Daniel Heiss
* 1978 in Munich (DE), lives and works in Karlsruhe (DE)

2017, computer, monitor, microphone 

For decades, the interface between people and computers was limited to the input of text via a keyboard. The wish for a more intuitive and natural way to communicate with computers, however, goes back at least as many decades.

Only in recent years has direct interaction with computers through spoken language become possible due to tremendous progress in the areas of language recognition and processing (»Natural Language Processing«, NLP). Neural networks make it possible to transcribe the acoustic signal of human language word-for-word into text form. With the help of linguistic models (e.g. word embeddings), the recognized word groups can then be analyzed semantically in order to put the individual fragments in context. Modern algorithms make it possible to use this context to translate text into almost every language in the world in a fully automated way, effectively in real time.

The fictional Babel fish from Douglas Adams’ »The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy« is now within reach in real life.

Speak into the microphone and name the language into which your statement is to be translated. Along with the translation, every spoken word will be reproduced in a linear (one-dimensional) pixel display in the form of optical Morse code.

Daniel Temkin
*1973 in Boston (US), lives and works in New York City (US)
2018, Video with two interactive touchpads

Conventionally codes, programming languages and software are seen as language dictionaries helping humans to encode processes and logic into sequences of operations to be executed by machines. Depending on what we would like to achieve, we chose a set of tools.

Yet code can be more than a fixed tool whereby creativity does not only reside in its output but also in its handling. Each language has different approaches that lead to the same result: this variety allows for artistic creation by disrupting common workflows through different visual coding styles to abstract constructs of logic.

The next steps consist of the creation of new languages where the process and uses are not the main motivation any more.  It is about the breaking boundaries of existing languages, creating a frame set by the code or the input, and output method, and less by the information processed.

The installation invites visitors to explore the world of codes in all its creativity and whimsy, its playfulness, and potential for disruption. The video gives an insight into this collection of codes, while visitors can explore the many facets of the archive on the tablets.