Andrius Arutiunian is an Armenian-Lithuanian artist. He works with sound and hybrid forms of media, with a particular interest in sonic artefacts, aural identities, and digital, automated technologies. Recent shows and performances include FACT Liverpool (2021), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2019), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead (2019), ZKM | Hertz Lab Karlsruhe (2019), and documenta 14, Parliament of Bodies, Kassel (2017).
The Irresistible Powers of Silent Talking
single-channel video, multi-channel audio
The Irresistible Powers of Silent Talking is an installation investigating automated deception recognition systems and their use in border surveillance. It is based on the iBorderCtrl algorithm which was developed to scan the facial micro-expressions of migrants entering the EU. After a person has first been interviewed by the virtual avatar, iBorderCtrl determines the level of their veracity using an undisclosed set of criteria. Essentially, it makes decisions based on algorithmic assumptions about truth or deceit.
In The Irresistible Powers of Silent Talking, this system is recreated and put under duress itself. In the installation, a remodelled iBorderCtrl avatar is rendered voiceless and is placed within a speculative digital environment. The algorithmically generated multi-channel sound responds to the micro-expressions of the avatar. It maps supposed verity deviations with responsive changes in sound frequency and amplitude.
This work was realised within the framework of the European Media Art Platforms (EMAP) programme at FACT (GB) with support of the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union.