the ways in which language and algorithms shape and even program our lives.
Using spatial sound and recordings from conversations with poets and peers, James Allister Sprang asks: Can we begin to address the chasm between information and knowledge? What happens to black voices when they are translated and transcribed through apps and other modes of technology? And can we hold space for the ways in which these translations and transcriptions reveal racial, gender and social biases that exist beyond our screens?
An extension of this project, titled Fragment Scapes, was opened to the public at Knockdown Center November 2–December 14, 2019.