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Female, Latinx owned

New York, NY


Echo Chamber

Conceived for the 2024 Cornell Council of the Arts exhibition on the theme “Freedom of Expression,” Echo Chamber is an immersive installation that uses AI interaction to draw awareness to the ironic isolation of self-expression within one’s ‘bubble.’ By surrounding participants with augmented AI-generated “echoes” of their own speech, users experience a visualized reality of the distortion in their personal echo chambers

Centered on a gallery wall at Cornell’s Milstein Hall, this immersive installation is an ‘echo-chamber.’ Stepping through the red vinyl strip curtains and into the 10’ tall aluminum booth, participants can press a red button to record opinions using a series of prompt cards that invite controversial positions. Using a combination OpenAI’s speech recognition system, Whisper, and a custom GPT, the participants' words are then translated into different, but complimentary statements, inflected and transformed randomly by a series of generative personalities. Recordings are played back to the user as AI-generated “opinions,” each with procedurally generated voices, through eight different speakers hardwired into three-inch pyramidal acoustic foam. The speakers play in a random staggered order, at different volume levels, reflecting off the vinyl curtains and layering each voice until the participant is surrounded by versions of their opinion. Only the occasional oddity or glitch breaks the illusion of discussion, and reminds users that those they are speaking to are not real. Lights set into the acoustic foam are programmed with ambient behavior to draw in users and to reiterate the waveform of the generative echoes when in use.

The purpose of this installation is to question spaces without possible disagreement. Self-expression within venues like algorithmically-selected internet spheres may serve to reiterate our beliefs, but safe spaces supporting disagreement and necessary debate are becoming much harder to find. Echo Chamber paradoxically suggests that the most direct value of our words, thoughts, and ideas may lie in interactions with others, particularly with those who believe differently than ourselves, while serving as a site-specific reminder of a primary duty of a university - to safeguard and create spaces for respectful debate.

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Status: Built
Location: Ithaca, NY, US
Firm Role: Designer, Fabricator

credit Anson Wigner/Cornell AAP
credit Anson Wigner/Cornell AAP