Interview with Chris Wood
October 2018

A series of interviews with SPACE Art + Technology artists in residence

What were you doing in the year leading up to the residency?
I’ve been finishing my PhD at Queen Mary University of London. The project asked people to re-think the ways in which they use GPS by paying attention to how the infrastructure operates and breaks down. As part of the project I also developed a tarot reading system based on the positions of overhead satellites. Framing my practice as research as well as art has led me to place participatory work at the heart of what I do. It’s been humbling and rewarding to make listening to others the starting point of a project.

Besides that, I’ve been thinking a lot about artificial intelligence and asking if we can imagine how artificial intelligence might have experiences via participatory workshops and installations in Lisbon and London.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m continuing to look at the new worlds that may be created by AI, but focussing on the voice as a way to bridge human and AI worlds and ontologies. Voice is such an intimate medium that conveys so much about body and presence, attributes that we do not traditionally associate with deep learning algorithms. The theme also fits nicely into my background in sound art and experimental audio and my day job as a radio and podcast engineer.

How have you found the residency so far?
It’s early days, but the community around SPACE has been really welcoming. It’s an exciting moment to be working with issues around AI both alongside the other residents and in the context of all the critical AI work that’s being developed and exhibited in London.

What’s coming next?
As part of the residency I’ll be running a public facing workshop where people will use an AI to clone their voices. I’ll also be producing an audio documentary exploring issues of voice, presence, body and artificial intelligence. The outcomes of the residency will be exhibited in April. During and after that we will see what other rabbit holes open up.