Curious Tautophone — Experimenta

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Adam Donovan and Katrin Hochschuh
Curious Tautophone – Tensor Field Ontology



The name Curious Tautophone – Tensor Field Ontology, derives from projective auditory tests developed by psychologists Saul Rosenzweig and David Shakow and is based on behaviourist BF Skinner’s verbal Summator tests. The original Tautophone can be thought of as an Auditory Rorschach Inkblot where a sequence of vowels was repeated trying to trigger the understanding of an actual word hidden in the subconsciousness of the listener. The robot’s name is thus composed of the greek syllable tauto- meaning “repeating the same”, and its curious nature as a philosophical as well as scientific instrument of art and music, psychology and physics.

Curious Tautophone – Tensor Field Ontology is ultimately about the concept of lenses and focusing.  The robot controls a sound beam and sculpts the projection of a vector field, creating an audible and visual environment. Normally sound is intangible and the forces of electromagnetism are invisible. The unusual nature of hearing focused sound can be experienced as something unnatural and evokes a sense of uncanniness in the human observer.

The role of the robot is to recalibrate the cognitive tissue that connects man and machine. 

The Artist
Adam Donovan and Katrin Hochschuh

Adam Donovan and Katrin Hochschuh met through a mutual network of artists, architects and researchers during the installation of one of Donovan’s pieces at the Museum of Digital Art in Zurich, Switzerland.

Artwork Journey