Klaus Spiess, Lucie Strecker: Microbial Keywording

  • ©, Klaus Spiess and Lucie Strecker, Microbial Keywording


    Microbial Keywording




    Oral microbes

Artist Statement:

    We explore a hybrid language that not only processes formal symbols but also interacts with the oral microbes. This materiality of language takes on meaning against the background of the parallel decline in the diversity of microbiomes and languages.

    In our performances we harvest oral microbes from the audience. Using a voice spectrogram, repetitively spoken phonemes drive pumps that add pheromones to the microbes for a time. For some replication cycles the microbes remain adapted to the individual phonemes, which ecologically favours some phonemes. When the visitors change alphabetical sequences they ecologize their oral sphere. In the webstream version we work with speech recognition and algorithms that use data from previous performances. We propose a ‘microbial language’, in which microbes and language protect each other, as a category between semantic, phonetic and ecological meaning.