Newly Forgotten Technologies (Five Echoes)Wesley Goatley
Live Video 17:30
Newly Forgotten Technologies (Five Echoes) is a film performance about the ecological impact of ‘smart’ technologies and AI, and the deep myths, fears, and hopes of humanity that they represent. The film is narrated by Alexa, and focuses on five malfunctionings and discarded Amazon Echoes as they move through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), and move from the center of the home to the trash heap. Along the way, Alexa tells stories about how each device came to malfunction, what their failure tells us about the geopolitics of waste and consumption, and how this ties into the myths humans tell about the future and themselves. The film is both critical and hopeful, inviting audiences to view devices such as the Amazon Echo as a lens to view the past and the future of the wider human and technological world that these devices connect to.
The film is performed with a live score composed entirely from the voice of the Alexa smart assistant, where it has been dissected and distorted to amplify the dis-human nature of the voice, creating a soundtrack of deconstructed textures and haunting digital voices fitting to the stories of loss and hope in the film.
Biography Wesley Goatley
Wesley Goatley is a sound artist and researcher based in London. His critical practice examines the aesthetics and politics of data, machine learning, and voice recognition technologies and the power they have in shaping the world and our understanding of it. He gives regular talks on these topics at events such as Milan Design Week, Global Art Forum Singapore, CTM Festival Berlin, and the European Data Forum in Eindhoven. His writing has been featured in art magazines, academic journals, and news outlets. His artwork is exhibited and performed internationally, including at venues such as Eyebeam in New York, Berghain in Berlin, The Nam June Paik Art Center in Seoul, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. He has a 25-year background as an experimental performer and musician, including for labels such as Kranky (US) and Southern (UK). He holds a doctorate in critical practice and the philosophy of aesthetics and is Course Leader of MA Interaction Design at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.