The Golden Heart

Speakers, Computer Program, Software, Computer, 1995

The work “The Golden Heart” is an installation of six speakers mounted on a black cabinet-like box. The speakers are the voices of six different people, each with a different personality, talking to each other. Although no one is actually present, the mere sound of the conversations gives the impression that people are speaking. The words of the conversation were created using a computer program created by Kodama, using VC2 text-to-speech software.
Selected and exhibited at ARTEC’95 International Biennale in Nagoya.

This work was first exhibited in 1994, when Kodama was a second-year master’s student in the Plastic Arts and Mixed Media Program at the Graduate School of Art, University of Tsukuba, in the student group exhibition “Genetic Catalog – To My Future Father” held in Tatsuo Kawaguchi’s class, as a work that played only voice directly from a single PC (without using external speakers), using speech synthesis software VC2. Prior to ARTEC, she won the Excellence Award at the 3rd Fukui International Media Art Festival for her proposal “Friendship Saver – Pseudo Friendship Input Device” in which six voices talk to a guest. Later, at ARTEC ’95 in Nagoya, six speakers (representing six personalities) were created and exhibited as a installation work of continuous conversation. (ARTEC was an important international biennale exhibition in Japan for media art that was held in Nagoya.)

“Friendship Saver – Pseudo Friendship Input Device” (1994) Proposal at the time: Five words are prepared for the “guest”. The “guest” sits in a chair, speaks one of the words into the microphone, registers the voice with the computer, and then clicks the Start button. In front of the “guest” stood six large black boxes containing speakers, and through each of the six speakers came the words of six personalities from the computer. The six speakers were each speaking a different language, each with six different personalities.
Eventually the six begin to talk to each other and occasionally ask the “guest” questions. The “guest” responds with prepared words. Then the conversation between the seven (six plus guest) continues in response to the guest’s words. …There is no one else in the place but the “guest,” who is actually sitting alone at a personal computer. Despite this, when you hear voices talking and communication is established between them and yourself, you get the impression that there is a human being there.