Circles is an immersive and interactive installation that takes the challenges set by the speaker detection algorithm used on the platform Zoom to the physical world.
The installation hopes to raise awareness to the numerous issues resulting from it as the algorithm prioritises certain speakers depending on the loudness or the pitch of their voice, leaving certain speakers unheard and ignored as the algorithm decided to bypass.
By bringing this digitally caused problem to the physical as a collective experience, we hope to reveal these issues as a collective experience in a physical space as a contrast of the actual individual experience that happens on a screen, inside the digital realm.
It is very easy to disregard these issues while interacting online: it is hard to understand if the other participants in the call are paying attention to your digital reflection - it is hard to know if the algorithm is letting them acknowledge you.
Circles requires all participants to face the same projection giving them no choice but to acknowledge the other participants' presence as they become collectively immersed inside the experience. As the participants speak into the mic, the loudest person acquires a circle around their face, as a way to replicate who would be shown onto the speaker view according to the speaker detection algorithm used by Zoom.
This installation entertains playful interaction with a deep and important message. Participants become fully aware of their presence on the screen and of the algorithm's operation. Ultimately, it leads the participants to either respect their peers as they interact or generates a battle of who will receive the circle around their face as they scream into the microphones. Both are interesting outcomes.