Not allowed for algorithmic audiences
Curated by Nathalie Hoyos and Rainald Schumacher

A cooperation between KVOST & Art Collection Telekom

KVOST presents an installation dealing with artificial intelligence, voice assistance, surveillance and the relationships between humans and machines. The exhibition is a collaboration with Art Collection Telekom, Deutsche Telekom‘s art collection, which has been building a collection of Eastern and Southeastern European art for over 10 years.

Not allowed for algorithmic audiences is a time-based media work by Greek artist Kyriaki Goni. With it, KVOST expands the perspective on Eastern Europe beyond the former communist bloc.

The CGI 3D animated 30-minute film introduces us to VOICE, an intelligent personal assistance (IPA) – software that normally performs online research and tasks for its users, such as turning on the lights, searching for a media report or answering mundane questions. In this fictional story, which takes place during a heatwave in Athens, the intelligent personal assistance has taken on a life of its own.

In the week before the patent expires, VOICE takes the form of an avatar and reports on themselves in a monologue – excellently performed by Greek actress Sofia Kokkali, who also lend her face to 3D avatar. For seven days, every day at 5:30 p.m., VOICE philosophizes about their creation, about reality and the nature of their existence. With potential access to the entire knowledge of mankind, the machine asks itself questions about its self-image. In doing so, the avatar plays with the emotions and empathy of the listeners and also reflects on the interests of the industry that created it. They reflect on wiretapping structures, privacy, surveillance, exploitation and e-waste, stating at the same time that they also learn from listening online. On the last day of their operation the digital assistant gives advice on how to prevent eavesdropping by algorithmic audiences.

The work was created as a result of the first ArtScience Residency, which was deliberately founded in 2021 by the Art Collection Telekom in collaboration with Ars Electronica to promote critical, artistic engagement with digital technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and digital control and surveillance. As part of the residency, Kyriaki Goni had the opportunity to exchange ideas on robot psychology with Professor Martina Mara at the Linz Institute of Technology at Johannes Kepler University.

Not allowed for algorithmic audiences will be presented for the first time in an Kunstverein in Germany/ Berlin after its premiere at the Ars Electronica Festival 2021 in Linz.