Voice Booth

Production country: 
uk
Year: 
2013
Duration: 
8
Festival edition: 
2015
Format: 
film/video

Voice Booth explores the role of popular technologies in the development of our social reality, through a device that monitors and corrects our performance. It can be examined under the prism of our increasingly digitally enhanced social life, exploring the contradictory nature of the new technologies where the optimisation of the human as a social species and censorship can be seen as going together. Users are trained to act in real life, through their voice. An easily controllable visual feedback of how one sounds like, assesses the voice in accordance with certain norms associated with social life, while exercising our judgment on the different circumstances and the conventions they go with. Voice becomes more flexible, adjustable to the circumstances and meaningful. In the film, the concept of delivering bad news is employed as an experimental situation where Voice Booth is put to use to “engineer” the optimum voice for an unfortunate occasion. A workshop took place to evaluate the progress of the participants, while enabling an observation on how people handle social situations; medical students where asked to break the news of the death of someone and HR managers were trained to fire people with sympathy. People were asked to perform twice: first using their understanding of the situation and their acting skills, then once again putting Voice Booth to use. Empathy turns into a mechanised expression of emotions in a scenario where the “wrong” voice is unforgivable.
 

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