When Things Speak: Giving Voice to Objects

This workshop will be led by Mirabelle Jones, Artsformation.

Ryo Hanmura’s short story “Cardboard Box” will be told from the perspective of a cardboard box. In the box’s own words, it shares its painful journey from factory, to use, and finally to being discarded.

Along the way, participants will find themselves empathising with the box’s character, leading them to question their role as consumers. We might question how they treat the objects, products and technologies they encounter everyday. This may lead to other questions about objects or technologies that have been given autonomy through anthropomorphic characteristics: what happens when we treat objects like people, or people like objects?
In this hands-on speculative design workshop, participants will investigate what our world might be like if the objects around them could speak. Participants will learn some of the history of voice in technology. They will also learn how to create their own interactive art objects, inventions, and wearables that can speak words, produce melodies, and make other sounds.

To do so, participants will learn how to use the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express: a microcontroller prototyping board that comes with many sensors and built-in sound capabilities to explore these questions in conjunction with re-imagining the objects around us, sketching new speculative objects, or incorporating technology into our previously constructed works.

Participants are asked to purchase and setup their own equipment ahead of time.

Equipment needed: Adafruit Circuit Playground Express and a micro USB cable.

The workshop is organised in cooperation with Artsformation. Artsformation is a research project exploring the intersection between arts, society and technology. Artsformation has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870726. Discover more: artsformation.eu