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1.
Bodies of noise at the Bell Laboratories : early automated speech recognition, contribution at the Editorial Workshop - A Special Issue on Acoustic Space, November 9-10, 2022, Frankfurt/Main
Eszter Polónyi, 2022, other performed works

Abstract: This paper is about the first automated systems developed to recognize identity. While automated recognition in the twenty-first century is widely associated with images of the human face, its roots are to be found in attempts to visualize identity in other, non-figural types of trace left by human bodies, ranging as widely as shadows, astrological signs, handwriting, the prints left by palms and fingers and the acoustics of the human voice. This paper investigates one such system of recognition as it emerged from within the telecommunications industry context in the midcentury U.S. Ostensibly built to reduce human labor and cable bandwidth, Bell Labs developed three different phone devices in the 1950s to photograph, formalize and analyze the sounds of speech as they traveled through the telephony system. And while the device called “Audrey” indeed succeeded in recognizing spoken digits, it was its failure to recognize the speech contents without prior awareness of the identity of the speaker, that is to distinguish between the individuality of the speaking “medium” and their intended meaning, that arguably made the experiment a landmark in the history of machine-driven recognition. Accounting for the “noise” made by the body and the environment from which sound emanated into the device, which the lab’s technicians defined as ranging from “speech defects” to “inflection” and “background interference” proved more important than phonetic analysis in determining the intended message of given speech spectogram. Similarly to a range of experiments with noise by formalist filmmakers such as Tony Conrad, John Cage, Kurt Kren and others, it was on the principle of contingency and irreproducible uniqueness that Bell Lab technicians sought to train machine-driven intelligence.
Keywords: History of computer science, machine learning, Bell Labs, history of telecommunications, sound studies
Published in RUNG: 19.02.2024; Views: 320; Downloads: 5
.pdf Full text (31,80 MB)

2.
Faceless machines: early recognition media and entangled bodies : lecture at the "Relatifs" lecture series, Kepler Salon, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Österreich, 16. 1. 2024
Eszter Polónyi, 2024, invited lecture at foreign university

Abstract: Eszter Polonyis Vortrag behandelt frühe Systeme automatisierter Identitätserkennung. Einen Fokus bilden Experimente zur Stimmerkennung, wie sie in der Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts von US-amerikanische Telekommunikationsunternehmen unternommen wurden. Sie geht dabei auch den Verbindungen zur Arbeit mit „noise“ von Medienkünstler*innen nach, darunter Tony Conrad, John Cage und Kurt Kren.
Keywords: media studies, surveillance studies, art history, critical data studies, avant-garde and experimental art
Published in RUNG: 12.02.2024; Views: 411; Downloads: 2
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3.
An archaeology of photographic identification : lecture at the Society for Cinema & Media Studies Conference, Denver, Colorado, 13. 4. 2023
Eszter Polónyi, 2023, unpublished conference contribution

Abstract: This project returns to an early moment in the history of photographic IDs to better understand the current entrapment of our identities within what are by now massive infrastructures of automatized, unregulated and largely unauthorized identity extraction.
Keywords: media studies, surveillance studies, history of art, history of visual culture, cultural studies
Published in RUNG: 12.02.2024; Views: 382; Downloads: 2
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4.
Sustainable digital preservation of the new media art
Aleš Vaupotič, Eszter Polónyi, Narvika Bovcon, Jaka Železnikar, 2023, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Keywords: media studies, art history, new media art, archival studies, restoration studies, museum studies
Published in RUNG: 12.02.2024; Views: 440; Downloads: 5
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5.
Mobility media : an archaeology of the photographic ID document
Eszter Polónyi, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Mobility, in the sense of freedom of persons choosing to move or reside in a state in which they have no prior citizenship, was one of the four original “freedoms” defined in the treaty that ratified European Union member states in 1957.1 In the past decade, this particular freedom, the freedom of movement, appears to have become significantly eroded. Mobility in the sense of migration, that is, mobility of persons for reasons of residency or employment, has become a point of contention among member states that it has divided more than unified, with measures affecting immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers featuring at the core of recent electoral agendas. Certain member states’ deterrence of the mobility of migrants from outside the EU has resulted in the return to protocols and practices of controlling movement into and out of sovereign territories, among the most conspicuous of which has been the re-establishment of a – by now largely defunct – network of nation-state borders. And while the reappearance of new walls, barricades and barbed wiring alongside certain nation-state borders since the mid-2010s have made headlines, there have been other measures with less press and physical visibility that have been set in place to manage and enforce mobility.2 The photographic identity document, meaning a document of state-issued identity certification, has become one such mobility management measure.
Keywords: cultural history, migration studies, history of art, history of visual culture, media archaeology, media studies
Published in RUNG: 12.02.2024; Views: 386; Downloads: 0
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6.
History : Earth, Water, Air, Fire. The Four Elements of Fashion. International Fashion Conference
other performed works

Keywords: Fashion studies, art history, fashion criticism
Published in RUNG: 22.03.2023; Views: 972; Downloads: 0
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7.
The human in machine-made art : master's thesis
Jérémie Queyras, 2023, master's thesis

Keywords: machine, artificial intelligence, art production, art history, creativity, master's thesis
Published in RUNG: 25.01.2023; Views: 1112; Downloads: 0
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8.
Photography and Italy : Maria Antonella Pelizzari. Reaktion Books, London, 2010, ISBN 978-1-86189-769-5.
Martina Caruso, 2012, review, book review, critique

Keywords: history of photography, Italy
Published in RUNG: 17.01.2023; Views: 838; Downloads: 0

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