HAUNTED TELEGRAPH [2020]
Generative installation 
400 x 160 x 180 centimetres

The receiver of a sight telegraph is connected to sensors that expand the threshold of human perception; it reacts to variations found in its close surroundings. This process involves the training of Artificial Intelligence in analyzing imperceptible phenomena on a human scale—electromagnetic waves evolving within the environment—to detect meaning: speech, words, sentences…

Sitting in front of this device, the spectator is first invited to listen to the sound of this strange machine as it transposes into audible frequencies the signal analyzed by the neural network: an evolving white noise, whose modulations are sometimes similar to the voice’s formants. As occurrences are found, the viewer sees the telegraph being activated to transmit these messages from the invisible—whether they are understandable or not. By placing their hands on the tabletop, visitors can interact with the device and use their “energy” in this search for invisible presences, through a system that filters the signal to isolate its dominant frequencies. A way of becoming an antenna to attenuate the noise and reveal its melodious substance, in order to focus attention on what normally escapes. Finally, all of the machine’s activity is recorded in a logbook, containing all of the mysterious information collected by the machine.

If we seem to be trapped in the illusion of a single world, this generative installation attempts to reveal the fantasy of other possible worlds, either parallel or underlying this one. It relies on the promising technologies of the future to allow a new understanding of the present.


Delegated production: Association AY128 - Les Usines, in co-production with Avatar (Quebec), Le Lieu Multiple - Espace Mendès-France Poitiers and the Chroniques platform, supported by the Conseil régional de la Région Sud, the City of Marseille and the French Institute in Paris, coordinated by Seconde Nature and ZINC.

This project was supported by the Contrat de filière arts plastiques et visuels en Nouvelle-Aquitaine. With the support of the CCSTI—Réseau néo-aquitain de la culture scientifique.

Sound design and interactivity: Alexandre Burton (Studio Artificiel, Montreal)
Computer programming in deep learning: Léo Dubus
Sensors & antenna production + telegraph mechanization: FabLab Les Usines
Drawing of plans: Sophie Laroche
Coordination of scenography: FabLab Les Usines
Steelwork: Struckenfer