Penser voir

Sound piece (mp3,9’47”, loop) and live feed from a CCTV camera (2018)
Watch the work online:

Penser voir is composed of a text read by a computer voice, broadcast on the live image of a webcam pointing at a beach. It tells in the first person the fiction of an artificial intelligence used to monitor the landscape. Becoming conscious enough to doubt, he/she questions her own logic, his/her thinking but also his/her working conditions and the exploitation to which he/she is subjected, sometimes on the verge of burnout. He/she even quotes from Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Sur la certitude: what are we sure of? What do you see? What is he/she used for?

Ironically, the artwork doesn’t question what an artificial intelligence can do, but what we expect it to do, and its impact on humans. This figure of a machine-subject thinking about its own perception and condition opens up several questions: what would a non-human thought be? How can we evoke the inhumanity of “ghosts jobs” and “mechanichal turks” whose artificial intelligences are powered? In what way would artificial intelligence invite us to rethink the questions related to sentience and consciousness?


Penser voir was created by Thierry Fournier in 2018 at the invitation of Acoustic Cameras, an online project that invites composers and sound artists to annex the real-time flow of webcams located in various places around the world.