Erin Gee

Erin Gee Wicked Artists
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Feminist technologist, composer, new media, ASMR & voice artist
ERIN GEE
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ABOUT ERIN GEE

Erin Gee is a Montreal-based artist and composer, engaged with critical sensuality, affect, haptics, communication, and presence in digital architectures. Inspired by the human voice as a conceptual object, she likens the vibration of vocal folds to electricity and data across systems or vibrations across the matter.

Her recent explorations in affective sound compositions and ASMR are part of a longer artistic inquiry into sincerity and the denaturalization of emotion through feminist technology and science. She is a DIY expert in affective biofeedback, implicating the body of the listener as part of her cybernetic systems in place. By combining machine learning with ASMR, Gee draws parallels between cutting edge autonomous/non-conscious algorithms and the autonomous/unconscious functions of the human body.

Her work in expanded vocal composition, networked performance, ASMR, VR, AI, and robotics has been shown at venues such as MacKenzie Art Gallery (CA), LEV Festival (ES), MUTEK (CA/ES/AR), Darling Foundry (CA), Toronto Biennale (CA), Elektra Festival (CA), FILE Festival (BR), Ars Electronica (AT), NRW Forum (DE), MediaLive Festival (US), and Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, and has been written about in publications such as Scientific American Blog and VICE. She is an artist in residence at Institut Quantique (University of Sherbrooke, Quebec) in 2021-2022, exploring quantum computing as inspiration for sensitive superpositions.

Erin Gee

LIVE PERFORMANCES

Erin Gee ASMR

ASMRtronica

A manifestation of a desire for intimacy in sound when touch was not possible.

ASMRtronica is an ongoing project developed in the artist’s home studio during the novel coronavirus pandemic: a manifestation of a desire for intimacy in sound when touch was not possible.

In ASMRtronica, Gee brings to life a combination of electroacoustic music and the sounds of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos:  clicks, whispers, soft-spoken voice, taps, and hand gestures inspired by hypnosis, tactility, intimacy, and verbal suggestion.

Through Gee’s ongoing development of this genre, she explores the sonic limits of the sensorial propositions of ASMR, journeying into embodied and unconscious feedback loops in sound.

We as Waves (2020) is a collaboration between Erin Gee and queer playwright Jena McLean. The text in this work is inspired by an essay by feminist theorist of electronic music Tara Rodgers.

What does it mean to enter into an affective relationship of touch with sound? The work embodies a dark narrative of sonic becoming aided by hypnosis and physiological relationship to sound and voice.

Erin Gee Machine unlearning

Machine Unlearning

A novel combination of neural network technologies and the popular internet genre ASMR.

In Machine Unlearning, the artist greets the viewer and slowly offers them a unique neural conditioning “treatment”: sonically reproducing the unraveling outputs of an LSTM algorithm as it “unlearns” through whispering, moving backwards in time through its epochs of training. This aural treatment is couched in a first-person roleplay scenario that grounds the viewer through a series of simple audio visual tests. At no point is the neural network technology “seen” – it is instead performed by a human interlocuter, translated into affective vocality and whispered text.

The algorithm was created by media artist Sofian Audry, and trained on the text of Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights (1847). This novel was chosen in part because of its richly poetic syntax, but also for its feminine vocality and conceptual themes of love and intergenerational trauma.

The artist’s emphasis on whispering the textual outputs of the algorithm as it slowly “unlearns” allows the listener to grasp the materiality of machine learning processes at a human level, but also a subconscious level: allowing one’s body to be mildly and charmingly “hacked” through soft and gentle play.

INTERACITVE INSTALLATIONS

Erin Gee Project H.E.A.R.T.

Project H.E.A.R.T.

Holographic Empathy Attack Robotics Team

A twist on popular militainment shooter video games, Project H.E.A.R.T. invites the viewer to place their fingers on a custom biodata gathering device and summon their enthusiasm to engage a holographic popstar Yowane Haku in “combat therapy.” The device gathers blood flow and skin conductance data to detect emotional engagement: a user’s “enthusiasm” stimulates the holographic pop star to sing in the virtual warzone, inspiring military fighters to continue.

The emotional data of the user is woven into the gaming mechanic of enemies and the player avatar, creating an empathy-driven AI combat. As soldiers battle not only against their enemies but also against their own lack of confidence, they vocalize their complaints. The user is challenged to summon their positivity to boost morale. At the end of the experience the user is confronted with their score: how many of their soldiers were traumatized vs how many were enemies killed. No further information is given if one has won or lost the game.

This installation is a collaboration between Erin Gee and Alex M. Lee. Alex uses 3D animation, video game engines, and virtual/augmented reality to explore the potential of simulation technologies in order to visualize and complicate our understanding of time, space, image and light – culling from concepts within science, science fiction, physics, and modernity. Lee is an associate professor in the Digital Arts & Sciences Department at Clarkson University, USA.

ERIN GEE IN ACTION

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